With an estimated market size of $167.5 billion, the video game industry has come a long way since its humble beginnings around fifty years ago. Once marketed almost exclusively towards kids and teens, video games have now matured to create unique experiences for adults as well. This is helped by the fact that the children who grew up playing video games in the 20th century stuck to their hobby and are now adult gamers.
A natural consequence of this evolution is that there are now multiple genres of games to choose from, with each game further having several sub-genres and other elements that make it unique. Even for the most passionate gamer, it can be hard to keep track of the multitude of games arriving in the market each year. This is one of the reasons for the existence of a Video Game Database.
What is a Video Game Database?
A Video Game Database contains intricate data on multiple aspects of each game. There were some databases that started in the 1990s, became popular and in fact continue to thrive today. These were almost always crowd-sourced and worked as a good source for gamers and enthusiasts.
Since then, Video Game Databases have continued to evolve and gave rise to niche Professional Databases for more intricate requirements. They are maintained by teams of video game experts, who take great care in curating the data entered into the database. Their goal is to provide curated and classified high-quality data for the gaming ecosystem.
Before we dive deeper into the two types of databases mentioned above, let us examine the need for a Video Game Database in the first place.
The need for a Video Game Database
With thousands of video games releasing on just one popular marketplace (Steam) every year, it is clear to anyone who works in the industry that there needs to be a process through which one can organize and study data regarding major releases. This is where a Video Game Database comes into the picture. A properly managed database can provide accurate information about an assortment of games.
The two major types of Video Game Databases – crowdsourced and professionally managed – are both essential to organize and understand the huge stream of data pouring in each year. This data, when used efficiently, has several applications, the most prominent of which is to help consumers make smart purchases.
Now let us compare the two major types of databases, looking at the benefits and limitations of each one.
Crowdsourced vs Professional Databases
What does a Video Game Database contain?
- Game Metadata (Basic information) – This includes information like the game’s release date, developer/publisher, age ratings, release platforms, and so on. Game metadata is used to quickly identify core information about a game, which can then be used to find games with similar data.
- Game Breakdown/Teardown – A breakdown/teardown of a game breaks down the various concepts and components that make up a game, to analyze what makes it tick. This builds upon the information included in the metadata and adds on data like Genre, Gameplay Actions, Game Concepts (Design choices used in the game), Perspective, Types of Elements used (weapons, mods, and so on). Building upon information collected in a game breakdown, Games can be classified into groups. This classification helps in identifying patterns between games.
- Game-related multimedia– These include screenshots, high-definition trailers, and gameplay videos.
- Relations – This information analyzes how a game is related to other games in a series or franchise. For example, a series includes games that continue their story with sequels. An example of this is the Halo series. A franchise is a group of games that all revolve around a common theme, but have their individual stories. An example of this is the Assassin’s Creed franchise (which, interestingly, also has a series of sequels included)
This varied mix of information enriches the value that a database can provide, giving rise to many potential applications. So, who exactly taps into this potential?
Who needs a Video Game Database?
- Online game stores – Digital game purchases have gone up by leaps and bounds in recent years. This makes it important for Online game stores to ensure that they provide accurate data that are always up to date about each game to their customers. It is also in their interest to provide smart game recommendations for returning customers. These recommendations are powered by algorithms, which in turn need a database to feed them.
- Game Developers & Publishers – Market research is a key phase in the development of any video game. Game developers of all sizes spend a considerable amount of time analyzing the in-trend game features and their competitors’ games to make their games better. Such data can easily be provided by a professional database.
- Advertisers – Advertisers can use video game data for creating better ads, powered by sentiment analysis. This allows advertisers to pick an opportune moment to run their campaign, by reaching out to a targeted and engaged audience, that is already invested in the kind of game(s) being advertised.
- Media outlets – As competition heats up in the media space, larger outlets can differentiate themselves from their competitors by providing richer and up-to-date data to their users via an API that is powered by a stream of data fed by a Video Game Database. The data is then supplemented with high-quality screenshots, trailers and artwork related to the games.
And it’s not just limited to these four; many digital distribution platforms, gaming websites and forums also require access to an up-to-date video game database.
The recent boom in gaming due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic is expected to sustain well into the future. As the number of gamers across the world increases, businesses in the industry will need to serve this rising audience more efficiently. Using the functions of a well-maintained database is a step in the right direction.
Gameopedia’s professionally maintained database can serve multiple needs of businesses in the gaming industry. We provide a vast array of customizable services, powered by our database that contains more than 5 million Video game facts/insights and up to 13,000 Game attributes for more than 180,000 games.
Our database keeps growing every day and we are excited to work in this dynamic, ever-changing industry. Get in touch with us to know more.