WCAI: Measuring Skill Level and Optimizing Player-Matching Algorithms in Online Games

New research opportunity from Wharton Customer Analytics Initiative (WCAI) involves a unique data set from a major gaming company, with historic behavioral data for 9.5 million users who played 882K games. Learn more on Apr 25.

WCAIMeasuring Skill Level and Optimizing Player-Matching Algorithms in Online Games 
A Research Opportunity from the Wharton Customer Analytics Initiative

Friday, April 25, 2014 
Noon-1pm US Eastern Time


The Wharton Customer Analytics Initiative is pleased to announce a truly unique data set from a major international video gaming company, which will allow unprecedented insight into the habits of online gamers. The data arises from play on a single multiplayer game and includes: game usage, game play, and historic behavioral data for 9.5 million users who played 882,000 unique game rounds.  Complete longitudinal tracking is done for two cohorts of players, covering every round played by each cohort member, as well as all the players they ever played with, from product launch to March 2014.

The data sponsor believes that happy players will play more and buy more – we want to help them develop new methods to test this hypothesis and develop operational improvements based on these findings. More specifically, the sponsor believes players are happiest when matched with others of similar skill level.  Traditional skill-matching algorithms currently used in games do not take into account improvements in technology or detailed playing behavior that is available from today’s multiplayer games.  The sponsor seeks next-generation skill assessment tools, as well as practical solutions to optimizing large-scale matching algorithms to reduce wait times for new games.

The project sponsor is open to other avenues of research, including but not limited to: social networking in online multiplayer games, online game behavior choices, or platform-based player segmentation.

To learn more about the data and business context, interested faculty and doctoral students can attend a live webinar on April 25 at Noon US Eastern time. During the webinar, details of the data will be described and executives from the project sponsor will be available for Q&A. The webinar will be archived for those who can’t attend live. Register for the webinar here.

Following the webinar, Interested researchers should submit proposals online through the WCAI Proposal Submission Portal by  May 12th to apply for access to the data. Proposals will be evaluated based on their potential for academic contribution and the researcher’s ability to address issues of strategic importance to the program sponsor.

Researchers are encouraged to review  proposal submission guidelines and FAQs before submitting their proposal. Additional questions on the data or the process can be directed to  wcai-research@wharton.upenn.edu .