We are excited to have Vince Darley, Director of Business Intelligence at King answering today a few questions for us. King.com is well known internationally and they have an office in Barcelona, where they recruit Big Data engineers and analysts.


Could you explain what King is about:

King makes great games that offer fun, bitesize entertainment experiences for everyone to enjoy. We put everything we have into creating snackable entertainment that is packed with excitement and energy, adding moments of magic to the days.

Since 2003 we've been a leader in making quality casual social games for players all around the world, with over 190 million monthly players and more than 26 billion game plays. We make games for the web at www.king.com, on mobile devices (both iOS & Android) and for social networks - Candy Crush Saga is the top game on Facebook.

Our hits include Candy Crush Saga, Pet Rescue Saga, Bubble Witch Saga and Pyramid Solitaire Saga. We are in the process of taking our best titles to smartphones and tablets. We have a back catalogue of over 150 titles and regularly launch new games on the web.

We have offices in London, Hamburg, Stockholm, Malmö, Barcelona, Malta, Bucharest and San Francisco.

How does BI contribute to the business at King?

BI contributes right across King - with the games, marketing, finance, CRM,… BI designs, plans, and runs all sorts of experiments and A/B tests in our games - and then of course analyses the outcome. BI create our customer segmentation and prediction systems. The goals for all this work are to maximise the performance and fun of our games and our network in player retention, engagement, and of course financial and social metrics. BI also works very closely with our data warehousing team and build a very wide range of standard dashboard reports (using the QlikView system) that are used by many, many people in the business.

What are the biggest challenges of BI at King?

BI's biggest challenge is certainly finding talented analysts who can ask the right questions in the right way, but also have the right communication skills and business insight to be able to work closely with game developers and business managers to really have a quick, direct impact on the games. It is difficult to write up and share complicated data, concepts and analysis in simple, clear ways that let people make better decisions across a business with game development spread across several countries.

How time critical is analysis in the social games industry and how is technology shaping up the industry?

Some analysis is very time critical - when new game releases are made we need to discover immediately if there are any issues in the release, and we often want to know as soon as possible whether any improvements we've made to the game are really improvements - are the players having more fun and sticking with the game longer? Most other analysis is only as time critical as the decisions you want to make and the speed with which games can be adapted as a result - typically more on a time scale of days and weeks.

As far as technology goes, the biggest shift in the games industry today is the rise of tablets and mobile phones as the major new gaming platform - although what we also see is that people do want to play on multiple platforms - on the phone during their commute, on the desktop at work, on their laptop/tablet at home on the sofa… so being able to play cross-platform is a big behavioural shift.

Thanks Vince. For other interviews, do not hesitate to read other interviews at Paradigma.

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