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App Annie: Game IQ is a taxonomy that helps publishers understand mobile game categories



Biologists created a taxonomy of animals to help us better understand the natural world. Mobile Insights and Analysis Company App Annie does the same for gaming with the launch of Game IQ, a new taxonomy service that uses computer science to categorize thousands of apps in a way that helps publishers better understand audiences.

From next month, this ranking model will be important for publishers, as Apple will make it harder for mobile marketers to target ads to individual users, in order to preserve privacy. We’ll get back to that point soon, but first let’s see what Game IQ will do.

With Game IQ, App Annie will place each game in a category that includes a genre (such as role-playing), a subgenre (such as action RPG), and modification codes (such as casual, hardcore, or art style). Intellectual property may be different. You can also focus on settings, landscape or portrait, and revenue mechanics.

Marketers have not been able to go so deep into data because the app stores run by Apple and Google do not have much nuance when it comes to categories. If a mobile marketer wanted to find out exactly which game was competing with theirs, the analysis has been difficult.

Enter Apple̵

7;s decision to protect your privacy. The company offers a prominent prompt in iOS 14 (the new version of the operating system coming in September) that will ask users with each and every mobile app if they want to opt out of being identified and tracked. App Annie does not expect a large proportion of users to choose to be tracked. The result is that on iOS it will be much harder to determine if a new user for a game decided to play because of a particular ad.

App Annie’s Ascend product helps developers solve such questions, and Game IQ helps them think of the bigger picture. Advertisers need to think at an overall level about whether they are launching the right campaigns and targeting the right channels, said App Annie analytics GM Ron Thomas in an interview with GamesBeat.

“We need to adapt to a first world of privacy,” Thomas said.

Cutting and slicing of categories

App Annie uses Game IQ to categorize games.

Above: App Annie uses Game IQ to categorize games.

Photo credit: App Annie

More than 27,000 games have already been categorized, said App Annie’s marketing insight director Amir Ghodrati in an interview with GamesBeat.

“Game IQ creates a way to do a much deeper analysis of what’s going on in the gaming market,” said Ghodrati. “We are making something that adapts to the fact that the gaming market has come so far in the last 12 years, [from] when the original keywords were created. Not only has the ecosystem changed, but the players have changed and the type of publisher has changed. So there is a way to create much more detailed segments to find out what is happening in the market. “

Game IQ provides a visual framework for dissecting tens of thousands of apps by answering questions such as:

  • What are the market opportunities under the different grain categories?
  • Is the game set for hardcore, casual or casino players?
  • Which genre suits the game?
  • What is the core loop of the game (which helps identify the subgenre)?
  • What are the independent modifiers, such as intellectual property, art style or income generation model?

Why it matters

Above: Game IQ has more than 80 modifier codes for mobile games.

Photo credit: App Annie

Game developers will benefit from pre-built classifications that control product development, user acquisition, revenue generation, marketing and more. So what insight does Game IQ provide? One example is that the Battle Royale subcategory of games accounted for almost 20% of the global time spent among the top 1000 games by monthly active users. And Battle Royale games come in a variety of flavors, including casual titles aimed at players who are not the usual fans of hardcore games, Ghodrati said.

“We can trace to a subgenre, like Battle Royale games,” Ghodrati said. “Or if a game is an action RPG or an inactive RPG. These sub-genres are much more detailed than what you are used to. ”

App Annie said it has identified 3 levels of tuning, 19 genres, 99 subgenres, 5 categories of modifiers and over 80 modifier codes. This means that it can cut and paste its data in many ways. As an example, you can learn which types of racing games are popular and which with which revenue mechanics do it best. Or marketers may find that a type of game does not exist in a hardcore category, which may mean that there is an opportunity to create a game for such users.


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