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Business Analyst in Game Development — What’s It All About?

Горизонтальная линия

When I saw job postings for business analysts at companies developing games, I always wondered, what could a business analyst possibly do there? Various animations, game logic, monetization — it all seemed like some kind of cosmic puzzle. However, now that I’ve gained experience in this field, I understand that it’s not as daunting as it sounds.

Technical Foundations? Yes!

One of the essential skills required in this line of work is an understanding of how the client<->server<->3rd party systems communicate with each other. In the past, I never had to thoroughly review and understand API documentation, which is crucial when creating new requirements. Additionally, the logic for displaying elements can exist on either side. Both the server and client can be responsible for determining which icon to show to users upon launching the application or which animation to display in the case of a game loss. Speaking from my previous experience, I’ve never delved so deeply into the technical aspects anywhere else.

Furthermore, games often consist of complex matrices of various programs that interact according to their own rules. So those who enjoy integrating with numerous tools will find the gaming domain quite appealing.

Animations and Graphics

Working with designers doesn’t differ significantly from other domains. However, final mockups often serve as the primary documentation that needs to be kept up-to-date so they can be referenced when creating requirements. When considering descriptions for design criteria, they are not as strict as they might be on, for example, a healthcare project. There should always be room for creativity and new ideas. Animations are usually the responsibility of designers who propose multiple versions, which are then discussed with developers regarding feasibility. I can say with certainty that the design phase is always the most exciting, where an idea written on paper transforms into something vibrant and engaging!

What Requirements Does a Business Analyst Write?

It should come as no surprise that requirements are necessary even in game development. A great deal of attention is given to diagrams and mockups so that every team member can understand the specific ideas and logic laid out when describing a feature. To write requirements, close cooperation with the technical team is needed, as they can explain what solution they consider optimal in terms of effort and development complexity. It’s also important to have tables describing various statuses, transitions, and game steps, as such information is quickly forgotten. When team members return to update a particular feature, there needs to be some source of truth to understand the current logic.

Internal Logic and Levels

One of the most crucial and challenging skills, in my opinion, is the ability to keep many contexts in mind. Of course, nearly every game has its product manager responsible for the functionality, the appearance of the final gameplay, and the logic to be added. However, the details of all restrictions and the specifics of technical decisions will still be on the shoulders of the business analyst. This is particularly evident when the team expands, and most of the day, we, as analysts, are occupied with helping the team understand how something was implemented in the application or how it should be done.

Team Cohesion

Speaking of the team, what fascinates me the most is that a business analyst serves as a kind of link within the team, always ready to help and address any emerging issues. You should be prepared for the fact that if someone has a question, a business analyst should be able to understand the problem’s core independently. It might be necessary to involve someone from the team — be it a manager, developer, or QA, or schedule a meeting for discussion if needed. Establishing trust-based relationships with each team member can be highly beneficial because it can help resolve issues much faster than if an isolated team member attempts to address them alone.

Quick Adaptation to Changes

What one must get used to is the rapid changes in processes. A game development team is a living organism that can grow or shrink. Depending on the market situation, many team processes can change several times throughout the year. The game itself must also align with current trends, so some features may need to be updated several times in a row to stay relevant. In this regard, business analysts usually handle multiple changes on a project successfully.

A Bit More About Analytics

One area where I had to enhance my knowledge is mobile analytics, along with understanding the basic metrics and KPIs in this sphere. Business analysts often determine and verify the structure of analytical events and understand for which part of the application they will be used and what parameters are sent for similar events. Without understanding the purpose and destination of these events, and how they were previously handled, it’s impossible to create clear mobile analytics requirements.

Taming Tigers

Not everyone coming into the business analyst profession can immediately recognize which type of project or domain they like the most. I believe that the most important aspect for an individual is growth and learning that contributes to career advancement. Considering all that has been said, I can only say that there’s no need to be afraid of trying something new. Even if it’s terrifying and unclear at the beginning, in the end, it can bring you a wealth of knowledge, skills, and a deep understanding of a new domain!


Yuliya Krasouskaja,

Business Analyst


28 Октября, 2023

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