Analyzing player networks in Destiny
Destiny is a hybrid online shooter sharing features with Massively Multi-Player Online Games and first-person shooters and is the to date the most expensive digital game produced. It has attracted millions of players to compete or collaborate within a persistent online environment. In multiplayer online games, the interaction between the players and the social community that forms in persistent games forms a crucial element in retaining and entertaining players. Social networks in games have thus been a focus of research, but the relationships between player behavior, performance, engagement and the networks forming as a result of interactions, are not well understood. In this paper, a large-scale study of social networks in hybrid online games/shooters is presented. In a network of over 3 million players, the connections formed via direct competitive play are explored and analyzed to answer five main research question focusing on the patterns of players who play with the same people and those who play with random groups, and how differences in this behavior influence performance and engagement metrics. Results show that players with stronger social relationships have a higher performance based on win/loss ratio and kill/death ratio, as well as a tendency to play more and longer.