EEDAR’s said that review scores do make a difference to game sales, heavily impacting whether or not players will recommend titles to others.
The research body, basing findings on a survey, has claimed that, “The relationship between video game sales and professional review scores are not correlative but causal.”
More specifically, EEDAR said the study “suggests that high critic reviews have a strong positive impact on the likelihood of positive word-of-mouth recommendations. Professional critic reviews act as a multiplier for the likelihood of a consumer positively recommending the game to a friend.”
The debate as to whether review scores really do impact game sales is an unending one, but EEDAR appears to have drawn a line under the matter.
“As painful as it may be for developers to consider, even with the creation of a high quality game, a game is likely to achieve greater commercial success if reviewed highly, than if reviewed poorly or not at all,” the research body said.
The workings of the study were based on getting three groups of people to play Plants Vs Zombies. One group was told the game had scored well, another was told the game had scored badly and another was used as a control, not being exposed to any review information.
“The group shown high review scores prior to playing Plants vs. Zombies gave the game a mean review score 20% higher (14 points) than the group shown low review scores,” said the firm.
“This group also gave the game a mean review score 8 percent (6 points) higher than the control group with no review score anchor.”
Furthermore, “91% of participants shown high review scores for Plants vs. Zombies would recommend the product to a friend, compared to only 65% of participants shown low review scores and 79% of participants shown no review.”