Playnomics Allow Games Developers to Exploit Gamers

PlaynomicsPlaynomics, a self proclaimed “data mining” company, have handed the power to target players with incredibly specific adverts, over to games developers for free.

To gamers, this is marketed in Playnomics’ press release as “giving players a new way to find other players to engage with, and find new games that fit their psychographic makeup. For example, players who have high Social scores would be able to find other Social players, and Explorers would find quest-based games that fit their personality.” They do this by assigning a score to players that grades them on their in-game activity by recording as much data about them as possible.

However, this is not a gesture of good will to gamers. Rather, this allows developers to “monetize existing players with personalized in-game promotions” and also allows companies to understand how you decide “what to play” in order to start peppering games they believe you are going to buy with adverts tailored to you before you even buy them.

While adverts may occasionally inform me of something I may want to buy, more often than not they just get in the way (unless very well implemented). Worse, the last action I want games companies to take is to stop viewing me as a loyal customer and instead as an easily manipulated statistic.

Want to protest against this? Me too, but I’m afraid it is already too late. As you read, Playnomics have already ranked 20 million gamers, which equates to (depending on which estimate you believe) one in ten gamers.

So congratulations! Many of you who are reading this have already had your data taken from you and are already being targeted!

Thanks a bunch Playnomics.