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Opinion How something that could be just a brief fad turns into a global phenomenon? And can that status be maintained?

nowhat

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Disclaimer: although I'd like to tell myself that I still get "fellow kids", truthfully that hasn't been the case for years. Inevitable, I guess. I've been on the Internet since the mid-90s, and while there are many things I wish I could unsee, there are some that I've either intentionally avoided or never been interested in. Among them is watching streamers/streaming yourself. This seems to be a generational thing, it's not something I'd know any people around my age being into. To be clear, if you enjoy watching streamers or doing streams, great! Different strokes and all that, not trying to be dismissive. Just that there are some major gaps in my understanding of how our world works these days, so this thread is a (likely futile) attempt to at least partially fix those. I don't think there are correct answers here, so completely subjective opinions and pure speculation are very much welcome. No need for those pesky "facts" or "references".

So. Yesterday there was a thread about that "Among Us chicken nugget" auction. That made me a) lose a bit more of what little faith I have left in humanity, and b) wonder "how does that work?". No, not the chicken nugget, even Todd Howard couldn't make it just work. And not the auction either, although it is related - the bids may very well be fake (or sadly, real), but trolls don't bother unless there's a large enough audience. The fact that the price ended up so high indicates how Among Us is a "thing", has been for quite a while. And not just a "gamer thing" but more a "general public thing" or at least "thing in the memesphere". When you see late night hosts making jokes about it, you're there.

But how did it get to be a thing? According to Wikipedia, the game was first released in June and November 2018 for mobile and PC, respectively, to generally good reception but little fanfare otherwise. Fast forward a year and a half, first people in South Korea and Brazil started to make content about the game, then "Twitch streamer Sodapoppin first popularized the game on Twitch in July 2020. Many other Twitch streamers and YouTubers followed suit, including prominent content creators xQc, Pokimane, Shroud, Ninja, and PewDiePie". Soon after the game is everywhere.

Wikipedia also suggests that "the COVID-19 pandemic was frequently cited as a reason for the popularity of Among Us, as it allowed for socializing despite social distancing" - I don't buy it, can't basically every online game be socializing if you have a mic and a group of friends? Also if my teenage daughter is anything to go by, not being able to go outside and physically meet people doesn't matter as long as Discord works (not that we're under lockdown currently, which is nice). Maybe the game is just so good? Definitely possible (no opinion, haven't played it yet), it did receive many awards - in 2020, when it was already super popular. Awards are also a popularity contest up to a point. I just think that if it were reeeeally good, it would have got more visibility by word-of-mouth if nothing else despite the muted launch, before it got resurrected. That leaves the most obvious and likely explanation, also the one I have most difficulty accepting...



I know streaming is very popular, and some streamers very very much so, but I still can't really grasp how influential they are. Is it really the case that a handful of "superstars" can have a global impact on online game content creation (not directly of course, but by influencing the "not-quite-as-hot-but-still-pretty-hot" streamers, who in turn influence the streamers who look up to them, and so on - it's streamers all the way down)? A big name starting to play $GAME and herds of lemmin.... err, lots of content creators following suit immediately is nothing new, but this was like all of the heavy hitters pretty much at the same time. And if the top-tier streamers indeed are so influential, could they team up and start playing (or trolling) the system? Not promoting AAA games, they do that already and the games will sell regardless. But something like receiving a nice "compensation" from a publisher, then some streams later the publisher's new indie game will be what everyone is talking about - could they pull it off? Or hell, just troll away and have everyone start streaming Slaughtering Grounds.

...ok, maybe Slaughtering Grounds wouldn't still become a hit, obviously the game has to be decent as well. Could be funny though. But it seems at least in this case, the streamers were essential to the game's eventual success. That raises the question, is it possible for an indie title with no large marketing budget or big publisher backing to become a hit anymore without any support from streamers? Stellar reviews could do it, but with little visibility it's hard to get your game reviewed. Case in point, the PC version of Among Us is at 82 on OpenCritic with nine reviews - eight of them were written in 2020 and one in 2021. So basically, if you're a tiny indie dev, you better hope some large streamer picks up your game or that it has meme potential?

On to the latter part of the title, nothing is forever. No matter how popular a game is right now, that will not last indefinitely. But smart maintenance and further development can certainly extend the game's lifetime. Or conversely, lack of them can put it into an early grave. Common reasons why what used to be a thing no longer is a thing include lack of updates/new content, another game becoming a new thing and stealing all the attention/mindshare, or a new game is released that has a similar enough gameplay and target audience, but is just better in some or several aspects (I think this is what basically happened with PUBG vs. Fortnite on consoles). The last option doesn't seem very likely as the concept is still quite unique (at least in video games) and generally the future is looking pretty good for Among Us with PS/Xbox versions set to release this year and new content in the works, so the game will likely be fine for now (even if a new thing would enter the market).

Going forward though, what would be your course of action as the studio head? Do you see the game having legs why not, the nugget had them too, how long you think it will remain at least moderately popular? How would you keep the game fresh and players coming back? And on a more general level, do you think streamers are beneficial to a game during its entire lifetime, or is it mostly around release (or with Among Us, more like re-release) where they (might) play the largest role? This is a rare opportunity for Gaf - you get to larp as a gaming executive who is not Jim Ryan!
 

Skifi28

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I have no idea how these things work either and I've kinda given up trying to grasp it. I don't like games like fortnite but I can understand the appeal. Something as basic as among us being such a hit is beyond me. There are so many interesting games or activities you can do with your friends online, why is this one so popular? I also don't understand why anybody would watch streamers, let alone donate their money. Watching edited content about videogames or even E-sports tournaments is one thing, but watching somebody playing live in their man-cave? Never getting it.
 
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Sub Boss

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I never heard about Among us before the chicken nugget, i think i seen the character things before. they look weird

i guess im not one of the cool kids 😔
 

Old_and_Slow

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I read the whole thing!

I gave up trying to understand how the popularity contest works with media like games. With all the streaming and influencers it's monkey see monkey do, at least in the beginning. Gotta be something good to become massive but I don't always understand what that is. Hurts worse when something of higher quality gets sidelined by the obvious cash grab.

As for watching these influencers I just can't get into it. The whole presentation style is just terrible. I mean how many pics do these people have with their mouths wide open? Does the universe need any more?
 

01011001

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Minecraft shows that the phenomenon status can be held... that game released in 2009... and Confirmed Cheater Dream gets 20 million views a video, PewDiePie had a super successful Minecraft series with up to 20 million views a video as well not too long ago.
and it still is in the sales charts all the time
there's a new RP server with streamers starting soon (or already has started... not sure) and that will be a giant success too most likely. that game has absolute staying power like nothing else, it is crazy... only rivaled to a lesser degree by Counter Strike GO
 
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Quasicat

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I teach in a middle school, and the students there run a gamut of gaming trends. Some are really big into Minecraft, some are big into Fortnite, and recently we are seeing quite a bit of Among Us. What makes these really big is that they are free in some form to the kids which is what makes them popular. I understand Minecraft and Fortnite since they have been around for quite awhile, but Among Us is one of those things that I just don’t get why it’s gotten big. When I ask them why they like Among Us, all they say is that it is fun to lie to people.
 

MvCSpiderman

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Of course it can't be maintained, look at the Wii Kinect, Guitar hero and Skylanders.
 
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SlimeGooGoo

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Corporations invest a lot of money to make things go viral. Either explicitly (adverts) or implicitly (streamers, journos, bots)

Rarely does a game go viral by itself (Flappy Bird and Minecraft are probably some rare examples)
 

nowhat

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Rarely does a game go viral by itself (Flappy Bird and Minecraft are probably some rare examples)
That's just what gets me with this game. Some corporation could be behind it, sure - but to what end? Why resurrect a game that has pretty much been in hibernation for the past 18 months? And even as an intentionally viral campaign, a game like this should have faded into background noise by now (although at least when it comes to PC, EGS offering the game for free recently gave it a significant boost there). It just doesn't make sense. It's all very sus, but I don't know who to blame.
 
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01011001

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I teach in a middle school, and the students there run a gamut of gaming trends. Some are really big into Minecraft, some are big into Fortnite, and recently we are seeing quite a bit of Among Us. What makes these really big is that they are free in some form to the kids which is what makes them popular. I understand Minecraft and Fortnite since they have been around for quite awhile, but Among Us is one of those things that I just don’t get why it’s gotten big. When I ask them why they like Among Us, all they say is that it is fun to lie to people.

Minecraft is not free tho

Of course it can't be maintained, look at the Wii Kinect, Guitar hero and Skylanders.

Minecraft, top seller since 2009, millions of views on youtube videos even today... it can be maintained but it is very rare
 
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CitizenZ

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I still have not seen any data to prove giving X game to a popular streamer moves product. The only factual info I have ever seen was PDP starting to play Minecraft last yr increased VIEWRSHIP(Not sales) so much it surpassed Fortnite which had not been done since 2017.
 

Quasicat

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Minecraft is not free tho
We are a Microsoft school, so we use the entire Microsoft suite, including Teams (for classroom management), Forms (for assessments), and Minecraft (which the students primarily use to kill chickens).
 

Quasicat

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oh, I see
It’s cool. The big side effect out of this is before we made the deal with Microsoft, many of my students were pirating N64 and GBA (mainly Pokémon) games on their HPs. I would tell them how it hurt the developers and you would think I was speaking a foreign language to them. Once it became easier to download our free version of Minecraft, the piracy stopped completely.
 

nowhat

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We are a Microsoft school, so we use the entire Microsoft suite, including Teams (for classroom management), Forms (for assessments), and Minecraft (which the students primarily use to kill chickens).
I'm not from the US so pardon my ignorance - I get Office 365, Teams, Forms (I guess, no idea what that does) - but Minecraft? Is it like somehow justified as a part of the curriculum or just a freebie?

(not criticising, the computer labs of my youth were used mostly for anything else than schoolwork unless a class was held there, it was all for the better)
 

Quasicat

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I'm not from the US so pardon my ignorance - I get Office 365, Teams, Forms (I guess, no idea what that does) - but Minecraft? Is it like somehow justified as a part of the curriculum or just a freebie?

(not criticising, the computer labs of my youth were used mostly for anything else than schoolwork unless a class was held there, it was all for the better)
They originally justified it as a STEM/architecture program where you could build things on the school server and have others visit, but in the end they just chase after chickens and kill them with their swords.
When I was in school, in the 80s, I was lucky if I got some time on the Tandy Computer and died of dysentery on the Oregon Trail.
 
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ZlleH

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Didn't read all your post. But I get the jest of it. Here is my theory.

They buyer of the nugget is still a mystery.

So, imagine you are a marketing company that has been hired by BTS or Among Us to advertise for them.

$100,000 could get you some mobile ad links for a week, or some website banner ads for a week, etc.

Or you see this crazy story about the nugget, spend $100K on it, and you will get way more people talking about BTS or Among Us on major news site like CNN, etc. 100K would have never gotten this much advertising coverage.
You will also get people posting funny blogs/tweet/tiktok about it or posting it on a gaming forum probably making fun of the situation. Which causes others to read the post, and maybe check out BTS or Among Us. Think this type of strategy is known as guerilla advertising.

You have unwittingly become part of their advertising campaign.

Just a theory.
 
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nowhat

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When I was in school, in the 80s, I was lucky if I got some time on the Tandy Computer and died of dysentery on the Oregon Trail.
During the same time period, what I guess is about grade 5 or 6 in US terms, our classroom (not computer lab) received a couple of Macintoshes for some reason. Those classic beige ones with embedded grayscale screens, they were mostly used for word processing and printing, or messing with the paint program. Students were required to store their data on a floppy.

How-e-ver, said Macintoshes also had a small hard drive for the operating system and such. And as said, they were in our classroom, and a couple of students at any given recess get to stay indoors, to clean up (hah) or just hang out. Now, what happens when you put an aspiring nerd in front of a computer with no restrictions? Of course I want to see everything what's in there. Not looking for anything in particular, just general curiosity.

...and after clicking the umpteenth subfolder of a subfolder (all very innocuously named), I come across a set of text documents. Love letters, in fact, from our teacher and not addressed to his wife. When we brought this up with him (in a suitably private situation, we were very polite), there was a "serious discussion", but in the end, for the rest of the semester we may have had some extra privileges.

Never found out who those letters were for though, we always suspected the girl's gym teacher (because surely adults can't have an affair outside their workplace), but he denied it. Still, good times.
 
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Spidey Fan

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If people can buy useless baseball cards for 100s of thousand of dollar, then expect these hobby to sell well.

hell, Bitcoin, 1 crypto currency, which isnt real cost $35,712.80. if that thing can have value, anything can have.

People perceive value in odd things. Its just that your taste isnt there. Your best example is foot people. like why the hell do you love licking foots man?

As for devs, make your dream game. dont let the success blind you, or you will cdpred.

Mask GIF
 

MvCSpiderman

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Minecraft is not free tho



Minecraft, top seller since 2009, millions of views on youtube videos even today... it can be maintained but it is very rare
Minecraft wasn't a fad. It filled a vacuum and no one came to challenge it for too long so it became a nailed gaming stable.
 

eyesabitdull

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Wait What Reaction GIF


Whew, that took a lot of reading for something I felt could have been summarized in 3 paragraphs.

But OP, relax, Among Us will evidently die down in time.

Its popularity is simple to understand, however. It's a game that is so simple, and so accessible, and one that is really fun to play with friends.

You think covid had nothing to do with it, well, it does.

During the lockdown, Among Us was what my friends and I (who are mostly non gamers) played while we video called each other.

And I dont live in America, mind you. And I can tell you a ton of my friends were playing the game with their friends and families as well during the lockdown.

But can streamers influence the market and putting up what game as popular?

Yes, and no.

Yes, because they have the reach. No, because it depends on the game and how widely accessible it is.

Take Valheim for example, super popular game apparently. But I haven't played it, and definitely none of my non gamer friends have played it.

But we fucked with Among Us pretty hard, and if I ever brought up Valheim they would just say it's too much work because Valheim is a pc game, while Amomg Us can be cross played on mobile & PC.

You catching my drift here?

Crossplay mobile + pc, free to play on mobile, super easy game with a fun dynamic, lockdown and the desire to socialize = success.
 

wtftad

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Been there OP…for sure

As far as the twitch thing goes and how much influence they have: I look at twitch (and influencers in general) like they are Nintendo Power/EGM/GamePro from back in my day.

Content creators show off games, add their spin (monetized or not) and the people that watch them act with their wallets (digital wallets).

From an indie perspective our marketing dollars are FAR better spent on influencers than anywhere else.
 

nowhat

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From an indie perspective our marketing dollars are FAR better spent on influencers than anywhere else.
Hey, that's super interesting. So you work in the (indie)industry?

How would you go about trying to pitch a game to an influencer? Just send a code over or is it more involved? And - about what ballpark of an investment are we talking about?
 
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Nickolaidas

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Disclaimer: although I'd like to tell myself that I still get "fellow kids", truthfully that hasn't been the case for years. Inevitable, I guess. I've been on the Internet since the mid-90s, and while there are many things I wish I could unsee, there are some that I've either intentionally avoided or never been interested in. Among them is watching streamers/streaming yourself. This seems to be a generational thing, it's not something I'd know any people around my age being into. To be clear, if you enjoy watching streamers or doing streams, great! Different strokes and all that, not trying to be dismissive. Just that there are some major gaps in my understanding of how our world works these days, so this thread is a (likely futile) attempt to at least partially fix those. I don't think there are correct answers here, so completely subjective opinions and pure speculation are very much welcome. No need for those pesky "facts" or "references".

So. Yesterday there was a thread about that "Among Us chicken nugget" auction. That made me a) lose a bit more of what little faith I have left in humanity, and b) wonder "how does that work?". No, not the chicken nugget, even Todd Howard couldn't make it just work. And not the auction either, although it is related - the bids may very well be fake (or sadly, real), but trolls don't bother unless there's a large enough audience. The fact that the price ended up so high indicates how Among Us is a "thing", has been for quite a while. And not just a "gamer thing" but more a "general public thing" or at least "thing in the memesphere". When you see late night hosts making jokes about it, you're there.

But how did it get to be a thing? According to Wikipedia, the game was first released in June and November 2018 for mobile and PC, respectively, to generally good reception but little fanfare otherwise. Fast forward a year and a half, first people in South Korea and Brazil started to make content about the game, then "Twitch streamer Sodapoppin first popularized the game on Twitch in July 2020. Many other Twitch streamers and YouTubers followed suit, including prominent content creators xQc, Pokimane, Shroud, Ninja, and PewDiePie". Soon after the game is everywhere.

Wikipedia also suggests that "the COVID-19 pandemic was frequently cited as a reason for the popularity of Among Us, as it allowed for socializing despite social distancing" - I don't buy it, can't basically every online game be socializing if you have a mic and a group of friends? Also if my teenage daughter is anything to go by, not being able to go outside and physically meet people doesn't matter as long as Discord works (not that we're under lockdown currently, which is nice). Maybe the game is just so good? Definitely possible (no opinion, haven't played it yet), it did receive many awards - in 2020, when it was already super popular. Awards are also a popularity contest up to a point. I just think that if it were reeeeally good, it would have got more visibility by word-of-mouth if nothing else despite the muted launch, before it got resurrected. That leaves the most obvious and likely explanation, also the one I have most difficulty accepting...



I know streaming is very popular, and some streamers very very much so, but I still can't really grasp how influential they are. Is it really the case that a handful of "superstars" can have a global impact on online game content creation (not directly of course, but by influencing the "not-quite-as-hot-but-still-pretty-hot" streamers, who in turn influence the streamers who look up to them, and so on - it's streamers all the way down)? A big name starting to play $GAME and herds of lemmin.... err, lots of content creators following suit immediately is nothing new, but this was like all of the heavy hitters pretty much at the same time. And if the top-tier streamers indeed are so influential, could they team up and start playing (or trolling) the system? Not promoting AAA games, they do that already and the games will sell regardless. But something like receiving a nice "compensation" from a publisher, then some streams later the publisher's new indie game will be what everyone is talking about - could they pull it off? Or hell, just troll away and have everyone start streaming Slaughtering Grounds.

...ok, maybe Slaughtering Grounds wouldn't still become a hit, obviously the game has to be decent as well. Could be funny though. But it seems at least in this case, the streamers were essential to the game's eventual success. That raises the question, is it possible for an indie title with no large marketing budget or big publisher backing to become a hit anymore without any support from streamers? Stellar reviews could do it, but with little visibility it's hard to get your game reviewed. Case in point, the PC version of Among Us is at 82 on OpenCritic with nine reviews - eight of them were written in 2020 and one in 2021. So basically, if you're a tiny indie dev, you better hope some large streamer picks up your game or that it has meme potential?

On to the latter part of the title, nothing is forever. No matter how popular a game is right now, that will not last indefinitely. But smart maintenance and further development can certainly extend the game's lifetime. Or conversely, lack of them can put it into an early grave. Common reasons why what used to be a thing no longer is a thing include lack of updates/new content, another game becoming a new thing and stealing all the attention/mindshare, or a new game is released that has a similar enough gameplay and target audience, but is just better in some or several aspects (I think this is what basically happened with PUBG vs. Fortnite on consoles). The last option doesn't seem very likely as the concept is still quite unique (at least in video games) and generally the future is looking pretty good for Among Us with PS/Xbox versions set to release this year and new content in the works, so the game will likely be fine for now (even if a new thing would enter the market).

Going forward though, what would be your course of action as the studio head? Do you see the game having legs why not, the nugget had them too, how long you think it will remain at least moderately popular? How would you keep the game fresh and players coming back? And on a more general level, do you think streamers are beneficial to a game during its entire lifetime, or is it mostly around release (or with Among Us, more like re-release) where they (might) play the largest role? This is a rare opportunity for Gaf - you get to larp as a gaming executive who is not Jim Ryan!
I think there are three factors that play a huge part in a product/idea that gets viral

A) Quality of said product/idea in what it's trying to do

B) The Lay of the Land/Current Status Quo that may help the product/idea flourish

C) Managing to advertise your product in successful ways (word of mouth, influencers (Youtubers are influencers imo), reviews and ratings, etc.)
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I'll take a look at three products which became hugely viral/successful when absolutely no one expected them to.

1: Demon's Souls.

This was a game which was perceived a mediocre game at best, and a horrific failure at worst, by the people at marketing, by devs, by Yoshida himself. The idea that a punishing as fuck hack and slash game would resonate with a market which was (and still is in many occasions) hell-bent on holding the player's hand was perceived as nothing less than a large miss. Heck, no one besides Atlus was interested in bringing the game to the West.

I remember seeing the reveal trailer (with gameplay shots) and thought the game looked amazing. Then, I saw it was made by FROM (my only experience with them were the niche Armored Core games which utterly failed to captivate my interest) and I became somewhat cautious. Then, I saw the E3 trailer at Boletaria castle stage 1-1 and thought it was a mediocre game that looked plain as fuck and boring to play (I mean, I saw a knight running through an empty castle and one-shotting dreglings - hardly something to write home to, especially when you expected Devil May Cry or Ninja Gaiden kind of action ... it looked lifeless, plain and bland). So yeah, no loss for me not seeing it in the West.

Then I learned that Atlus was going to bring it, and I was like, 'whatever'.

Then I read the IGN review giving it a 9 or 10 out of 10, and I was like ... "huh". And decided to give it a shot. And man, oh man ... I'm glad I did. Quite possibly my favorite game in the entire PS3 gen.

So, the way I see it, Demon's Souls had A) Quality, B) inverted the expectations of the status quo and C) popularity via word of mouth and solid reviews. It was a game that marketing people thought it would fail, but its quality actually made it the Holy Grail it is today. There was no misleading, no lies. It was simply a golden egg and got the praise it deserved.
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2: Tommy Waiseau's 'The Room'

This is a movie that normally no human being would want to sit through, but it became a cultural phenomenon and a prime example of the motto 'so bad it's good'. This is a product that literally got the recognition it got via Youtubers, but its abysmal quality also played a factor. A YouTuber can mock anything, but if the product is absolutely worthy of the mocking, then it shall become viral.

I have never seen the Room - nor will I ever watch it - but the parodies, the spoofs and the YouTubers making fun of it are always nice to see because the Room has the material the YouTuber needs to make a good 'show'.

So the way I see it, the Room had A) Quality (bad enough to help it achieve the 'So Bad it's Good' status and C) became viral via YouTubers.
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3: Minecraft

In the beginning, Minecraft seemed to be the same thing that others games were or would be (Angry Birds, Pokemon Go, Among Us) - the popular trendy game that kids and grown ups become grossly addicted to for a while then drop it for the next popular thing (seriously, are people even talking about Pokemon Go anymore?). So what was it about MineCraft that made it persevere?

IMO, it was the fact that it allows the player to create a world that they like, and at the same time challenges their created world practically. Is the house you built adequately lit? Practical to traverse? Built in an area where there is plenty of stuff to use to enrich it/maintain it? Safe from invasion? Provides you with nourishment? etc. I think this is the strength of Minecraft - it allows you to make art ... and challenges your masterpiece at the same time.
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Among Us is just another Angry Birds / Pokemon Go. The next trendy game which became viral due to its fun idea and advertising by the YouTube community. I think that anything which becomes a global phenomenon has something catchy and something fun - something plain and boring can never become a world hit - never.

Among Us is having its moment, and I fully expect it to die within the year. That's its future due to its repetitive nature and the nature of its audience.
 
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nowhat

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I have never seen the Room - nor will I ever watch it
I have this project with a friend that we try to watch it, in piecemeal (like five minutes at a time) - I think we're now in at about 45 minutes, and it's been over a year since we've tried to continue the project. Some day.

But thanks for the insight. I too would assume Among Us to not be that long-lived, but it is still there and other console ports should be arriving soon-ish... we'll see.
 
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ArtHands

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It's like any fad. Kids now are told what is cool by streamers instead of Teen Bop magazine but it's the same shit.

Lots of people here are told what is cool by Sony/Nintendo/Microsoft themselves too.

Among Us has already outlasted numerous console games in terms of popularity.
 
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Ten_Fold

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Pokémon was called a fad at one point but it worked, Minecraft was a fad and wasn’t suppose to last long, similar to fortnite. I’m sure it’s more of lighting in a bottle type of situation though. You never really can tell if it’s gonna be a super big hit. It’s not like music where you can really force a song to be a hit, gaming is if people like it enough it’s a hit.
 
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wtftad

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How would you go about trying to pitch a game to an influencer? Just send a code over or is it more involved? And - about what ballpark of an investment are we talking about?
This can be complicated for sure.

There are a bunch of routes to take and the cost scales with the reach/stickiness of the influencer.

Many large influencers all have agents or brokers and are more expensive to secure time with.

I would not consider them a good fit for an indie campaign, the self publisher (indie) is competing with activision, Sony, (insert huge game name here) for the influencers screen time.

When you spend $ on advertising you should be doing your research. Understand games that compete with yours and find the most influential streamers/content creators that play competing games.

if you are lucky, they have a business contact in their twitch/YouTube bio and you can reach out to start the negotiation process.

How much you are spending depends on a crap ton of factors. Some times you pay a little bit ($500 for a 4 hour stream for example), sometimes you have to do more. Pay by the hour, provide copies of the game to give out on the stream, have a dev pop in to answer questions, and help them run a smooth stream (gameplay wise).
 
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Apr 3, 2009
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It's impossible to predict what will trend next with normos. For all we know some stupid sheep herding game or stupid eating pizza hats game will be the next thing every zoomer needs to have on their phone so they can post it on whatever dumb social media platform is trending
 

Vognerful

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May 21, 2020
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I think there are three factors that play a huge part in a product/idea that gets viral

A) Quality of said product/idea in what it's trying to do

B) The Lay of the Land/Current Status Quo that may help the product/idea flourish

C) Managing to advertise your product in successful ways (word of mouth, influencers (Youtubers are influencers imo), reviews and ratings, etc.)
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I'll take a look at three products which became hugely viral/successful when absolutely no one expected them to.

1: Demon's Souls.

This was a game which was perceived a mediocre game at best, and a horrific failure at worst, by the people at marketing, by devs, by Yoshida himself. The idea that a punishing as fuck hack and slash game would resonate with a market which was (and still is in many occasions) hell-bent on holding the player's hand was perceived as nothing less than a large miss. Heck, no one besides Atlus was interested in bringing the game to the West.

I remember seeing the reveal trailer (with gameplay shots) and thought the game looked amazing. Then, I saw it was made by FROM (my only experience with them were the niche Armored Core games which utterly failed to captivate my interest) and I became somewhat cautious. Then, I saw the E3 trailer at Boletaria castle stage 1-1 and thought it was a mediocre game that looked plain as fuck and boring to play (I mean, I saw a knight running through an empty castle and one-shotting dreglings - hardly something to write home to, especially when you expected Devil May Cry or Ninja Gaiden kind of action ... it looked lifeless, plain and bland). So yeah, no loss for me not seeing it in the West.

Then I learned that Atlus was going to bring it, and I was like, 'whatever'.

Then I read the IGN review giving it a 9 or 10 out of 10, and I was like ... "huh". And decided to give it a shot. And man, oh man ... I'm glad I did. Quite possibly my favorite game in the entire PS3 gen.

So, the way I see it, Demon's Souls had A) Quality, B) inverted the expectations of the status quo and C) popularity via word of mouth and solid reviews. It was a game that marketing people thought it would fail, but its quality actually made it the Holy Grail it is today. There was no misleading, no lies. It was simply a golden egg and got the praise it deserved.
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2: Tommy Waiseau's 'The Room'

This is a movie that normally no human being would want to sit through, but it became a cultural phenomenon and a prime example of the motto 'so bad it's good'. This is a product that literally got the recognition it got via Youtubers, but its abysmal quality also played a factor. A YouTuber can mock anything, but if the product is absolutely worthy of the mocking, then it shall become viral.

I have never seen the Room - nor will I ever watch it - but the parodies, the spoofs and the YouTubers making fun of it are always nice to see because the Room has the material the YouTuber needs to make a good 'show'.

So the way I see it, the Room had A) Quality (bad enough to help it achieve the 'So Bad it's Good' status and C) became viral via YouTubers.
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3: Minecraft

In the beginning, Minecraft seemed to be the same thing that others games were or would be (Angry Birds, Pokemon Go, Among Us) - the popular trendy game that kids and grown ups become grossly addicted to for a while then drop it for the next popular thing (seriously, are people even talking about Pokemon Go anymore?). So what was it about MineCraft that made it persevere?

IMO, it was the fact that it allows the player to create a world that they like, and at the same time challenges their created world practically. Is the house you built adequately lit? Practical to traverse? Built in an area where there is plenty of stuff to use to enrich it/maintain it? Safe from invasion? Provides you with nourishment? etc. I think this is the strength of Minecraft - it allows you to make art ... and challenges your masterpiece at the same time.
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Among Us is just another Angry Birds / Pokemon Go. The next trendy game which became viral due to its fun idea and advertising by the YouTube community. I think that anything which becomes a global phenomenon has something catchy and something fun - something plain and boring can never become a world hit - never.

Among Us is having its moment, and I fully expect it to die within the year. That's its future due to its repetitive nature and the nature of its audience.
This was much easier to read than the main post, and I enjoyed it a lot.

thanks a lot/
 
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Soodanim

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Feb 24, 2012
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My simple answer to the thread title is that they keep updating it. If it doesn’t get stagnant from standing still, it won’t get boring as quickly and you may be able to maintain popularity.
 

namekuseijin

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Jun 10, 2020
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very long rant by a boomer like me. I approve.

1) it's crap.
2) profit.

that's about it. Only things kids love more than soy is crap.
 

Quasicat

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Aug 8, 2019
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Pokémon was called a fad at one point but it worked, Minecraft was a fad and wasn’t suppose to last long, similar to fortnite. I’m sure it’s more of lighting in a bottle type of situation though. You never really can tell if it’s gonna be a super big hit. It’s not like music where you can really force a song to be a hit, gaming is if people like it enough it’s a hit.
You nailed it with your post, and everyone wants a piece of that lightning. Some are getting the support they need to get it going like with Apex, but for every one of those you also have something like Anthem. I think what made Minecraft, Fortnite, and Among Us work is how they are originally aimed at non-gamers. Most people I know that consider themselves gamers either won’t play these out of spite, or were very late to the party.