With well-known franchises such as Final Fantasy, Lara Croft, Hitman and Deus Ex, Square Enix is one of the world’s largest video game companies.
Some of Square Enix’ key games have successfully made the transition from boxed product to multiplayer online game. Instead of selling a game once, the company now makes the games available to play for free, and makes money selling virtual credits that players can use within the games. These direct interactions with players produce enormous amounts of data about their behavior and preferences that the company can use to steer and improve performance. But how to organize this raw data in such a way that it allows for analysis and interpretation? And how to avoid the trap of confirmation bias, or looking only for data that supports a preferred conclusion?