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Capcom comes to grips with player metrics

"The bottom line is that we think game data is a genuine reflection of gamer habits and attitudes, and thus needs to be given top priority and examined directly." - Kazunori Sugiura, GM at Capcom, on social game development.
"We often remind our staff that 'figures are living and breathing organisms'... The bottom line is that we think game data is a genuine reflection of gamer habits and attitudes, and thus needs to be given top priority and examined directly."
- Kazunori Sugiura, general manager of consumer game development at Capcom, discusses the differences between making home console games, and creating social games. With the company gradually moving into the social games space, Sugiura and his team have been getting to grips with how social game development differs from the usual development methods, and how player data helps to drive decisions. "In many ways, the development of online and social games is a lot like producing a TV program, while developing games for home consoles is more like making a movie," he adds. "We always keep a close watch and place a high value on daily data, which is just like TV viewer ratings. When we arrive at work in the morning, the first thing we do is to check the previous day's data. If there has been a drop in the figures, we discuss various ways to bring them back up, such as running events or when to put out added content." In fact, Sugiura notes that at times the management has even gone against the wishes of the staff and prioritized past data results over employee ideas, such is the company's level of faith in its player data.

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