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BizReport : Viral Marketing : September 15, 2009

The NPD Group: Gamers value word of mouth above flashy ads

The testimony of a friend or fellow gamer is a more effective driver of game sales than flashy magazine ads or discount coupons, according to a new survey from industry tracker The NPD Group.

by Helen Leggatt

npdLogo.gifIn a survey of almost 21,000 respondents aged 2 and older, 41% said they trust word of mouth when it came to choosing a new game. This isn't surprising as many gamers get their game information from online communities and gaming forums. Their common interests and online gaming interactions forge strong relationships.

And when they're not online, they're checking out what their friends and family are playing - 31% cited hands-on play at others' homes as being a means by which they decided whether or not to purchase a game title.

It looks like bad news for on- and offline gaming magazine publishers. It appears word of mouth carries more weight than flashy ads. Even social networking doesn't do it for gamers with just 5% using them to find game information.

"When it comes to developing successful games and targeting marketing and promotions, each gaming platform has its own unique challenges and opportunities to consider," said Anita Frazier, industry analyst for The NPD Group.

Tags: e-commerce, gamers, gaming, viral marketing, word of mouth

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