When PAYDAY 2 was first released in 2013, the multiplayer heist shooter was launched as a traditional premium title supported by DLC. After a massively popular run, development on PAYDAY 2 ultimately shut down in December 2018. But in October 2019, Starbreeze revealed it was once again working on expansion content and ‘seasons’ of DLC linked together by an ongoing storyline—which would come to play a important role in the company's financial recovery.
Today, AccelByte Cloud provides Starbreeze with a Game Telemetry and Analytics platform that enables their data teams to deliver powerful insights to the business, improving the support of predictive player analytics, business forecasting, and awesome live community events.
To support the revival of PAYDAY 2, Starbreeze knew it needed to refine its approach to collecting, analyzing, and taking action based on player and game telemetry.
Data is one of the most critical assets Starbreeze had to understand and engage their large and loyal playerbase. However, they wanted to expand on an already robust data capability for PAYDAY 2— ingesting terabytes of new data along the way. The team needed a solution to dynamically track player and game data and extract insights to help inform game design decisions and new community events.
- Processed over >900 TB of data each month covering 1M+ players, and up to 50k+ peak concurrent players
- Internal teams (live services op, producers, and senior leadership) needed rapid access to a wide array of data sets such as loadout, player, and match statistics to drive decision making for the next set of events and updates.
- Starbreeze’s legacy PlayFab infrastructure only supported a closed platform centered on Azure Data Warehouse. The team wanted flexibility to continue using their preferred data cloud Snowflake, and an open ecosystem of tools for building the in-house analytics team.
AccelByte worked closely with Starbreeze to implement telemetry hooks, which gather critical gameplay data such as loadout, player and match statistics from multiplayer sessions, and player economy trends.
Fully managed platform with customizable Game and Player telemetry system collecting data including:
- Player activity: Active player/CCU graphing, new player volume, and player engagement time and retention rates to track overall community health.
- Match preferences: Player map and setting preferences, average session lengths, total rate of experience gain to inform future events, updates, and DLC.
- Loadout balancing: Player weapon/item/skill preferences and effectiveness to inform in-game balancing.
- In-game economy: Player in-game cash spend behavior and timing to tweak in-game economics and pricing.
- Live event statistics: Custom, novel player actions (e.g., ‘total player kills with a spoon’) to fuel limited time community events.
- GDPR compliance: All data collection maintains compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) of the EU as well as the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA)
Direct integration with Diesel Game Engine led by AccelByte Professional Services. Implemented native with PAYDAY 2 code following StarBreeze’s own best coding practices—and ensuring zero degradation in game performance—with minimal additional investment in engineering capacity from Starbreeze.
Native integration with Snowflake data warehouse allowed Starbreeze to retain an open ecosystem of tools for supporting the in-house data analytics team.
With AccelByte, Starbreeze has unlocked significant insights which have allowed them to run Live Services, uncover new player opportunities faster, and launch new and engaging live community events.
- Zero in-house devops: Entire player and game telemetry pipeline is managed with 24/7 AccelByte support—releasing Starbreeze and their analytics team to focus on creating dashboards and uncover insights rather than collecting and cleaning data.
- Faster (cost effective) time-to-insight: Unlocked access to real-time player and game data that directly pipes into an open ecosystem of analytic tools. Team devised creative solutions to batch and optimize data piping to control overall data transfer costs.
Increased community engagement: With the support of AccelByte, Starbreeze has supported new, unique community live events directly engaging the player base.
- The PAYDAY 2: 8th Anniversary event in August 2021 boosted peak CCUs by >70% as players collectively retired 15 million cops and blasted $19.3 billion of in-game cash.
- The April Fools’ Day ‘MASS SPOONING’ 2021 event had players work together to collectively get over 5,000,000 kills with their spoons.