Electronic Arts is known for its wide array of gaming titles, over 1,100 to be exact, with an astonishing net sales of almost 5 billion dollars and 7.7 million indexed web pages documented in 2017. Players from around the globe come together every day to consume or create content, with thousands of unique sets of data being tapped at once. Due to the high volume of content across various divisions and brands, the company had trouble organizing certain areas within their ecosystem, often utilizing multiple content management systems and replicating duplicate data via copy and paste. The high volume of money and effort needed to maintain the multiple websites, social media platforms, and in-game initiatives proved to be difficult, leading Aaron Bradley and Eamonn Glass to identify 5 major problem areas regarding EA’s approach to the creation, classification, and distribution of digital content :
- Published document metadata incomplete, inconsistent or missing
- Primitive and non-interoperable classification of documents
- Localization reliant on content duplication
- Limited publishing endpoints supported
- Multiple content management systems and associated processes
The Solution to the problems ended up being a consolidation of Electronic Arts’ content in a “Content Service,” which utilized knowledge graphs and more elegantly structured vocabularies and taxonomies. The creation of Schema.org allowed Bradley and Glass to create and maintain structured data on multiple platforms using JSON-LD, a method of encoding linked data. Through this, they were able to support the system’s syntax and expand their vocabulary exponentially. When it came to expanding the taxonomy, Bradley and Glass decided to use PoolParty, a technology platform that deals with knowledge management, analytics, and content organization.
With this approach, Electronic Arts has the ability to make the exact same content available across multiple platforms without needing to create duplicates or surrogates, only needing to expose the various formats (websites, social media platforms, in-game initiatives, etc) to certain Application Programming Interfaces (APIs). In addition, the supplementary exposure has increased the Search Engine Optimization (SEO) resulting in a 40% increase in displayed EA authored content. Ultimately, this new system allows for EA to deliver the correct content to the correct player at the correct time, easing the number of “digital hurdles.”
Due to its success, Bradley and Glass plan to extend the new content management strategy to additional areas.
The SEMANTiCS 2017 keynote presentation below further explores the finer details of how this initiative was perpetuated at EA, the challenges encountered, and how linked data will be implemented in the future.
As a reflection on this article, it’s interesting to see how other companies used the platform PoolParty, as I have used it in the past. I worked as a genome tag validator on a project within Viacom, where I was tasked with breaking up video content into manageable and appropriate scenes, then tasked with adding “tags” that best described the physical, informational, and emotional settings. We initially used PoolParty to get a sense of how we should explore semantic structure, employing it for its text classification/semantic classifier. However, we didn’t explore the platform past that, as we used another platform called Clippn to assign tags to the videos, which housed its own taxonomy. I would love to explore PoolParty’s capabilities further, and gain a better understanding of how companies can utilize it.
Shannon Mish INFO 653_02