Stay ahead of the game with data science: how to accelerate your gaming career using big data

ART-0012 AU IOD ‘Stay ahead of the game with data science: how to accelerate your gaming career with big data’

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Everyone needs an outlet to escape from the humdrum of everyday life. Research has shown that video games are actually good for you – in moderation, of course. Enter data science. Both it and gaming are booming – consider the possibilities if you could combine them.

Think about the trail of data gamers leave while playing a game. Thanks to big data, the gaming industry can use all that information to its advantage.

For anyone looking to accelerate their gaming prospects with data science skills, keep reading to find out how you can do just that.

How data science is transforming the gaming industry

Around two billion players indulge in gaming across the globe, and growth shows no signs of slowing. Big data provides the tools for game development companies to analyse activity peaks, interaction time, player churn, results, and other metrics to optimise and improve the gamer’s experience. The end result is more players and greater profits.

The core infrastructure of games has increasingly complex datasets. These require talented big data specialists who thrive in problem-solving and can extract insights from customer data.

You may already have the skills to upskill to data science

Most gaming technicians have the relevant experience to upskill to data science. The more technical roles such as animators and game developers already have exposure to programming and can quickly pick up Python – arguably the easiest coding language to learn. As such positions require some maths, you should have a foundation to build on. If you need to, you can always take a preparatory maths course.

Finally, the most critical requirement for anyone looking to upskill to data science is a positive mindset. Your determination to learn will drive you in your journey.

Which career paths in gaming benefit from data science skills?

Data science opens doors to vast job opportunities in the gaming industry. Here is a list of popular gaming careers that can benefit from machine learning:

  • Game designer – Deep learning techniques can boost augmented reality, graphic design and visual effects, and transform the gaming experience.
  • Software developer – Data science can really help make a designer’s vision come alive – or at least seem to.
  • Animator – By complementing an existing skillset with deep learning techniques, animations can become more vivid and realistic.
  • Marketing manager – Machine learning algorithms can give more depth to a marketing strategy by providing further insight into players’ behaviour.
  • Writer – Writers can transition into technical writing with data science knowledge, developing gaming documentation and instructions.

Complement your existing domain knowledge and skillset with data science

Now that you have a general idea of the career paths within gaming, let’s dig a little deeper into how you can complement your existing domain knowledge and skillset with data science.

Game designers
Data science opens a whole new world because it invites you to delve deeper into your creativity. Big data analytics helps game designers build the ultimate gaming experience customised to the player. You can apply your insights from gaming data to create a more interactive, augmented reality.

Artificial intelligence (AI) is transforming animation by helping animators with notoriously tedious tasks. Animators can focus on developing their creative content and producing high-quality work. As AI, in effect, becomes smarter with more animation to analyse, creatives can work with unique art derived from existing clips.

Marketing managers
Those with a marketing background in gaming will be quick to capitalise on gamers’ data trails. Data-driven marketing enables enhanced personalisation for more effective advertising and product strategy development. The data provides marketers with more insight into gamers’ minds to tailor their marketing strategies to maximise profit.

Adding data science skills to your financial experience will transform how you work. If, for example, you deal with subscription services, you can use big data to study gamers’ behaviour to try to increase revenue. Or you can use machine learning algorithms to detect fraudulent activity to help protect your company.

The career prospects in Australia for data scientists in gaming

The progression of big data is generating exciting career prospects in Australia for data scientists in gaming. In forecasting consumer and advertising spend across 12 segments, accountancy firm PwC reports that Australians are “one of the highest per capita spenders on video games in the world”. In Australia, total gaming and e-sports revenue reached AUD$3.175 billion in 2019 and $3.403 billion in 2020, PWC reports in its Australian Entertainment & Media Outlook 2021–2025.

“Gaming was one of the bright spots for the entertainment and media sector during the pandemic,” the report says. “Total game revenues, which rose by 7.2 per cent in 2020, are expected to grow at a 7.5 per cent CAGR (compound annual growth rate) based on the midpoint forecast scenario through 2025.”

In the casino gaming sector – blackjack is the perfect example of a game revolutionised by big data – jobs in data science look likely to return to pre-pandemic levels. “The industry is expected to rebound from the pandemic over the course of the upcoming five years, going back to its previous pre-pandemic figures,” the EconoTimes reports. It cites driving factors such as the opening of the new Crown Sydney location and the redevelopment of Treasury Brisbane and Queen’s Wharf.

Kickstart your gaming career with data science

As you can see, gaming offers numerous opportunities for career advancement. Therefore, there’s no better time to choose a path of higher probability for a more fulfilling and enriching position.

The Institute of Data full-time and part-time programs will help you achieve your career goals and connect you with thousands of industry partners seeking professionals with skills in data science. Talk to a career consultant today.

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