Nobody Cares About Reviews for Mobile Games

There's nothing wrong with Angry Birds, per se, but it never needed any positive reviews to succeed.

There’s nothing wrong with Angry Birds, per se, but it never needed any positive reviews to succeed.


Like it or not, reviews have become absolutely critical in the world of video games. There’s a reason why publishers offer cash incentives to developers to attain a certain Metascore, and a reason why many of the highest-rated games, year in and year out, are also the best-selling titles.

This holds true for all platforms, but with the possible exception of mobile gaming.

This is a very different form of gaming and indeed, a different form of entertainment entirely. In the first place, it doesn’t necessarily appeal to core gamers; while the hardcore group will undoubtedly partake here and there, they’re not eagerly anticipating the next mobile game launch. There’s a reason why we have day-one digital downloading, why there are midnight launches, why there are pre-order incentives, etc.

Hey, it helps the vocabulary but we all knew right off the bat that WWF was basically Scrabble.

Hey, it helps the vocabulary but we all knew right off the bat that WWF was basically Scrabble.

Such things don’t exist in the world of mobile gaming, and it’s quite simply because nobody cares enough. It’s the epitome of casual on-the-go entertainment and as such, nobody takes it too seriously.

Furthermore, as most games can be tested out within minutes at minimal (or zero) cost, it makes little sense to spend more time looking up reviews. Just download it and give it a try. During our interesting interview with EEDAR Manager of Insights and Analysis Patrick Walker, we touched on the subject briefly, and Walker agreed that this is a big reason why reviews aren’t anywhere near as essential for mobile gaming.

The final example involves the quality vs. sales issue. While some great games occasionally slip through the cracks, for the most part, well-received titles do well in the marketplace. Analysts at firms like EEDAR have known this for years. However, when something like¬†Flappy Bird nets 2s and 3s and still breaks sales records…well, quite clearly, the reviews for that game were meaningless.

Fruit Ninja is all sorts of fun but did anyone really need a review to tell them that?

Fruit Ninja is all sorts of fun but did anyone really need a review to tell them that?

Titles that get such low scores in the console and PC world rarely move off the shelf. The bottom line is that ease of accessibility combined with the inherently casual nature of mobile gaming means that reviews just don’t matter much.

We’ll also add that while we will always recognize great critics, we seriously doubt the industry’s first superstar critic¬†will arise from the world of mobile game reviews. There just isn’t a fraction as much to analyze in terms of content and depth and again, who really takes it all that seriously? This all being said, if you see a fantastic review for a mobile game, by all means, let us know.

We stand by our motto and principles, even if it remains true that mobile game reviews aren’t exactly crucial.

5 thoughts on “Nobody Cares About Reviews for Mobile Games”

Of course not. Mobile games aren’t really even video games in my estimation. They’re like bite-sized versions of games for casuals, and that’s it.

I’ve never read a review for a mobile game and I don’t intend to. As the article says, what’s the point? It’s just so much faster to download and try it.

I suppose if the game cost more than a dollar I might look into it, but even then, I’m not sure I’d care enough.

Yup, well said. I hate mobile gaming anyway, and the people I know who like it never look at any reviews.

Yeah, mobile gaming is a very different beast. I seriously doubt that reviews will ever have a hefty impact on that industry, just because only hardcore gamers really care about reviews and…let’s face it, mobile gaming doesn’t attract the hardcore.

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