It's "discouraging to developers" but it's "very true." Marketing impacts revenue "three times more" than scores. Acclaim better is "a giant myth".
"You can make the greatest game and it won't even matter. I know that's discouraging to developers at first but it's very true," Divnich told the Montreal International Games Summit, reports .
"Marketing influences game revenue three times more than quality scores. There's a giant myth out there that reviews scores are the most crucial to a videogame."
"The reason why that is is the information is readily available – we can go to Metacritic – and we see games like Grand Theft Auto and Call of Duty succeed and we see they have a high quality score and we make that correlation," he continued.
"But the truth is, marketing actually has much more of an influence to game sales than high scores." The study looked at many releases from 2007 to the end of '08, comparing many platform configurations and still it showed that marketing wins out over scores.
However to blindly throw money at the marketing machine is stupid, cautions Divnich.
"There are times when marketing fails, you can spend so much money but it doesn't matter. Sony spent $150 million globally on the launch of the PlayStation 3," he explained.
"They honestly thought they could release any type of commercial and it would sell. It truly is a WTF moment in marketing history. It creeped people out. Sony got complacent, they were on top of the world and they thought they could say 'here's the PS3 go out and buy it'."
"A lot of people want to blame the high price points for the PS3's failure, but I don't think so, I blame the marketing, it impacted the success of the PS3 much more than the price."
Have you ever bought a videogame because the marketing seduced you, perhaps despite the fact you heard it wasn't scoring high with critics?
"I truly believe Sony's success in late 2009 had less to do with the price drop and more to do with how they delivered their message," added EEDAR's Divnich.
Divnich: The "greatest game" won't matter without marketing forces
17 November 2009 | By Simon Priest