Dublin, Ireland, Monday, July 23rd 2018. Keywords Studios, the international creative and technical services provider to the global video games industry, today announces that it has acquired the business and assets of Yokozuna Data from Silicon Studios Ltd, a Japanese developer of video games and middleware solutions for game production.

Based in Tokyo, YD’s team of international machine learning engineers, big data engineers and data scientists, led by Dr África Periáñez, have developed a range of cutting edge self-learning, predictive analytic models drawing on AI and machine learning technologies that predict individual player behaviour and adapt themselves in response to changes that are made in the game.  These models are used for determining the likelihood of players abandoning the game and their propensity to buy items in the game.  By processing large quantities of data and delivering real time predictions, YD’s technology can be used to reduce player attrition, maximise conversion, increase average spend, and materially impact the lifetime value of players all while increasing the appeal of the game for the individual users.

Along with the AI driven models, YD has a management framework solution to allow games companies to adjust key parameters, to record and view results and to monitor key performance metrics of their games in live operation.

Yokozuna Data’s solutions have been developed over the past three years and are now ready for commercial roll out. YD has won numerous accolades for its technology including competitions staged by NC Soft and others and they have published numerous scientific, peer-reviewed articles.  In joining Keywords at this stage, the business can leverage the worldwide reach of Keywords and its extensive client relationships.  As part of the agreement, Silicon will collaborate with Keywords in introducing the technology to Japanese game developers and publishers, and it has a non-exclusive right to resell the YD solution into the non-games markets (such a healthcare) in Japan, in exchange for a share of the associated revenues.

Andrew Day, Chief Executive Officer of Keywords Studios, commented:
“We have been looking for opportunities to establish a foothold in the exciting area of video game analytics for a few years.  This acquisition brings industry leading technology and capabilities to Keywords that we believe we can support, enhance and roll out to our clients thanks to the engineering, player research and video game specific data science skills we have within the business. While YD is pre- revenue, it is a rare asset and we expect the first clients to start implementing the software during 2018.

“As games continue to transition to a service model from a product model, the use of sophisticated analytics engines like this to automatically understand player behaviour and trigger real time decisions in-game will become increasingly valuable to our clients. The use of AI to constantly adapt the predictive models to changes that are made in the games, such as when new items, expansion packs and promotions are introduced, is critical to the future of the video games industry so we are delighted to have secured this leading-edge technology.

“We look forward to continuing the development of the YD solution set and bringing this capability to our clients around the world.”


Date published: 23/07/18

Written by: Joseph Opoku 

Source: (1) Keywords Studios  [Gamespress press release] 

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