Beyond the individual: Understanding social structures of an online player matchmaking website
Engagement and player experience in multi-player games is influenced by the people you play with. For that reason, grouping features and matchmaking facilities in games, as well as third-party services, have gained in popularity in the industry and player community as they assist in building and maintaining social relationships with like-minded players. Understanding how social connections are formed and how these relations can foster in-game activity offers insights for building and maintaining a player base and can, in turn, improve retention and engagement. This paper examines the social network formed by users of the the100.io â a social matchmaking website for the game Destiny. The service provides an opportunity to examine an online social network formed around a game combined with demographic and preference data. The paper explores the correlation of structural network properties with preference and game-related performance data, provides metrics useful for analyzing and understanding the structure of these kinds of player networks and showcases how community analysis and behavioral profiling can be applied to inform game developers about behavioral groupings in social player networks.