Player Retention in League of Legends: A Study Using Survival Analysis
Multi-player online esports games are designed for extended durations of play, requiring substantial experience to master. Furthermore, esports game revenues are increasingly driven by in-game purchases. For esports companies, the trends in players leaving their games therefore not only provide information about potential problems in the user experience, but also impacts revenue. Being able to predict when players are about to leave the game - churn prediction - is therefore an important solution for companies in the rapidly growing esports sector, as this allows them to take action to remedy churn problems.
The objective of the work presented here is to understand the impact of specific behavioral characteristics on the likelihood of a player continuing to play the esports title League of Legends. Here, a solution to the problem is presented based on the application of survival analysis, using Mixed Effects Cox Regression, to predict player churn. Survival Analysis forms a useful approach for the churn prediction problem as it provides rates as well as an assessment of the characteristics of players who are at risk of leaving the game. Hazard rates are also presented for the leading indicators, with results showing that duration between matches played is a strong indicator of potential churn.