Boost Player Retention with Azure PlayFab Churn Prediction: All-in-One Risk Assessment and Mitigation Solution

Identify, mitigate and test strategies directly from Azure PlayFab.

May 15, 2023
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As the volume of games available to players continues to grow, maintaining and retaining your player base continues to be a top area of focus for game developers and publishers. Understanding, predicting and ultimately mitigating player churn is key to increasing player engagement, which in turn increases revenue and ultimately increases the overall success of a game.. To empower creators and publishers, Azure PlayFab released Player Churn Prediction into Public Preview at GDC this last March!  This feature can help you, game developers, to predict and identify when players are at risk of churning and then with the rest of PlayFab’s data actions tooling, you can take steps to mitigate that risk before players churn.

With this feature addition to PlayFab, you can Identify at-risk Players, Mitigate Churn and Test the effectiveness of your strategies all from the same platform! Let’s dig a little deeper into what that means.

How the predictive churn detection works:

Azure PlayFab uses machine learning algorithms to analyze player behavior and identify when players are at risk of churning. The model considers factors such as login frequency, session duration, and purchase history to create a churn risk score for each player. This score can be used to identify players who are likely to stop playing the game within the next 7 days, allowing developers to take proactive measures to prevent them from leaving in the first place. The feature can be enabled in 1 easy step. Navigate to Segmentation within PlayFab, click on Enable Player Churn. As easy as that.

Mitigating Churn:

Once at-risk players have been identified, you can take steps to mitigate the risk of churn. Azure PlayFab provides a variety of tools for this, including targeted messaging campaigns, personalized offers, and in-game events designed to encourage continued play.

As a sample scenario, a developer might send a special offer to a player who hasn't made a purchase in a while, or create a limited-time event, such as a sale or a host a tournament, to encourage players to log in and play the game. By offering targeted incentives, developers can encourage players to stay engaged with the game and reduce the risk of churn. In addition to differentiated tooling that exists within the PlayFab platform, developers also can create unique solutions that are custom fit to the game via Azure Functions. An example of a scenario where you would use actions is when you would like to provide an exclusive sale to your high risk players, who have also purchased items in the past. You can create a compound segment with Churn Prediction and Spend filter, after which you can create a Azure Function that will expose a unique sale specifically for those players to encourage their return and engagement within the game.

Test Effectiveness:

Another essential part of the iterative gaming experience today is the ability to test mitigation strategies and their effectiveness. Azure PlayFab's churn prediction feature allows developers to experiment with different mitigation strategies and measure their effectiveness. By creating different campaigns and events, developers can track how they affect player behavior and adjust their strategies accordingly.

For example, a developer might create two different offers and send them to two different groups of at-risk players. By comparing the response rates for each offer, the developer can determine which one is more effective and use that information to refine their approach in the future.

At PlayFab and as part of Xbox, we know how important retaining your player community is. We are excited to be using the power of Azure AI to build solutions specifically for game developers to empower them grow their games with solutions like Azure PlayFab's churn prediction feature. We are excited to already be seeing how this feature is helping games maintain player engagement and revenue over time and stay ahead of the curve and ensure that their games remain popular and profitable for years to come.

The Player Churn Prediction free trial has been extended to June 1st! This means you will not be charged for any Prediction services until that point. This is done specially to gather feedback from our customers so we can improve and provide an enhanced product for GA. If you would like a session to understand how the feature can fit into your game, please reach out to us and we would love to set up a quick chat! Don’t lose the opportunity to speak directly to the team who created this feature. Looking forward to hearing from you all.