The sweet spot of qualitative and quantitative: How does “If Only: Once Again" use AI to enter gamers’ hearts?

Gaining popularity in more than 15 countries, automatic AI tags over ten million posts
Gaining popularity in more than 15 countries, automatic AI tags over ten million posts

From remote games to mobile games, from Taiwan to overseas, X-Legend Entertainment possesses more than 18 years of R&D experience and technological ability, and continues to make breakthroughs in the game market. If we look at the current situation of the gaming industry, according to the mobile market data and analytics platform App Annie report, regardless of the “number of active gamers” or the “amount of player consumption,” there was an average annual growth rate of 20% in 2020, which also makes operators more optimistic about the big game market, leading to a steady rise in the cost of advertising. Such competition has prompted members of the X-Legend Entertainment game team to constantly break the mold and pursue change in game design. “If Only: Once Again” is one of their new works that was created under this challenge.


The game swept across markets in more than 15 countries

Potential business opportunities in the female market gave birth to the urban romance mobile game “If Only: Once Again”

Foreseeing the huge business opportunities in the female market and the likes of team members, X-Legend Entertainment launched this “female-oriented” RPG mobile game in November 2020. Going against the style of past adventure and fantasy MMORPGs, the “If Only: Once Again” production team produced gameplay that was more delicate and beautiful in the painted visual style, music, and plot.


New themes, new challenges: Analyze the customer base to discover the sense of excitement for female gamers

While making the first female-oriented self-developed romance mobile game, the team also faced different challenges when planning its marketing strategy. Abbie from the X-Legend Product Operation Department shared that when marketing in the past, the team used to refer to the interactive messages of social media fans or past experience from promoting games with high similarity, supplemented by the effectiveness of advertising, to make decisions.

For the team, who had less experience in promoting female-oriented romance mobile games, they had to rethink and build a “player profile.” Abbie clarifies with an example: in order to give gamers the best experience, they always “start with gamers” in mind when doing social promotion: What are the player’s behavior and preferences in social media? What do they feel about the posts? What kind of activities do they want to participate in? What peripherals do they like? Which lucky-draw prizes are more attractive?

Marketing Department manager Summer also said that the launch of this game coincided with the annual Singles’ Day (11/11), so it is difficult to buy good ads for cheap. As a result, “attracting a precise customer base” to increase downloads also became an issue for the marketing team.


Laborious market research tasks were handed over to AI

Facing an entirely new group of gamers, X-Legend Entertainment knew that it must start with the data from the highly active Facebook fan groups. However, processing the massive amount of Facebook posts and fan comments is time-consuming and difficult to complete in a short period of time before the game’s launch. And iKala Cloud, an enterprise that uses AI to support enterprises engaging in transformation, has a dedicated AI data science team and abundant experience in social media data analysis, which coincides with the “data-oriented” decision-making concept of X-Legend Entertainment.


The first step: Quantitative Marketing—Analyze the degree of fan overlap and reshape the appearance of female gamers.

With the help of the iKala Cloud team, X-Legend Entertainment used AI to reshape the appearance of gamers in “If Only: Once Again” within a short stretch of time early in the game’s launch. At first, the team assumed that the “Chinese imperial court” and “girl romance” mobile gamers were two different groups of people. For support from the data, iKala Cloud assisted in analyzing the posts of several Facebook fan groups with AI. The analysis found that these two groups of gamers actually have very little overlap in these fan groups. This validated the marketing team’s ideas and, in the same period, gave the team a better understanding of competing products and gamer profiles.

Analysis of fan overlap between “If Only: Once Again” and the other five fan pages


The second step: Qualitative Insights—AI automatically tags “over ten million” posts to find potential business opportunities for cooperation

After establishing a more precise gamer profile, the iKala Cloud team then used Natural Language Processing (NLP) technology to perform keyword extraction on Facebook posts, AI automated tagging, association analysis, automatic categorization and aggregation, and provided gamer-oriented insights. This included which words to add to the article to spur higher interaction, the movement plans for on-site activities, the types of peripheral products that fans prefer, or the potential manufacturers and products for cross-industry cooperation—there were opportunities from all of this to find clues through AI analysis.

In specific, how is AI automated tagging applied? For example, the team wants to target female customers and find suitable food and makeup manufacturers for joint promotion. Using the AI automated tagging (auto-tagging) system developed by iKala Cloud, it can regularly capture nearly 20,000 Facebook fan groups and tens of millions of posts in Taiwan; search for topical posts discussing “food” and “makeup”; and compare the social footprints of “fans who like female-oriented games” to accurately recommend suitable partners for cooperation in different industries.

AI automatically tags over ten million posts

Such a huge amount of data analyses and storage can be done through BigQuery, Google Cloud’s multi-cloud data storage system. BigQuery can quickly analyze petabytes (PB) of data, and it has built-in machine learning capabilities. And when large-scale computing is implemented, it uses the Google Compute Engine, a cost-effective and secure computing technology, which can greatly reduce computing costs.

X-Legend’s next mile moving forward: Create a real-time social media “situation room” and become a close friend of gamers

“In cooperation with iKala Cloud, both parties exchanged many ideas, and also helped us to understand player profiles of this game more deeply, so that we could see that the game could have more possibilities for development and applications.” —X-Legend Entertainment Vice President Zhou Qiu-mei

After this analysis project, X-Legend Entertainment gained a deeper understanding of the appearance of female gamers who developed from playing female-oriented romance games, and also verified many of their initial ideas and marketing strategies. This included the possibility that women may pay more attention to the details, atmosphere, and perception in physical activities. These insights may be used as a reference when planning activities or peripheral products.

In the future, in addition to turning Facebook social analysis into a real-time dashboard and establishing a “social media situation room” for monitoring, it can also apply AI technology to “in-game data” to perform gamer behavior analysis. AI predictions can be used to predict things that the operation team cares about, such as “in-game purchases” or loss behavior, making mobile game operations and marketing analysis both easier and more efficient.


Company Introduction

X-Legend Entertainment is a leading listed game developer in Taiwan. It has excellent online game core technologies. It develops, operates, and markets a variety of online games that have ten thousand players. Its MMORPG games reach across the markets of 15 countries, including Taiwan, Japan, Hong Kong, Australia, Europe and the United States, and other markets. It has accumulated 10 million users, and has continued to win multiple awards, in 2016, 2018, 2019, from GAME STAR. Representative works include “Aura Kingdom,” “Grand Fantasia,” “If Only: Once Again,” and others.

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