Whether you like it or not, the idea of “influencers” isn’t going anywhere. They’ve always been around – some people are more interesting to a wider audience than others, and those people will sometimes be offered free stuff or payment to promote specific products. Realistically, we are all influencers to some degree, right? I mean, the stuff any of us write on our social media or tell friends at braais can influence their view of things. But how do these personalities shape the industry itself?
Recently, more and more of those who are meant to be reporting on the gaming news have, themselves, become the focus of it. From gaming journalists whose parody personas were recreated in games without their consent, to rants from gaming personalities leading to potential lawsuits and even that whole issue about the Kotaku blacklisting leading to renewed questions about gaming journalism ethics and privilege.
It’s not just gaming journalists who are getting brought into the mix, though. Here is a hilarious example of when influencer marketing goes wrong courtesy of Breaking Benjamin’s Benjamin Burnley:
But just how important are these instances of backlash, or even approval from gaming personalities and influencers? Research keeps saying that critical reviews are the most important for sales, but surely there must be some brand value in engaging with a range of celebrities and influencers, too. Then again, I’m not really too sure I’d take Burnley’s gaming opinions to heart anyway – much as I might enjoy Breaking Benjamin’s music, that isn’t exactly my go to source for gaming information.
Are there personalities and influencers you value over others? For example, I love Yahtzee’s Zero Punctuation game reviews, but they don’t particularly form any opinions I might have about a game. They are simply fun to watch and rather entertaining. And I will never stop teasing Alessandro for getting excited about meeting some “famous” gaming journalists at E3.
It’s not that other people’s opinions don’t matter – there are plenty of journalists and influencers who opinions I value, but I’m just not sure that they have much of an impact on the industry itself, but rather just add to the overload of information and opinion I consume each day.
Last Updated: November 27, 2015
November 27, 2015 at 14:40
I think it’s more a question of whether their influence is fair and concise or just paid for by whatever publisher. But if there is a popular movement to have something implemented in a game by the community, I would say it is easy for gaming personalities to ride the crest of that wave.
November 27, 2015 at 14:43
influencers… or as I like to call them, those that point out the bullshit for the blind.