• Natalie Markovits

The impact of player sentiment on a game’s experience



What is this episode all about?


1. Minute 4:30 - Muriel shares how player feedback influences her day-to-day position: "data tells us a lot about game performance, but real-time reactions and sentiment, complete the picture for us. We're getting to the why behind the what."


2. Minute 06:08 - we asked Muriel about the relation between player sentiment and retention and she shared with us an impactful way in which they integrate Affogata's impact score with their churn models by working with their user acquisitions and data teams.


3. Minute 08:03 - when asked about the 3 insights that bring her and her team the biggest impact, Muriel knows exactly what to answer: "players' profile personas, what motivates them to stay and play, what they like and dislike, we really want to hear everything they have to say, and three, turn signals and willingness to buy are enough deals."


4. Minute 8:49 - we were curious to understand how the player-facing teams transfer their insights to the product teams and the game studio and Muriel shared with us her amazing model: "we categorize, prioritize, share, adapt and improve."


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Transcription


Natalie Markovits, Affogata's host: 00:05

Hello, and welcome to today's episode of Let's Talk Customer Feedback. Today, we have the pleasure of hosting, Muriel Goldstein, Community and CRM lead at Playstudios. First, let's say hi to Muriel. How are you doing today?


Muriel Goldstein, Community and CRM lead at Playstudios: 01:11

Hello, Natalie. Thank you so much for having me here today. It's an honor and a pleasure for me.


Natalie Markovits, Affogata's host: 01:17

We're super excited to have you here. So, before we dive into the main topic today, let's hear about you. Can you tell us how you got into the industry and what you do today?


Muriel Goldstein, Community and CRM lead at Playstudios: 01:27

Yeah, so I'd say that my passion for data and user experience led me into the gaming industry after I moved to Israel in 2010. I started out as a player experience executive, and then I run a leading marketing company in the user acquisition field and now I'm in charge of CRM at Playstudios in Tel Aviv. So, my career has given me constant access to players' feedback sentiments, and motivations since the very beginning. So, I'm pretty much user obsessed these days. Basically, I read in between the lines, and I make informed decisions and it all comes down to finding the insights behind the numbers and the players' voices really hold that key for us.


Natalie Markovits, Affogata's host: 02:10

Definitely! Love that introduction. Thank you for that and before we start, we would like to tell you all a short story.


STORY 02:28

Welcome to tales from the feedback crypt. Amusing, exquisite, and horrific feedback stories gone well, wrong. You know that something has gone wrong when the phrase 'we're sorry for any offense cost' is pulled out. This was the case for Square Enix back in 2012. They created an app for Facebook in which players could put hits on their friends. Yeah, that sounds like a great move. Anyone putting out the heat could select from a list the reason they wanted to target their friend. An automated voice message will then be sent to their target, including the stated purpose for the heat. Of course, it's Square Enix admitted they were wide off the mark and decided the best thing to do was to remove the app completely. That sounds like a great idea too. Thank you for joining me and see you next week on tales from the feedback crypt.


Natalie Markovits, Affogata's host: 03:29

So, with that story in mind, we can't wait to hear what Muriel has to say today. So, let's start. Muriel, can you introduce us a bit to your role in the company? What do you do as a Community and CRM lead at Playstudios and what does the company do?


Muriel Goldstein, Community and CRM lead at Playstudios: 03:43

Of course, so in my role as a CRM lead, I transform data into insights and initiatives. To achieve this, we maximize the efficiency of our CRM data and use the latest solutions and technologies to enhance customer care and player experience. Playstudios is one of the most unique and creative gaming companies on the planet. We are the makers of the player awards loyalty platform, and award-winning developers of Free to Play social games like Tetris mobile app, Pops slot, myVEGAS, myKonami and MGM Slot live.


Natalie Markovits, Affogata's host: 04:17

Awesome. Thank you for sharing that and so now they're we're going to start getting deeper into player feedback and sentiment. Can you tell us how player feedback and player sentiment influence your day-to-day position?


Muriel Goldstein, Community and CRM lead at Playstudios: 04:30

Definitely. So, we build, believe, and invest in our communities and we're always listening to our players' feedback and striving to improve their gameplay experience. In every department, we're using cutting-edge technologies to track bottom-line numbers, and data tells us a lot about game performance, but real-time reactions and sentiment, complete the picture for us. We're getting to the why behind the what.


Natalie Markovits, Affogata's host: 04:56

I love that. That's definitely a good mix of how you mix quantitative and qualitative data and can you tell us a bit about how you gather and analyze your player feedback? And once you gather all of these insights, how does the company utilize this feedback to optimize the games?


Muriel Goldstein, Community and CRM lead at Playstudios: 05:15

Right! So, Affogata helps us gather slice-and-dice players' sentiment and verify theories and ever since we started using Affogata, we're way more confident in both the player feedback and our own insights because real-time feedback is helping us make better decisions and in order to keep improving our experience, we need to keep our ears to the ground, and at Playstudios, we're a little bit more than player focus, we're actually player obsessed, and we invest heavily in our gameplay experience.


Natalie Markovits, Affogata's host: 05:48

Yeah, I agree. I already know a lot about Playstudios, about the games, and how you gather and use this data and I can definitely say that Playstudios is player obsessed. So, I love that! And what role do you think the analysis of player feedback and sentiment has to do in player retention?


Muriel Goldstein, Community and CRM lead at Playstudios: 06:08

That's a great question because we're shooting for the stars here and taking a moment to think we realized that player sentiment and retention were directly linked. So, we asked ourselves, what else can we learn from this kind of obvious correlation and now in cooperation with our user acquisition and data teams, we're working on integrating our player sentiment score to our churn models. So, we're constantly looking for creative ways to increase stickiness and making smart decisions that will impact our KPIs. So, knowing how our players feel is helping us make the changes they want, which potentially increases loyalty and retention.


Natalie Markovits, Affogata's host: 06:49

Well, that's actually amazing that you just mentioned that you're working with your acquisition team to mix the Affogata impact score with the convert that churn rate. For our audience that doesn't know, so basically, Affogata has one of these features, which is the impact score, which measures the volume of mentions and sentiment through periods of time, and you can compare through your competition, you can check and analyze through time, several peaks, and analyze the impact score of the brand of the products and I actually love that you just mentioned that mix that you do in the company. It makes total sense to measure both and analyze it. So, I love that. That's pretty new. I haven't heard that before.


Muriel Goldstein, Community and CRM lead at Playstudios: 07:35

Yeah, a project that we're all fully invested in and excited about because it's really connecting the best of both worlds and we're looking forward to what that's going to bring for us.


Natalie Markovits, Affogata's host: 07:48

That's awesome and I think that a lot of our audience can learn from it and thanks for sharing that and for our next question, we would love to know, what are the top three player insights that bring your team the biggest impact?


Muriel Goldstein, Community and CRM lead at Playstudios: 08:03

So, we like to read in between the lines all the time, as well as listening to what they have to say, we need to understand who our customers are, and what motivates them. So, you see, the better we know them, the better we understand them. So, one, our players' profile personas, what motivates them to stay and play, what they like and dislike, we really want to hear everything they have to say, and three, turn signals and willingness to buy are enough deals.


Natalie Markovits, Affogata's host: 08:31

It makes total sense and in the company, how do you utilize the player feedback? What do you do with it? Can you share us what is the process of how you, the player-facing teams share this information to the product teams or the studios? How does it look like?


Muriel Goldstein, Community and CRM lead at Playstudios: 08:49

Definitely, that is a great question because this is where the fun actually starts. So, we try to categorize it per theme for a more efficient decision-making process. After that, we prioritize the feedback by volume, and by prioritizing the most frequent raised issues we tackle the most urgent matters are the ones that will have the biggest impact first. So, we categorize the player feedback. We prioritize the feedback by volume and impact. We share it with a company stakeholders to analyze it and apply the relevant improvements to increase stickiness and retention. So, to summarize, we categorize, prioritize, share, adapt and improve.


Natalie Markovits, Affogata's host: 09:32

And that's a great one. I love that I feel that our audience can learn a lot from today's podcast. I think that yeah, definitely categorizing by volume makes total sense because also you can actually understand if there is a super high priority problem, if there is a bug, if something is going on the audience is not like being able to play the games and things like this. It makes sense to actually prioritize that way. So, you already spoke a bit about how you intertwine the qualitative and quantitative data, but can you share with us a bit more of how you do it and what type of qualitative and quantitative data you intertwine and how you do it at Playstudios?


Muriel Goldstein, Community and CRM lead at Playstudios: 10:12

Definitely. So, here's where you guys come in and make our lives easier. Understanding the why behind the what. So, our goal is to hear the players' voices behind the numbers. The questions are when, how, why they felt the way they did. So, our KPIs reveal a lot about our performance, and with real-time feedback tracking, we're now able to tell the whole story of how players are perceiving our games.


Natalie Markovits, Affogata's host: 10:41

I love that. I love to hear that Affogata is actually providing value to you guys. So, it's awesome and this may be the hardest question of all and it's the last question of today. If there would be a dream insight you could get from your players, what would it be?


Muriel Goldstein, Community and CRM lead at Playstudios: 10:59

So, as part of our player retention strategy, we use the Net Promoter Score, NPS to measure the satisfaction and loyalty of our players. So, ideally, we'd like to know what makes them recommend us to their friends or in other words, what makes the game experience memorable.


Natalie Markovits, Affogata's host: 11:16

I love that. It's true. It's so true, because the NPS gives you a number, but it doesn't really explain you the why, so I guess that's the real question there, the golden star. So, it makes total sense and Muriel, I really want to thank you so much for taking today, your time in this podcast and sharing your insights on the impact of player feedback and sentiment on the game.


Muriel Goldstein, Community and CRM lead at Playstudios: 11:42

Thank you so much. I had a lot of fun.


Natalie Markovits, Affogata's host: 11:44

And finally, I would also like to invite everyone to check out our upcoming panel between Affogata and Playstudios at WN Tel Aviv on November 24th, where Muriel and Itamar, Affogata's CPO and co-founder will discuss the impact of players' sentiment and retention and so hopefully we'll see you there.


Muriel Goldstein, Community and CRM lead at Playstudios: 12:05

Looking forward.

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