Anthony "Tony" Magestro--or known on the field of battle as Metzge--is an avid writer, gamer, and entrepreneur. When he's not writing, gaming, or entrepreneuring, he enjoys cooking, trippy movies, and trying to be awesome to varying degrees of success. Feel free to check out his LinkedIn page, especially if you need freelance help with content writing or digital marketing. Or just like to network, that's fine too.
3. Reviews and game journalism ain’t what it used to be
While we’re on the topic of Steam, I usually favor their consumer reviews over official news site reviews in order to gather information. Given how much the industry and games themselves change, it’s hard to find reviews that are relevant if you want to buy the game sometime after its release. The most relevant and helpful Steam reviews often float to the top, having been voted in agreement (or dismissal) by their fellow gamers and paying customers. And I’m not the only one who shies away from the bigger outlets when it comes to making my buying decisions either.
A recent study from the Entertainment Software Association shows that reviews only account for 3% of the influencing factors in deciding whether someone will purchase a video game. An interesting story or premise comes in first at 22%, with price (15%), word of mouth (11%), and the product being a continuation of a favorite series (10%) forming up over half. As the findings suggest, “the authority and reputation of game journalists is at an all-time low” and that’s something I, as a game journalist, am upset by. Not the lack of authority, but the lack of trust and the lack of attempts to earn it from one’s readers.
Personally, I trust the masses when it comes to whether or not a game is worth playing or buying because they’re customers like me. They have money on the line, just as we do as individuals. The “average joe” doesn’t have incentive to try and sell me a game. Websites and some of their advertising practices are making me wonder what exactly their incentive is to write some of the reviews they do.
Which brings us to my next point…