Grade Level at Time of Presentation

Senior

Institution

Murray State University

KY House District #

22

KY Senate District #

9

Department

Economics

Abstract

Video game developers typically prohibit media outlets from publishing reviews of upcoming video games until some specified date. This study hypothesizes that review prohibition periods that give consumers relatively little time to digest reviews result in consumers being more likely to have a negative perception of an upcoming game – thus, resulting in lower initial sales. To test this, a number of video game releases from the past decade are considered in order to model the extent to which initial sales of a game are a function of review prohibition periods while holding a variety of other variables constant. The discussion goes on to highlight whether the impacts of prohibition periods change in a significant matter when the sample data is narrowed in order to reflect certain aspects of a game – including, but not limited to genre, whether a developer is independent, and whether a game is a sequel. Furthermore, the study examines whether there is any evidence to suggest that developers knowingly take advantage of the impact that prohibition periods have on consumers in order to maximize initial sales. Discussion concludes with a summary of the potential ramifications that the results have for the video game industry going forward.

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The Effects of Review Prohibition Periods on Video Game Consumer Purchasing Decisions

Video game developers typically prohibit media outlets from publishing reviews of upcoming video games until some specified date. This study hypothesizes that review prohibition periods that give consumers relatively little time to digest reviews result in consumers being more likely to have a negative perception of an upcoming game – thus, resulting in lower initial sales. To test this, a number of video game releases from the past decade are considered in order to model the extent to which initial sales of a game are a function of review prohibition periods while holding a variety of other variables constant. The discussion goes on to highlight whether the impacts of prohibition periods change in a significant matter when the sample data is narrowed in order to reflect certain aspects of a game – including, but not limited to genre, whether a developer is independent, and whether a game is a sequel. Furthermore, the study examines whether there is any evidence to suggest that developers knowingly take advantage of the impact that prohibition periods have on consumers in order to maximize initial sales. Discussion concludes with a summary of the potential ramifications that the results have for the video game industry going forward.

 

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