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June 17, 2019
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How to Become a Video Games Analyst

by Nancy Ahuja on 08/30/18 03:28:00 pm

The following blog post, unless otherwise noted, was written by a member of Gamasutra’s community.
The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company.


Video game analysts cover everything around games; they identify various mechanics, elements, and features around games, assess professional video game reviews, and also identify game components that connect or set them apart from each other.

If you are planning to join the video games analyst bandwagon, then, you’ll need to collect as much information as you can through the internet, books or even by asking industry experts. Analyzing video games can be difficult or simple depending on how passionate and determined you are about learning the process. In this article, we tell you how you can become a video games analyst. But before that, you should know that it’s a process. The article will only help point you in the right direction.

Choose a game

The definition of game type differs from distribution platform to the next (like Mobile, PC, Console) to mechanics (like Slow Sims, MMOs, Match-3) to genres (like Racing, Adventure, Action) to a blend of the three. When picking a game type, it’s important to consider its market share. A good option should have enough market shares. Selecting an initial type won’t mean spending the rest of your career only analyzing that type of game; it will only help you to set a clear starting point.

Identify and follow experts

When you search online for the industry buzzwords, then you will find a range of analysts and recommendations. You’ll have to do your due diligence up front to ensure you are settling for the right expert. Once you have a few names, you can subscribe to their RSS feeds, or even follow them on social media sites – this way, you’ll always be up-to-date with information.

Know your metrics

Metrics act as the point where most analysts start and end their conversations. For all the talk, in the end, games are judged and measured by their bottom line numbers, and the metric would be a key indicator of more nuanced or subtle problems. Metrics serves as the guide, so it’s up to you to delve deeper to figure stuff out. It’s why people hire video game analyst. Understanding metrics isn’t what sets one apart, but a baseline requirement.

Get the base skills

Begin with Excel and SQL. SQL is widely used and while it varies from one platform to the next, the basic is fairly consistent. With SQL, you can retrieve, organize, manipulate and format data from almost all traditional data stores.  Excel is also broadly used and offers a spreadsheet-centered way of presenting, viewing and acting on data. Keep in mind that these are basic skills. The tools and techniques utilized to retrieve information are incredible and keep changing from time to time.

Use checklist

Many analysts depend on their acquired knowledge to explore information when they’re analyzing a game. Often, they gain this knowledge through constant memorization of the dimensions, metrics, and techniques needed to diagnose the data. But regardless of how good your memory is, it is recommended that you have a checklist. They help you to lock in your analytical thought in a succinct way and also to avoid mistakes.

Slow down

Don’t strain to learn everything in one go, give yourself some time to learn and absorb the hard skills. And sooner than you imagined, you’ll have all the skills that companies look for when they want to hire video game analyst.

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