WordPress is its Own Game: Watching Traffic Patterns

Its rare when I get a new release, let alone when am granted a review copy of a game. Some developers, publishers, distributors and marketeers have hoops to jump through. Others are just happy to give you a game. Reviews of new games get far more traffic than reviews of old games. Everyone knows about them for the most part. Even then, the longer a game is out, the more reviews are out there.

A few occasions I have reviewed a game within its first few days of being out and that’s when I get to see the magic happen. There’s a trickle of traffic that starts with the developers finding the review. Several developers, publishers, distributors and marketeers want to see the review as soon as its up, but others find it before I have the chance since I have WordPress set to publish a review at peak hours of morning traffic. This peak is when the Americans are getting to work and the Europeans are at home or about to leave work.

WordPress lets me monitor or stalk the traffic. First from email programs. One developer sends it to another. Someone gets email, clicks a link and visits the site. Then come the Twitter notifications as a new review gets tweeted about and traffic somewhat flows from there. I still maintain Facebook brings in far more traffic than Twitter ever does. There are so many bots that retweet things with specific hashtags, but no one actually looks at the review from Twitter unless its a new release. I may gain and lose five twitter followers in a day, but according to Twitter these retweeting bots get my automatic review announcements seen by a few thousand people.

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Its interesting one developer tweeted about a glowing review, then pulled the tweet down. Its a shame considering how good the review was for the game. It garnered a lot of views for me and well that’s the bonus of giving a good review. See if you give good reviews people that have a stake in the game share it. By no means is that a factor when I review something. Then there are negative reviews that become a parody and more of a comedic speech where the only material is the game itself.  People with no stake in a game love to share those types of reviews.

Meanwhile, on Steam, that’s where the same review seems to get the most down votes in the first few days. At first I felt its people that just dislike the review, I’ve started to look at all the other Steam reviews. Youtube videos or quick paragraphs that link you to a different website. It makes me feel like being number one gives you a target and if they want to be at that top spot to get whatever traffic Steam can ever garner, you better tear down whomever is first place. Its only a thought of course with only circumstantial evidence to back it up. Over time the up votes just grow. I have my own fans on Steam that for whatever reason befriend me just to read all of my long reviews..

The boost it traffic never maintains itself since I am providing a series of reviews on an intentionally generic website. Its a definite bump from what it is under normal circumstances of shoveling out reviews with little flavor.

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5 thoughts on “WordPress is its Own Game: Watching Traffic Patterns

  1. Would you say you get more views for reviews that were given as review copies? Do you get review copies often? It’s be interesting if the developer retweeting/sharing was a big enough boost to make it more popular. I know you have mentioned before that the newer games get the most views, do the developer copies beat those?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes I would say games I’ve been given review copies get more hits, but the catch is. The developers, their friends, family, marketers and publishers have a look. Although there was one game I wasn’t given a copy and that had an entire college looking at the review. I think that had 100 unique viewers in a day.

      I’ve gotten review copies of maybe 95% of games I’ve tried for. I always make the effort and really its too much effort. Some publishers and developers have a little “contract” that if I read the contract it says things like I must post trailers, and 2 articles about the game BEFORE I get a copy of the game. Again, its all just more work for free.

      I think my best proof of newer copies get more views are free games on Steam that I review within a week of their launch. Of course the catch could be that they’re free so there’s more curiosity from normal people, but when a developer gives me a copy, the views trump the new free game. There’s only one exception and that’s Depression Quest that gave me 6,000 up votes on Steam within a month maybe.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Geez 6,0000 votes in a month? I know that game has all its associated drama but that is impressive.
        It’s interesting to hear that publishers want a pre-review “contract” before giving out a copy. I guess there job is to build some hype and make sure to get publicity but still seems a little much. I hadn’t previously thought about trying around for review copies, but maybe I’ll give it a go since the process itself seems interesting. Do you just reach out or have they come to you?

        Liked by 1 person

        • What’s even more interesting is the top reviews that dominated Depression Quest have gone down by 1% in up votes every month. The longer the reviews stay up, the further they go down. Heck here on WordPress people are still learning about the game for the first time and throwing their two cents in.

          One publisher that found me through Steam wanted to pay me $20 per hour for 6 hours that took 4 hours for me to get through. I assume pay me to play a game was their way of saying pay me for a review, but really there are just so many reviews out there that its all free. Others have reached out to me mostly through Steam and some on WordPress.

          Otherwise, I’d say I reach out to them when I have the desire. I think the most expensive game I scored was a $20 game from a big publisher. The largest game I tried for was Dungeon something 3? A $40 game that I gave bad reviews to the previous games and other games from their publisher. Never heard back 🙂

          Two publishers / distributors just send me games now without having to ask. Steredenn was one of those games they just sent me, but the catch is I need to put in a code to say I’m interested. Then the developer or whomever okays me. Its a whole system to give review copies. One other game I tried for a review copy from the same distributor and same distributor never sent me a code.

          Liked by 1 person

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