Ireland-based Keywords Studios has acquired Japanese video games developer Yokozuna Data from Tokyo-based Silicon Studio Corporation, in an announcement released by the company today (23 July).
The deal will see Keywords buy over YD’s business, trademarks and assets for $1.5m from Silicon, and use the developer’s self-learning, predictive analytic models - which uses artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies - to predict individual player behaviours and adapt themselves in response to changes that are made in games.
According to Keywords, as it is keen to determine the likelihood of players abandoning games and their propensity to buy items in games, YD's technology will allow it to reduce player attrition, maximise conversion, increase average spend and materially impact the lifetime value of players, while at the same time, increase the appeal of the game for the individual users as it processes massive quantities of data and delivers real time predictions.
In addition, along with the AI driven models, YD also has a management framework solution to allow gaming companies to adjust key parameters, to record and view results and to monitor key performance metrics of their games in live operation.
"We have been looking for opportunities to establish a foothold in the exciting area of video game analytics for a few years. This acquisition brings industry leading technology and capabilities to Keywords that we believe we can support, enhance and roll out to our clients thanks to the engineering, player research and video game specific data science skills we have within the business. While YD is pre- revenue, it is a rare asset and we expect the first clients to start implementing the software during 2018,” said Andrew Day, chief executive officer of Keywords Studios.
"As games continue to transition to a service model from a product model, the use of sophisticated analytics engines like this to automatically understand player behaviour and trigger real time decisions in-game will become increasingly valuable to our clients. The use of AI to constantly adapt the predictive models to changes that are made in the games, such as when additional items, expansion packs and promotions are introduced, is critical to the future of the video games industry so we are delighted to have secured this leading-edge technology.
"We look forward to continuing the development of the YD solution set and bringing this capability to our clients around the world."
Silicon will also collaborate with Keywords as part of the deal, to introduce the technology to Japanese game developers and publishers, resell the YD solution into the non-games markets such as healthcare, in exchange for a share of the associated revenues.