Beyond the individual: Understanding social structures of an online player matchmaking website

Günter Wallner*, Christopher Schinnerl, Michael Helfried Schiller, Alexander Monte Calvo, Johanna Pirker, Rafet Sifa, Anders Drachen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Engagement and player experience in multi-player games is influenced by the people you play with. For that reason, grouping features and matchmaking facilities in games, as well as third-party services, have gained in popularity in the industry and player community as they assist in building and maintaining social relationships with like-minded players. Understanding how social connections are formed and how these relations can foster in-game activity offers insights for building and maintaining a player base and can, in turn, improve retention and engagement. This paper examines the social network formed by users of the – a social matchmaking website for the game Destiny. The service provides an opportunity to examine an online social network formed around a game combined with demographic and preference data. The paper explores the correlation of structural network properties with preference and game-related performance data, provides metrics useful for analyzing and understanding the structure of these kinds of player networks and showcases how community analysis and behavioral profiling can be applied to inform game developers about behavioral groupings in social player networks.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100284
Number of pages14
JournalEntertainment Computing
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2019


  • Community analysis
  • Destiny
  • Game analytics
  • Player-grouping services
  • Social network analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Human-Computer Interaction


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