Word of mouth is the biggest influencer for consumers wondering what video game to buy, says a new survey released by PR firm Waggener Edstrom.
The opinion of friends is three times as likely to influence game purchases as traditional forms of advertising and promotion, the survey of 507 gamers said. Further, friends are twice as likely as family members to influence purchasers.
The study also identifies a segment of the audience it calls "Influence Multipliers" -- 21 percent of gamers who have an "inordinate impact" on the purchasing decisions of others. These "Influence Multipliers" are longtime gamers, heavily-networked community members, and go-to people on purchase decisions.
"Compared to all video gamers, Influence Multipliers are a hyperinfluential subset of friends who are also far more connected to other gamers," explains Waggener Edstrom analytics senior VP Dan Gallagher. "As a result, Influence Multipliers have an outsized network influence effect on their gaming colleagues."
Retail, online demos, reviews and advertising and promotion follow word of mouth as the most important factors influencing game-buying, in that order.
This backs another, similar study by Cowen Group that found word of mouth triumphed over game reviews
and promotional initiatives in terms of influence.