This week, Superdata releases some interesting research on the purchasing habits of digital gamers, IGN is rocked by a massive plagiarism scandal, and Bethesda Softworks doubles down on its crossplay beef with Sony.
Research Finds that Slow Checkout Processes Deeply Impact Digital Game Sales
Video game market research firm Superdata, published a report on the payment preferences of digital gamers. Key findings include Paypal being the preferred method of payment for gamers, and that game subscription services have high potential for success based on gamers’ purchasing habits. One of the main takeaways however, was how important a speedy checkout process is to digital game customers. 77 percent of digital gamers say that speed is the determining factor for which payment method they use, with 27 percent stating that they will abandon a purchase if it takes too long. The latter finding in particular generated coverage in industry publications like GamesIndustry.biz and PC Games Insider. It was also noted that 54 percent of European customers will abandon a seller completely if they don’t support the customer’s payment method of choice.
IGN Rocked by Plagiarism Scandal
Last week, former IGN editor Filip Miucin’s review of Dead Cells drew the ire and scrutiny of game enthusiasts everywhere after a YouTube creator pointed out the disturbing similarities between his own review and that of Miucin’s. At first, this was believed to be an isolated incident of theft that led to IGN’s firing of Miucin, but IGN staff and fans uncovered a slew of plagiarized reviews authored by Miucin that often stole opinions word-for-word from lesser known sites and forums. Faced with the knowledge of Miucin’s serial plagiarism, IGN has opted to completely remove the vast majority of Miucin’s work, for fear that there are even more cases of plagiarism yet to be uncovered. The breadth of Miucin’s journalistic offenses drew coverage from mainstream and gaming press like Variety, Forbes, and Comicbook.com. These discoveries also followed an apology video from Miucin, in which he declared the Dead Cells review plagiarism to be unintentional, daring members of IGN staff to look for other cases of plagiarism as he claimed there would be none. The video has since been taken down. While some might expect IGN as a whole to receive the brunt of the criticism on social media, the bizarrely blatant and widespread nature of Miucin’s plagiarism actually garnered the publication some sympathy from fans online, with sites like Forbes praising IGN for its swift investigation and action.
Bethesda Doubles Down on Issues of Crossplay
This past week proved to be high-profile and litigious for Bethesda Softworks. Earlier this Summer, Todd Howard, a director and executive producer at Bethesda, came out strongly in favor of cross-platform multiplayer and pointed to Sony as the primary roadblock in uniting game enthusiasts across all platforms. According to sites like Game Informer, Business Insider, and IGN, the publisher may opt to not release their upcoming console port of The Elder Scrolls: Legends on platforms that don’t allow crossplay. When asked if that meant the PS4 release was in jeopardy, senior VP of global marketing and communications Pete Hines stated that crossplay would be a “non-negotiable” essential, as they don’t want to fracture their player base by compromising the quality of experience on certain platforms. Bethesda’s initial complaints came hot on the heels of Xbox’s head executive Phil Spencer commenting on Sony denying Fortnite crossplay. Many speculate that Sony might soon change their position on the matter thanks to increasing pressure from AAA publishers like Bethesda and Epic Games, along with Nintendo and Xbox’s support of crossplay, and vocal fan outrage.