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The Impact of Negative Game Reviews and User Comments on Player Experience

Ian Livingston, Lennart E. Nacke, and Regan L. Mandryk. 2011. The Impact of Negative Game Reviews and User Comments on Player Experience. In Proceedings of ACM SIBGRAPH 2011. Vancouver, BC, Canada. ACM, 4. doi:10.1145/2037692.2037697

Abstract

Game reviews and player ratings have an effect on the commercial success of games. They are used extensively by game developers to gauge the success of their titles and by potential buyers to make more informed purchase decisions. However, their potential influence on player experience remains uncertain. We investigated how game reviews and user comments influence players' affective states and experiences during game play. We found that both professional reviews and user comments (especially the negative comments) affected experience measured through game ratings, and that this effect was not mediated by changes in players' moods. Our results are important to the game industry because of the meaningful negative effect that user and critic comments can have on individual player experience and the resulting commercial success of a game.