How do small and medium-sized game companies use analytics? An attention-based view of game analytics
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The widespread adoption of the freemium business model together with the introduction of cost-efficient analytics tools have made the use of analytics pervasive in the game industry. While big data and analytics have drawn extensive scholarly attention, the research focusing particularly on game analytics is scant and largely descriptive. Thus, there is a need for research focusing on how game companies employ analytics. In this study, we analyze data collected through a set of in-depth interviews of small and medium-sized freemium game developers. We identify four main roles of game analytics: 1) sense-making device, 2) decision-support system, 3) communication tool, and 4) hygiene factor. We employ the attention-based view of the firm to discuss how these roles diverge and converge in terms of organizational attention. The study advances the research on the roles and business value of analytics in the game and software industry.