Once a game is released it achieves an assortment of reviews, but does a good review result in intial good and increased sales? Here we look at this.
As someone who reviews games for aliving, I’d like to think that the critical consensus on a game has some correlation with that title’s success in the market. That would imply that we critics are pushing consumers to buy games that we consider worthy and to stay away from those we don’t like. Alternatively, it could mean that we’re simply good at identifying with our audience’s tastes, predicting through our reviews which games will appeal to the gaming audience and which ones won’t.
Proving this kind of correlation is generally pretty tough, though, thanks to limited public sales data in the gaming space. But that hasn’t stopped some from trying. At the 2008 DICE summit, Activision Vice President of Marketing Robin Kaminsky went so far as to suggest that “For every additional five points over an 80 percent average review score, sales may as much double.” (Though some have questioned that statement’s accuracy.) Video game market research firm EEDAR tried tying Metacritic averages for the top 10 games by publisher to financial performance back in 2009 and found mixed results. Individual developers have gone so far as to blame Metacritic for their financial problems following troubled game launches.
Further Reading Introducing Steam Gauge: Ars reveals Steams most popular games We sampled public data to estimate sales and gameplay info for every Steam game.Now, thanks to our recently unveiled Steam Gauge project, we have another way to try totie down the relationship between a game’s critical reception and its sales success. In comparing estimates of sales on Steam to aggregate review score averages, we found that better reviews do generally translate to more sales for games, especially at the top end of the critical spectrum.
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