You’ve said before that modern games, even single player, will track player data. What sorts of things are actually logged? What do you think are some of the things players would least expect to be tracked?

We mostly track all the things that players choose to interact with. This means where they go, the things they spend time looking at, the NPCs they talk to, the things they buy, the recipes they craft, the menus they spend time in, the characters they romance, the gear they like to use, and so on and so forth. You know how achievements often require a bunch of very seemingly-arbitrary conditions to meet, like visiting Calendar Man at several major holidays in one of the Batman Arkham games? A good rule of thumb is that if we can check for it for an achievement, we're probably tracking it. We spend a huge amount of time and effort tracking all that information because we want to know what the players are spending their time doing in order to figure out what kind of new content we think they will like.

I think most players don't really understand how much tracking we do for UI/UX. We spend a lot of time and effort to track things like how many players don't continue beyond a certain point in order to figure out how we can make things smoother and easier for players to get to the fun bits. A huge amount of effort is spent tracking, analyzing, and interpreting data from the First Time User Experience (aka the FTUE), because we all want players to keep playing and not drop the game after the first few minutes.

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