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http://newteevee.com/2008/11/15/do-z...deogame-sales/



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It's been over a year since Ben "Yahtzee" Croshaw was plucked from YouTube obscurity to host Escapist Magazine's Zero Punctuation video series, and the acid-tongued Brit with the surreal, machine gun patter remains the undisputed star of game reviews, with regular appearances on G4 TV, at the Game Developers Conference, and more. But does his massive fanbase buy the games he loves (which are few), and skip the titles he hates (nearly all of them)?

Depends on who you ask. Here's a case study on the relation between an online video celebrity and the consumer behavior of his fans:

Croshaw recently gave a rare rave to indy art game darling Braid, available on Xbox Live's download service. (Conquering its mind-bending challenges, he memorably noted, is "a more satisfying feeling than teabagging a hundred noobs in any deathmatch shooter you care to name.") But did his fans follow his advice with their dollars?

"I don't see any real case for Zero Punctuation increasing sales by a lot," Braid designer Jonathan Blow told me, after checking his game's Xbox Live purchase stats. Looking at the period when Croshaw's review went online, he added, "There definitely isn't a visible sales spike or anything like that."

That isn't the full story, however. Last May, Croshaw effusively praised Painkiller, a somewhat obscure, hyperviolent first-person shooter from 2004; a pull-quote from the review ("All you really need to know is there is a gun that shoots shurikens and lightning") showed up as an ad on Steam, the game download service, generating big gamer acclaim. On Amazon, sales of the old game immediately jumped 7400 percent.

Yahtzee's impact in this case was so notable, Escapist publisher Alexander Macris even cites it in the company's marketing brochure, to demonstrate the site's reach and influence. "As I'm sure you know," he told me, "media companies are always fighting to prove audience engagement and relevance." As to the comparative lack of consumer engagement after his Braid review, Macris speculates that the game "was already a breakthrough hit by the time Yahtzee reviewed it, while Painkiller was a lesser-known title that was given a new look based on his review."

Maybe. My personal guess is that Croshaw's audience is overwhelmingly comprised of gamers who enjoy the vulgar smack talk in his reviews, which are almost always of hardcore titles from established genres, but no matter what he says, are less interested in experimental games without the usual rock 'em sock 'em conventions. That would be a sad irony, given Yahtzee's passionate advocacy of games as an art form. But then, that's generally the challenge of online video stardom- once your fans decide why they like you, it's difficult to stray outside their expectations.
well, im easily influenced by any sound review
 

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I believe it. My friend went out and bought the game when he saw the review. I was also tempted too.
 

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It's because he's brutality honest. None of this OH GAIS STORY'S GRATE CUZ WE GAWT PAID TO SAY SOOOOOOO!
 

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Wow, this is kind of bad. What if he becomes corrupt and starts getting paid for his more favorable reviews? Aww that would be a shame. I mean he's really against big companies in this sense but a lot of money is a lot of money.
 

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yeah. i was soo happy when he reviewed painkiller. i remember playing the demo in 05 and was blown away D:

... i just neeed to find my painkiller box again
 

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to be honest im kinda suprised if he does. i mean, its not like his reviews are exactly positive.

but yeah, depending on how you take his reviews, i could see this happening. personally i think hes great, its funny how he seems to say what everyone is thinking.
 

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Ben “Yahtzee” Croshaw reviewed Halo 3 and although he bashed it, what he said was true, and I was a pretty big Halo 3 fan myself. He just speaks the truth, calls it like it is, so people really like his reviews.
 

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I was considering buying Painkiller after Yahtzee said it was that great. So yes.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by zacbrain View Post
yeah. i was soo happy when he reviewed painkiller. i remember playing the demo in 05 and was blown away D:

... i just neeed to find my painkiller box again

Go with the justice of Yahtzee and play that game!
 

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I think yahtzee has begun to have a sort of cult following of 'serious' gamers who relate to his humour and knowledge of the genre. The fact that he will unashamedly mock a game he doesnt like but literally worship a game he does like usually means that whichever game is on the receiving end of his reviews is taken into serious account by his viewers. If not only because he tells more of the down-to-earth truth than other reviewers such as gamestop etc. Even though he doesnt take himself too seriously his overall account of the game he review's is usually justified with good reason. So I'd say the answer to this question overall is yes. For his target audience that is.
 

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Well I already owned Portal when he did the Orange Box review. But... I did play non-stop for like 24 hours after the review.
 

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Hmmm... my take on this.

Point one: I will buy some games he doesn't like. Just because I want to play them. And they don't always suck as bad as he says. I enjoy them and play them til the end.

Point two: I have noted that in games like this that the problems he brought up ARE REAL. Whether they bother me or not or to what extent is the question. But he is usually dead on with the big issues he makes.

Point three: He is sometimes just DEAD RIGHT in that a game sucks or is really great. That I wont deny either.

Point four4: Agree or disagree, I like the man's reviews. They are HILARIOUS to me and I'll continue to watch!
 

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why would people take a comedian's review seriously again? He just nitpicks most games and ****s on them with the same jokes. You watch it for a laugh or two, that's it I thought.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Opeth07 View Post
why would people take a comedian's review seriously again? He just nitpicks most games and ****s on them with the same jokes. You watch it for a laugh or two, that's it I thought.
But the thing is, its serious issues in the game, the real good bits in games, etc with a bit of satire put into it as well, its like teaching kids stuff that will help them using comedy.

Quote:

Originally Posted by FieryCoD View Post
If this is true, I can smell corporate money-hungry companies (EA, EA and EA) advertising their ass on Zero Punctuation for more sales.
He said that's more of a challenge to him more than anything (Eve Online review)
 
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