The soft launch phase for mobile games is well known for being able to test early audience reception and gather early feedback.
But the telemetry process of collecting player events can be hugely useful to track predefined interactions.
That's according to Fusebox Games head of data and growth Daniel Saunders who explained the many uses of telemetry during a session on 'how data is used to inform game design' at PGC Digital #6.
These events are stored on server-side databases as well as third party integration and can be used to study how individuals/groups of users are playing a specific game.
Another bonus outlined was that events can be used to form funnels that reveal points of high churn.
One of the main uses of the soft launch phase is to gather an analysis for average revenue and daily active users, however, it's worth being aware that large install spikes will likely trend off, as a result of an App Store feature or TV promotion. This is an expected outcome that developers should prepare for.
"A real top tip when thinking about telemetry is to think about as much time as you can to put in these pre-defined events before launching the game," said Saunders.
"It's a real shame when you get later on to live ops and there's a real nice piece of analysis or a key question you want to ask but the event wasn't put it. I'd really encourage people to spend as much time as they can thinking about what events would be needed to track and create the full player journey."
Market intelligence platforms such as Sensor Tower, AppMagic, App Annie and Benchmarks+ were highlighted as sources for competitor insights. Additionally, they can help to identify market gaps, alongside estimate trends for game genres, revenue and install data.
One of the biggest games to announced that it would enter a soft launch phase recently was Apex Legends, after developer Respawn confirmed the battle royale would begin testing in India and the Philippines on Android over the coming weeks.