NPD: Gamers Rely on Word of Mouth Above All Else

NPD: Gamers Rely on Word of Mouth Above All Else


The majority of gamers tend to trust word of mouth when it comes to finding out about games, according to a new study from research firm The NPD Group.

Forget what we here at The Escapist might tell you, because apparently most of you all out in gamer land would prefer to get all your game-related info from your peers. That's the upshot of a new report done by The NPD Group, which found that the majority of gamers rely on word of mouth to find out about games. It's okay, we're not offended.

According to the NPD, 31% of gamers use word of mouth followed by hands-on play a friend or relatives' home above all other sources of information. Conversely, the least influential sources of information are magazine/online ads, "incentives/coupons" and social networks, which garner only five percent of gamers looking for information.

This shouldn't be altogether surprising. People trust their peers, whether that's the people they know in real life or on online communities like our very own forums. The testimony of a person about a new game would carry more weight than a flashy magazine or website ad, obviously. Does that speak to the idea that gamers aren't the gullible sort who'll fall too easily for the allure of a flashy marketing campaign? I wouldn't give us that much credit just yet.

The results were gathered from a survey of some 20,000 gamers. So it doesn't speak to everyone, but I think it does have some grain of truth to it. What about you guys, though? What's your primary way of getting info about games? Word of mouth? Me? You should all pre-order Just Cause 2, by the way.


Of course, you take advice on games by people who like the same sort of games as you, I could have told you that

Don't worry Keane, we still like you and the rest of the staff.*cough*

Honestly, I'm not that surprised though, I have a friend who bought a lot of the games I was excited about over the years.

Yup, so now the escapist is rendered useless along with everything else. Go home everyone better yet go outside. Actually ive yet to rely on anything but a friend telling me in person that a game is good, or watching them play said game for me to purchase it.

Meh, everyone knows that you Keane is the best source of news!

Well, with the obvious exeption of CantFakeTheFunk, but still.

There's no shame in a 2nd place!

Except I consider The Escapist and it's forums to BE Word of Mouth.

I get most of my information from friends, but the rest I get from here. I guess they are right. About me, at least.

Hmm i've just got an urge to pre-order Just Cause 2, how strange.

In my opinion, it's because the reviews are always on the characters and story, and seldom really about the graphics and gameplay, just superficial facts.

I watch reviews and gameplay footage to judge the game myself. But if a friend vouches for a game, it will play a significant role in seeking knowledge about said game, and perhaps trying a demo or summeh'.

Meh. I do not really trust anyone. Though I do believe other gamers ratings above any magazine or website. Anyone who is getting paid to review shit is not trustworthy. Hell even with Yahtzee I mainly just listen to find out what is wrong with a game as he has said himself people hate it when he points out good things.

All my freinds find out from me and I find out from here and G4. So I guess I'm in the minority then.

This doesn't surprise me all that much. In some cases, word of mouth itself can be more effective than a bunch of magazine/Internet ads. Just look at Portal. As I recall it there wasn't a heavy amount of advertising for it save the fact that it was in the Orange Box and the Orange Box was advertised, but only mildly. But word of mouth soon made Portal an internationally-beloved videogame classic. And filled Wikiquote with such delightful examples such as:

"The Enrichment Center reminds you that the Companion Cube cannot speak. In the event that the Companion Cube does speak, the Enrichment Center urges you to disregard its advice."

"Well done, android. The enrichment center once again reminds you that android hell is a real place where you will be sent at the first sign of defiance."

"Didn't we have some fun, though? Remember when the platform was sliding into the fire pit and I said "Goodbye!" and you were like "NO WAY!" and then I was all "We pretended we were going to murder you." That was great!"

Meh I still read reviews about games however I tend to tell alot of people about games that are good.

getting a little touchy, Keane?

Perhaps their description of the term "gamer" has a little more scope than what we would describe as a serious game afficionado. Most people I know that are passionate about games, myself included, refer to more respectable sources and websites, whereas people that go by word of mouth are usually a lot more casual. That's what I find, anyway.

I ignore my friends' advice, we just have different tastes. I use Metacritic. All the professional opinions mixed together!

How much was this survey? It's blindingly obvious that any game that might appeal to you that's getting good buzz is going to sway you.

Yeah, im the one giving out the info thank you very much.

So the New York Police Departmant are cunducting reaserch on gamers, CONTRAVERCY, If any cops show up at your door tell them NOTHING, nothing at all, its all a big corrupted plot to destroy the world of gaming so that there will be less mouths to feed by the courrupted government allowing us to... *falls on floor and dies in fetal position*

Not surprised in the slightest. Games are like books and movies; whether you will like them or not depends greatly on your personality. That sort of evaluative judgment cannot be trusted unless it comes from someone whose personality you know and is similar to your own.

I only listen to game critics to tell if the game suffers from certain issues like bad performance (Saints Row 2 on PC) or whether the DLC will be exclusive to a certain platform (Fallout 3).

Keane Ng:
NPD: Gamers Rely on Word of Mouth Above All Else
According to the NPD, 31% of gamers use word of mouth followed by hands-on play at a friend or relatives' home above all other sources of information.

Well thats not too suprising really! - Actually playing the game is generally the best way to judge if you like it.

wow...they actually needed a study to figure that out? That we trust our friends more than we trust faceless, spineless corporations?


Oh Golly, what else will they spend our money on? A study to find out if we like studies in the first place? I would like that!

How much was this survey? It's blindingly obvious that any game that might appeal to you that's getting good buzz is going to sway you.

Obvious is one thing, Science is all about proving the obvious. Proof carries so much more weight than "most probably true".

I'm glad to say that I find out about games from Magazines or conventions like E3 and PAX.
Most of my friends reccomend crap like Dynasty Warriors anyway...

The industry seems to take these kind of surveys way too serious. We're not going to see a resurgence in the popularity of companies creating fake personas for forum accounts to spread word about their new games, are we?

By the way, I just picked up the Capcom Triple Hits Platinum Pack. It's only for the Xbox 360, and with three exciting Capcom games in one, it's a steal at just $39.99!

Point of order: does a user-content-submitted site like The Escapist constitute peer-to-peer word of mouth?

People who like the same stuff as you tend to give suggestions on games and you may or may not follow up on these suggestions?

Who knew?!


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