2010 Archives

Survey says video game review scores affect consumer behavior


The following is from the July 8, 2010, edition of USA Today.

July 8, 2010

By Mike Snider

Video game review scores influence consumers … to an extent, according to a new study by EEDAR (Electronic Entertainment Design and Research) and The Guidhall at SMU. . .

(Study participants were shown the game Plants vs. Zombies.)

 The findings:

-- Those shown high review scores (of about 90) gave higher scores of their own (about 85) when asked to give their own review score after playing the game. Their scores were 20% higher than those of participants who were given low review scores (61) prior to playing the game (those respondents gave review scores averaging 71). (Note: the Metacritic score for Plants vs. Zombies is 88, not far off the 85 score given by the higher score group and the 79 given by the control group, which saw no reviews prior to playing the game; see the graph above.)

-- After they played the game, participants were offered $10 or a copy of the game. Participants exposed to the higher reviews were more than twice as likely to take the game than the cash.

-- Those in the high review score group were 40% more likely to recommend Plants vs. Zombies to friends than the low review score group.

The results suggest that professional video game review scores can influence the marketplace, the researchers say. "We knew that review scores influenced consumers, but to what degree we couldn't measure," says EEDAR's Jesse Divnich. "Still, as people, if you ask yourself individually we say, 'No, we are not persuaded by outside sources. We make our own opinions.' But obviously, the review scores influenced them."

Read the full story.

Read the news release on the study.

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