Semantics At Play: Electronic Arts using Linked Data for Multi-Channel Content Management

The annual SEMANTiCS conference is the meeting place for professionals who make semantic computing work, and understand its benefits and know its limitations. This year the conference took place at the beautiful Meervaart Theater in Amsterdam. Amongst the keynotes from industry representatives of Wolters Kluver, Otto Group and Google there was one to stand out: ‘Semantics At Play: Electronic Arts’ Linked Data Journey’ jointly held by Aaron Bradley and Eamonn Glass about the new content management strategy at Electronic Arts.

Aaron Bradley and Eamonn Glass presenting at SEMANTiCS 2017

EA’s Problem: Data Silos

Electronic Arts is one of the world’s largest gaming companies with a portfolio of more than 1.100 titles and annual net sales of over 4.9 billion dollars in 2017. According to the presenters the company had an enormous problem with managing their content across the various divisions and brands: For every title published by EA there used to be multiple content management systems for marketing and support teams, often replicating the content of the other ones via copy and paste. As one can imagine this was highly inefficient, costing the company considerable amounts of time and money while making it increasingly harder to serve content for multiple channels – including web sites, social networks and in-game.

EA’s Solution: Linked Data Content Management

Heavily inspired by the content management system which the BBC had developed for the football World Cup 2012, EA is consolidating a large amount of its online content in a so called ‘Content Service’. That is a high performance MarkLogic semantic graph database storing its content aligned with the schema.org vocabulary. PoolParty was chosen as the solution for managing the enterprise taxonomy.

The huge advantage of this approach is, that now EA is capable of making the same content available to multiple channels (in-game, web, apps, feeds) in various formats just by exposing it over APIs, along with structured data for SEO. According to the presenters this has resulted in a 40% increase in personalized content served via in-game channels and in search results exposing significantly more EA authored content.

Mr. Bradley and Mr. Glass stated that the new content management strategy is successful and will be extended in future.

Playing With Semantics: Trinity RDF used in Award-Nominated Game

As it comes we have made our own game-related experiences with Linked Data: Close is a poetic and atmospheric exploration game about yourself and the other one, about being alone and being together.”

The game was co-authored by Moritz Eberl who developed its artificial intelligence engine based on Linked Data using Trinity RDF and the gaming engine Unity. It was amongst the nominated finalists for the 2017 Independent Games Festival Award at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, USA.

If you have any questions about how Linked Data and semantic technologies can be deployed to remove the boundaries of your data silos or to make your applications even smarter – just ask us, we can help you out.