Lurkit Co-Founder Tom Niskanen Discusses Data and Gaming on the Evolution Podcast
The CTO and Co-Founder of Lurkit, Tom Niskanen, recently took part in the Evolution Exchange Podcast. He was one of several Nordic professionals centered around Data & Gaming. In an environment of his peers, they discussed how data can be used to enrich a player’s experience and how balancing in-game behavior data can affect future decisions.
Alongside Tom were several notable experts in their fields, along with the popular host of the podcast Charlotte Roberts.
- Tom Niskanen - CTO @ Lurkit
- Alex Nodet - Senior MLOps Engineer @ King
- Kayle Self - Data Analytics Manager @ Coffee Stain Publishing
- Natalie Selin - Data & Analytics Lead @ Mojang Studios
The Evolution Exchange Podcast
The Evolution Exchange Podcast is a platform dedicated to bringing the Nordic tech community together. In this episode, these professionals met to discuss Data and Gaming. Data and analytics are vital to the growth of gaming as an industry. Publishers and developers use centralized data infrastructures and a large challenge has been convincing indie and small teams that these services are indeed necessary. Retention, median playtime, and successful telemetry implementation are important, but many professionals have concerns.
These professionals in their fields met to discuss two main questions:
- How can you use the data to enrich the player's experience based on the in-game behavior?
- How do you balance in-game behavior data with creative intuition/ qualitative analysis data when making game feature decisions?
Too much effort, invasion of privacy, and lack of impact are common thoughts when opposing data implementation. However, these professionals have solutions to help calm fears and show that data can be used in a positive light. By demystifying data as a whole, they are able to show the benefits of data in a larger scope for a wide variety of developers. Data shows player interactions with the product, rather than strictly relying on player opinion.
Be sure to listen in!
Tom Niskanen - CTO @ Lurkit
Tom has over 8 years of experience in systems development in various industries. As a gamer and tech nerd since childhood, getting into the gaming industry was always a dream. In the role of CTO at Lurkit, he is responsible for the development team and long-term strategic technical decisions. He is also known to write code from time to time. The SaaS company, which he co-founded with his brother in 2015, helps gaming companies and publishers get access to an analysis platform for the live-streaming market and a campaign tool to get in touch with influencers. The company has over 850 gaming companies with tens of thousands of content creators in over 1000 campaigns.
Natalie Selin - Data & Analytics Lead @ Mojang Studios
Natalie has over 7 years of data collection experience and has worked at Mojang Studios for over 2 years. Previously an employee at Paradox Interactive and founder of Aganippe Data, Natalie is an expert in Data Analytics within the gaming world. As the Data Analytics Lead she provides strategic vision and leadership for the management of data within Mojang Studios. Working with machine learning, maintaining a data pipeline, and collaborating on data analytic best practices across multiple projects, make up the core of her experience. The company she works for, Mojang Studios, is a Microsoft-owned game developer studio based out of Sweden. It is best known for Minecraft, but the studio has worked on several other projects within the Minecraft IP.
Kayle Self - Data Analytics Manager @ Coffee Stain Publishing
Kayle is a motivated self-starter who has worked with Coffee Stain Publishing for over a year. With previous experience at DICE and Paradox Interactive, they are an experienced Data specialist in the gaming industry. In their current role, they oversee data management and offer insight into strategic planning across high levels of business. By turning raw data into business insights, Kayle is in tune with the shifts in the gaming industry at a base level. The company they work for, Coffee Stain Publishing, is well known for innovative indie development with successful titles like Goat Simulator and Sanctum.
Alex Nodet - Senior MLOps Engineer @ King
Alex has spent over 6 years working for King across a variety of positions. With a focus on Data Engineering, this professional brings a unique perspective with him from King’s interactive development in the mobile gaming world. As a Senior MLOps Engineer, he is responsible for the full end-to-end machine learning life cycle. This includes building data pipelines, implementing systems, and following data evolution for any given project. The company he is part of, King, has been a long-standing member of the mobile gaming world since its inception in 2003. Known for a variety of popular titles, the company continues to bridge innovation with creativity as a key part of the Activision Blizzard Group.