BioWare reveals Mass Effect 2 player stats

Casey Hudson, Mass Effect Project Director, has revealed some interesting statistics about the RPG sequel Mass Effect 2. BioWare, like many other developers, collects data anonymously to observe in-game player behavior.

BioWare placed various hooks into the game that revolved around specific events to track the decisions that players were making. For example, the developer could track when dialogue was skipped by the player, leading them to discover that 15% of conversations were skipped by the total player population.

Looking at all of these events on the Xbox 360 and PC, BioWare found that the average completion time was 33 hours. Over 50% of players also took advantage of one of the game's more talked about features and imported their save from the first Mass Effect game. "That to me is quite high," Hudson says. However, only roughly half of those who start the adventure ever get around to finishing it.

The stats between the two platforms are generally similar, but not always: "One difference was the people who did certain loyalty missions on the Xbox versus the PC, which is kind of surprising. On the PC for example, people did Miranda's loyalty mission quite a bit, which is where she is trying to connect with her sister and it's more of a touchy-feely plot. Not a lot of Xbox 360 players did that one. But the Xbox 360 players did do Grunt's mission a lot more than PC players."

All these numbers, Hudson says, keeps BioWare from guessing what players are doing. "We can actually learn about what they like and what they don't like and just try to focus on building the good stuff."

Additional data can be found over at IGN. More information is set to be announced in January when the game is released for the PlayStation 3.

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"Two PC players completed Mass Effect 2 28 times."
what the hell! those must have been some fanatics, or they just raced who can complete it more times but they both died after the 28th playthrough...

Lol, we PC users are more touchy feely, in tune with a characters feelings and are moved by the plot. XBOX users just want to blow S#*t up. hahahah

Sadelwo said,
I was thinking the same thing. No offense to anyone.

+1 I must say if you give it some thought its very true. Most 360 Games/Players are all about the explosions or mayhem.. As much as I'm a fan of that I also love falling into the plot of the game..

Dragon Age, Neverwinter Nights 1 + 2 expansions, Diablo 2, Knights Of The Old Republic 1 & 2, and so much more.

I'm not trying to be rude, but it seems like the gaming news sometimes shows up later here on Neowin than it does on other sites. Is that intentional? I remember reading this a couple days ago on another site.

great to see a dev taking the effort to improve, a great game, looking forward to ME3, couldn't care less what stats they collected from me, i've nothing to hide, proud of my gaming standards/choices. Wonder if they have stats for DA as well?

I completed ME2 on my 360. I did Mirandas loyalty mission and Grunts. The only loyalty I didn't get was Jack and Tali - out of choice

Those are some interesting stats. I knew the Soldier was popular, but not that popular. Anyway, I'm sure BioWare will make good use of this data. I have the utmost faith in their ability to deliver yet another awesome game (Mass Effect 3).

Raa said,
Spying on their customers? Oh that's not going to go down well!
they're random anonymous stats designed to improve and fine tune the next game

Raa said,
Spying on their customers? Oh that's not going to go down well!
Yep, I smell a law suit coming from disgruntled gamers.

However, personally I don't see the issue here really and is actually fascinating as well! if it results in making ME3 more epic then ME2, then I'm all for it

Xerxes said,
Yep, I smell a law suit coming from disgruntled gamers.

However, personally I don't see the issue here really and is actually fascinating as well! if it results in making ME3 more epic then ME2, then I'm all for it

I believe it would've been more kind of them to have an 'Opt-in' setting somewhere to allow you to not be a part of those statistics.

DarkNovaGamer said,

I believe it would've been more kind of them to have an 'Opt-in' setting somewhere to allow you to not be a part of those statistics.


What you described is commonly referred to as 'Opt-out', not "Opt-in".

Xerxes said,
Yep, I smell a law suit coming from disgruntled gamers.

However, personally I don't see the issue here really and is actually fascinating as well! if it results in making ME3 more epic then ME2, then I'm all for it

I doubt it for many reasons like
M$ does it.. Facebooks doing it with the title of "account security".

Also the biggest kicker is their privacy policy which states this

III. What Is Personal Information And When Does EA Collect It?

EA collects both personal and non-personal consumer information. Personal information collected by EA is discussed below in this section. Non-personal information is discussed below in Section IV.

IV. What Is Non-Personal Information And When Does EA Collect It?

Non-personal information, alone, cannot be used to identify or contact you. EA collects non-personal information about your use of our online and mobile products and services both on our website and in the course of game play and software usage (on PC, mobile and game system platforms).

http://tos.ea.com/legalapp/WEBPRIVACY/US/en/PC/

So no lawsuit for angry gamers as they used EA's product and agreed to the policy It was also widely known via their site about this sort of action.

If the game doesn't require permanent online access, you could just block it in your firewall after it is installed. Then they can gather how much data they want, it will never leave your computer anyway.

Raa said,
Spying on their customers? Oh that's not going to go down well!

Like Morphine-X said, you agreed to let them collect stats when you played the game. Moral of the story: read the terms of use, instead of just clicking on that "I agree" button without thinking.

Regardless, this is no different from a supermarket recording what products you purchased in their store to generate stats to allow them to stock more of certain products, and less of others. Anonymous statistics are not a problem, since they are by definition anonymous.

Has the world gone privacy crazy or is it just me? I would understand if people got angry at a company recording specific details about them such as websites visited along with your name, IP address etc. but who cares about such meaningless faceless statistics? Beyond making games due to these gaming statistics I can't see this information being any more useful than how you like your coffee, so where's the harm?

They probably track this via the achievements on both the 360 and the PC. You get an achievement any time you finish a mission in ME2, if memory serves. You also get at least one for finishing the game and for various other things. You can look at other XBL gamers achievements, so really I don't see this is as a big deal.

hitman05 said,
They probably track this via the achievements on both the 360 and the PC. You get an achievement any time you finish a mission in ME2, if memory serves. You also get at least one for finishing the game and for various other things. You can look at other XBL gamers achievements, so really I don't see this is as a big deal.
As the article says the statistics go more in depth as to what they record, such as, what cut scenes/dialogue a player skipped, how long it took you to complete the campaign and I'm sure there's a log on how your over all character was developed so show developers what sort of style was more favorable for its consumers.

Raa said,
Spying on their customers? Oh that's not going to go down well!

Next, Bioware will have development teams embedded in the "data collecting Google cars" driving through a neighborhood near you, just as the journalists were embedded in the soldiers humvees in Iraq. For an added fee, users can connect directly to their Bioware's servers via Xbox 360 or soon to be PS3, with the added capability of downloading free backround pictures, themes, cool futuristic space weaponry and special characters....in turn their servers will be collecting data "anonymously" of course for sales and marketing....but only for Bioware and carefully selected, trusted partners.

Majesticmerc said,

Like Morphine-X said, you agreed to let them collect stats when you played the game. Moral of the story: read the terms of use, instead of just clicking on that "I agree" button without thinking.

Regardless, this is no different from a supermarket recording what products you purchased in their store to generate stats to allow them to stock more of certain products, and less of others. Anonymous statistics are not a problem, since they are by definition anonymous.

I didn't saw anything about anonymous data collection in the licence agreement, since it's a licence agreement and doesn't state that sort of thing.

Spying on consumer is bad, for whatever reason taking whatever data. Just saying somewhere on the box or the instruction manual (or why not in the game with an option like someone stated before) "we collect anonymous non-personnal data to improve future game" would have prevent a lots of problem on that.

Nodiaque said,

I didn't saw anything about anonymous data collection in the licence agreement, since it's a licence agreement and doesn't state that sort of thing.

Spying on consumer is bad, for whatever reason taking whatever data. Just saying somewhere on the box or the instruction manual (or why not in the game with an option like someone stated before) "we collect anonymous non-personnal data to improve future game" would have prevent a lots of problem on that.

If you were to actually read what I had posted you would understand. It has nothing to do with a license agreement.. Its called a "Privacy Policy". I'll quote my self on what I said so you could follow through a little better.

Morphine-X said,

III. What Is Personal Information And When Does EA Collect It?

EA collects both personal and non-personal consumer information. Personal information collected by EA is discussed below in this section. Non-personal information is discussed below in Section IV.

IV. What Is Non-Personal Information And When Does EA Collect It?

Non-personal information, alone, cannot be used to identify or contact you. EA collects non-personal information about your use of our online and mobile products and services both on our website and in the course of game play and software usage (on PC, mobile and game system platforms).

http://tos.ea.com/legalapp/WEBPRIVACY/US/en/PC/

Why would they state something on the BOX when its stated in the Privacy Policy agreement you and everyone else always check "I Agree" when you're installing the software/game?

Majesticmerc said,

Like Morphine-X said, you agreed to let them collect stats when you played the game. Moral of the story: read the terms of use, instead of just clicking on that "I agree" button without thinking.

I always do. And I don't have ME2. Also, this sort of thing is NOT as common as you'd think.

Raa said,

I always do. And I don't have ME2. Also, this sort of thing is NOT as common as you'd think.

Maybe that's why Biowares games always exceed players expectations. Cause they know what players like They do things differently and collecting anonymous information isn't anything new whether the user is aware of it or not its still anonymous.