Game Theory: Flappy Bird, PewDiePie, and Pasta Sauce

Flappy Bird, PewDiePie, and Pasta Sauce

For two episodes, we looked at what gamers DON'T want. But what DO gamers want? Flappy Bird, PewDiePie, Goat Simulator and all the rest have the answer. And what that ultimately means for the Wii U, Nintendo, and the YouTube ecosystem will shock you.

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If you listen closely, you can hear Shigeru typing out his news article about the release of the Nintendo YouTube Embargo.

So if Nintendo let PP review the wii U it would be the best selling console this gen? :V

daxterx2005:
So if Nintendo let PP review the wii U it would be the best selling console this gen? :V

PewDiePie made a LP of ZombiU, and the game didn't become a mega-success. Myth debunked!

Its a trend not a law, as established in the first deal

The big issue is they limited their brand from channels of popular promotion, antagonized it, leading to further, had a negative deal from the Wii's "kiddie" and "no games or shoverware" issues. And then didn't make it, at the time, hip to the medium

Compare to now. Where things are warmer. They are releasing content out of their walled garden, some influential YTers have worked things out safely, and other promotional venues are pushing things (the Luigi Deathstare really helped melt some hearts) Add in the Treehouse and week of e3 along with strong rollout of announcements and its becoming decent if having issues.

Also their competitors have come to disappoint with not living up to promises, questionable rollout of content, and The Rise of Steam.

I am curious to see how well Nintendo could recover from their folly. Even if they change their policies now and become 110% YouTuber friendly, the YouTube community will still remember how they behaved before, and a lot of the established, popular YouTubers will probably still be hesitant to play their games.

I suppose if they did become friendly (I don't know, they may have already, I can't remember) and a new YouTuber who plays their stuff catapults to stardom, that could help a lot. But that early inhibition of growth is still gonna smart.

CaitSeith:

daxterx2005:
So if Nintendo let PP review the wii U it would be the best selling console this gen? :V

PewDiePie made a LP of ZombiU, and the game didn't become a mega-success. Myth debunked!

Not Debunked at all, not everything PewDiePie plays will be a huge hit, especially when another product is required to play it, as for reviewing the WiiU, he doesn't actually review anything. Just plays games amd screams like a baby all the time.
With millions of viewers, he can certainly help kickstart any games success, but many games he plays won't become hits. Some will, like Happy Birds, be directly linked to his playing them, once he started it going though, the game must have something else to keep the ball rolling.

It's all very well putting Game Theory on Escapist, though some of the "Theories" are just wrong. Anything that makes people actually think, even if only to disagree with what is said, is a good anything, in my opinion.

That's what these theories actually are, the authors "Opinions", which are mainly just backed by statistics. The thing with statistics is, you can use them to justify both sides of any debate (Pollite Arguement), only verifiable facts can be used to actually prove or disprove any topic.

The entire Foundation of these "What Gamers do/don't want" Videos is flawed. "Gamers" as a Unified Grouping, just don't exist. They're lots of smaller groups, wth many gamers belonging to more than one group. Not even all of one group belong to the same subset of groups. Gamers want many different things, some mutually exclusive, nothing is wanted by all gamers and never was.
When the original question is meaningless, so are any answers.

The only issue I have with these videos being on the Escapist, is that they are old videos, long ago posted on the Game Theory site.

New content would be much better, linking to the Gamr Theory site for these older Vids.

As to, debunking this or other Game Theories, there are videos out there debunking most of them and doing a much better job than I can be bothered to do and the above Quote fails to do.

No amount of trend setting endorsement would have saved the virtual boy. It was a broken mess...also, wasn't there a heap of buzz for it in gaming mags of the time?

Uhuru N'Uru:
The thing with statistics is, you can use them to justify both sides of any debate.

Umm... maybe if you're pulling them out of your ass you can. If someone pulls out a chart showing the sales of something going down, you can't then argue that the sales are going up without accusing the other guy of lying.

Another obvious reason as to why flappy bird became popular, is due to how hard it is. Actual challenges provoke emotion and frustration as well as an urge to overcome the difficulty.

Person A: "I can only pass three pipes..."
Person B: "You're obviously shit, let me show you how it's done!" *proceeds to download app*

This is somewhat related to the Food Optimization he mentioned and gaming in general, some people want the chunky sauce (actual challenges) rather than the bland experience.

This leads to what has been fairly obvious for about a decade, that mainstreaming is killing game quality and stifling creative/original content as investors aren't willing to take the risk.
Ironically, those same investors were all too happy to dish out for one MMO disaster after another, which in turn discourages them to invest any further in gaming.

The movie and music industry suffers from the same issue; Mainstreaming and reboots have become the safe option, hence all the terribly bland franchise reboots where effort and creativity is discouraged.

So with all the mainstream games, it's obvious that something that stands out might get a lot of attention.

-

The trendsetting is an interesting point, but I think my own reasoning is more valid.

Here's why I think so:
As much as we just jump on some bandwagons due to group-mentality, we are also so individualistic that we don't frivolously spend a (relatively)large amount of cash on just anything.
Again, the reason that so many MMO's failed in the footsteps of WoW was that people had already invested their time and money, and weren't willing to take a risk on something new.
Arguably part of it is that they didn't want to abandon their social group in WoW, but honestly if people didn't like the game, why would they stay in the first place?

It seems obvious to me that people don't merely stay because they're lazy or desperate to hang out with their friends in one game. They either stick with it or they don't, depeding on whether they like it or not.

So what about Minecraft, Flappy Bird, Binding of Isaac and other indie titles?
Unlike a brand new console, they're dirt cheap. Some of them cost less than a bag of chips or a trip to the local fastfood joint, meaning that people don't see them as a risky investment at all, especially when there's a following recommending them.

-

The attention game.

So this is where I somewhat validate the theory of trendsetting and youtubers.
There's a huge investment being put into researching what people want or like, to the point where we're bombarded with these things.
Social media in particular is extremely invasive with this, but I get the feeling that it's also largely ineffective for anything else than the mainstream.

Youtubers are (usually) independants giving out their honest opinions, so people tend to trust them a bit more than say, gaming news websites, when it comes to reviews or gameplay footage.
They are also people who typically know exactly what they want, so I'll more often hear about interesting kickstarters and crowdfunding projects from them than here on the Escapist, for example.

Since I'm subscribed to the people I like and share my interests with, they're more likely to show what I'd like myself, unlike the Escapist which show off projects that gives them the most clicks, such as feminist boardgames or what have you.

My point with all this, and keeping on with the pasta sauce analogy, is that we keep seeing the bland shit on news sites and the more chunky, focused projects don't get attention in the mainstream.
Now youtubers are being monetized and becoming a small industry, so it's going well away from being independant to sponsored content.
Ironically, by seeking more money, the people investing in these channels are stifling new markets/investment opportunities.

Disthron:
No amount of trend setting endorsement would have saved the virtual boy. It was a broken mess...also, wasn't there a heap of buzz for it in gaming mags of the time?

Uhuru N'Uru:
The thing with statistics is, you can use them to justify both sides of any debate.

Umm... maybe if you're pulling them out of your ass you can. If someone pulls out a chart showing the sales of something going down, you can't then argue that the sales are going up without accusing the other guy of lying.

Actually that's where you're absolutely wrong, he takes no account of what platform is used and how many units each one has. That has a massive bearing on the matter. Take a look at this video for another statistic backed yet opposing viewpoint.

Game Theory Debunked By JMM REVIEW ( Are Gamers Killing Video Games?) - YouTube

Which "Theory" you favour is just an matter of opinion, and opinions are never facts.

Statistics are a powerful tool and can be used to "prove" any opinion, simply by manipulating what they show (and don't show).
The reality is unless scientific standards are applied, strictly defining the limitations, statistics are meaningless.

Why do you think politicians love to throw random statistics at the public, they appear to back whatever opinion is being said.
Used out of context, without defining the limiting factors, they mean absolutely nothing at all.

What makes a theory scientific is using proven facts as the grounwork and proposing a provable, new potential outcome as the Theory.
If it can't be proved or disproved it's not a theory at all, just opinion. We all have opinions.

These two videos are both just opinions and not theories at all. The ease with which the supporting statistics can be manipulated, to back the opposite opinion, is typical of opinion masquerading as fact or theory.
Showing the power of statistical manipulation to use false "Facts" to "Prove" a false "Theory".

Always be wary of factless and staticic heavy "Theories". They are usually just opinions in disguise.

Don't get me wrong, I like the Game Theory Videos, because they make people think.
That doesn't mean I must agree with every opinion they have.

I disagree somewhat. I agree that social marketing seems to be the most successful and Nintendo is absolutely shooting themselves in the foot. But we're not wholly mindless. The product also has to be good. Everyone in my life could tell me that shit-pie is great and I still wouldn't want it. Not that the WiiU is crap. But it certainly has its issues from the original cost and multiple-year lack of good 1st party games until recently all the way to the devastating lack of 3rd party titles.

I think you need two things. Appropriate rates of adoption and a good product that is priced within the consumer's means. This is why the Virtua Boy would not have taken off even with a PewDiePie of that day swearing up and down about it.

CaitSeith:

daxterx2005:
So if Nintendo let PP review the wii U it would be the best selling console this gen? :V

PewDiePie made a LP of ZombiU, and the game didn't become a mega-success. Myth debunked!

The cost of purchasing a WiiU was prohibitive compared to the price of downloading flappy birds on a phone you already own.

What's more is that while it didn't sell a ton, for the WiiU it's still in 12th place as far as units sold. Unfortunately, the WiiU has only 8 games that have sold over 1 million units and only 14 games that have sold more than 500k units. That's pretty bad but that makes ZombieU's 770k not that bad even though I'm sure Ubisoft doesn't feel that way.

 

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