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Thread: Market Research Firms Claim Game Reviews Arenít That Important

  1. #1
    Won Hung Lo wraggster's Avatar
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    General games Market Research Firms Claim Game Reviews Arenít That Important

    At the LA Games Conference 2009, industry experts agreed that game reviews from magazines are not nearly as important to potential consumers as other factors.

    Nick Williams, from the industry research firm OTX GamePlan, gave the example of MadWorld for the Wii. IGN gave it a 9.0 and its Metacritic score was 82 ó they thought the game was going to take off, but Madworld only sold 66,000 copies in the US. It turns out, only 8% of the Wii market had even heard of MadWorld.

    Ethan Titelman, from the market research firm Penn, Schoen & Berland, believes that critical reviews wonít change gamers minds. If a gamer thinks the game is great, and they read bad reviews, it wonít necessarily stop them from purchasing. Unlike film reviews to movie goers, Metacritic scores donít hold as much weight with Joe Gamer. He claims a concept with mass appeal is far more important, along with a strong marketing strategy. Whereas movies typically spend 1/3 of their budget on advertising, games only spend 1/6th on average.

    How important are game reviews to you? Do they effect your purchases?

  2. #2
    DCEmu Newbie sorceror's Avatar
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    Um, it's worth pointing out that Madworld isn't typical Wii fare - it's more of a 'hardcore gamer's game' and the Wii is very consciously aimed toward the 'casual' gamer. So the fact that "only 8% of the Wii market had even heard of MadWorld" may be more of an indication that only 8% of the Wii market is actually hardcore gamers. Madworld was only ever going to appeal to a subset of Wii owners - it looks like they may have overestimated the size of that subset.

    For the same reason, these results don't indicate that "Metacritic scores don’t hold as much weight with Joe Gamer". "Joe Gamer" - on the Wii - doesn't go to Metacritic. "Joe Gamer" for other platforms, though, may well put more weight behind game reviews. They are different "Joe Gamers".

    If we're going to use movie analogies, the family market for movies (PG-13 and below) is significantly larger than the market for R movies. But, to continue the analogy, the fans of horror movies would probably be a lot more swayed by a good review from Fangoria magazine than "Joe Moviegoer" in general would be.

    The take-home lesson here is "know your market", not "reviews are unimportant".

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    honestly mad world is a piece of junk compared to anything good on 360 or ps3. it doesnt deserve the scores it got anyways. we care about reviews for games we actually want to play. $60 for mad world is a very sad purchess and a huge waste of money. madworld deserves 66k sales.

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    Don't really care about madworld. Sega should of spent the time and money making their Sonic games better, But I really can't say I was impressed by those current releases either. Let's see... Let's repack the sega games again and give them an emulator interface that is prettier than sonic Mega Collection. Then lets strip out lockon technology and complain we didn't have time to do that.

    Oh well, I hope sega returns to glory in the future... but not looking good right now

  5. #5
    DCEmu Rookie apex05's Avatar
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    15 years ago people had to buy a magazine or find a few mates who played the game to get a review, but now we can just visit a forum and get some honest reviews from real people, and there's so much money in reviews now you just don't know who to trust.

  6. #6



    I believe reviews will always be there. They're an important factor for purchasing decisions. All of us has preconceptions of what kind of game is or if you find it awful or not. Our perceptions of an unreleased game can change after someone put a review on a magazine or a Website. If you perceive game "x" as not good and the review said a similar statement, you won't even bother to buy that product. If the review says the opposite of your perception, you can at least try it from a friend, download the demo or rent it before making any purchasing decision.

    Changes in perception by reading the reviews can occur. I will take my own experience from Bioshock. I'm not a great fan of first person shooters. So, I felt this game will not be as good as the screenshots and videos said. After reading many reviews about what awesome this game is, I decide to buy it and take the test. And I can say the game is AWESOME!!

    Reviews of games are good for those, like me, that are picky with the type of genre it plays.

  7. #7


    ok before i get started if you want to avoid the wall, long story short... ign sells their scores.


    What people fail to realize especially is that no "review" is unbiased, especially anything from ign. Think about it, back when the net was young and a blossoming form of communication for the few that could afford dial-up, Ign was pretty much king of internet gaming sites. Cheats, walk-through, and reviews. All of which they still have, but the problem was people get greedy. It is a business, get a little money and then squeeze as many extra pennies as you can from the software companies. So what happened, ign started giving better scores for games that are... to say the least sub par.

    Why might you ask would someone give great reviews for a bad game? Simple money=happy. Ign makes money for the advertising for anything on their site, and it shows their bias to this money in giving games that once upon a time would have gotten a 3 for effort somehow getting a 9 thanks to a little bit of wallet lining goodness...

    /end rant

    just my opinion, but i think it's safe to say i'm not alone in this theory. so i stopped going to ign for my reviews, and turned to google, 1 quick search for most games will reveal many different views from forums with people of all play styles. then take that and figure out an estimated score, i use my own analysis from there.

    only downfall is that i have rarely bought a game on launch day, but i'm a pc gamer for the most part, so i usually get a demo or 2 before hand.

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