So, last year the game industry was struck by Pokemon Go. Yes, that game! Remember when you used to go out with your friends to just catch a Rattata or a Pidgey or go crazy if you spot a Charizard. From its launch in July, by the end of September the game went from active 27 million users to 700,000 users (https://goo.gl/TBT4Xe). So, what happened? Did the game change too much? You hear people say that they changed the key features, they did not add new content, but if you were to install the app now, you will notice that they added everything the user wanted. Sure, 2nd generation is still not available but they are adding new content. And to be completely honest more than half of the people who played it in July and August didn’t even complete the game or they don’t even know the new generations of Pokemon. So why do they need new content?
Before I analyze the reason for its failure let’s take a look at other game.
Monument Valley! You might have heard about this game, if you have not, then ask someone who has. Their reaction will be it is so innovative, beautiful, amazing, etc. Sure, you cannot compare monument valley to Pokemon Go, they are at the opposite sides of the spectrum. Sure, I agree with that, but if you were to go now and ask someone who has played Pokemon Go, their reaction will be it is such a bad game, no new content, old, stale and people frown upon the game now. Your reaction will be “Wow! You still play this game?”.
Now, going back to the previous question. Why do people need more content in Pokemon Go and are okay with paying 3.99$ and not asking for more. The reason is they fell into the trap of bad word of mouth. Adding to that, they even did not communicate well with the audience and did not even own up to their errors which were really bad moves on their part. One solution would be to provide a date for the release of new content or giving away free stuff in games.
Another examples of Negative word of mouth are Assassin’s Creed franchise, and No Mans Sky. Sure, they look great, they have good features, but the second you get the reaction of “Why would you play that game” from your friends or people you follow on Twitch or Youtube, which leads to the downfall of the game. That is one of the reasons why companies invest so much in publicity and marketing on Twitch and Youtube.
Now, on the flip side, some games are known for being really bad and make their way to being famous and generating a lot of revenue such as Goat Simulator, but that is not a fun way to create experience as a game designer.
So, to summarize, negative word of mouth has a huge impact on your sales and one of the best way to deal with the situation is to own up to it. The true fans of the game with appreciate it and will help you reduce it