The purpose of this paper is to examine the respective effects of advertising, word of mouth (operationalized as “tweets” on Twitter), and serialization on sales of console game series in Japan.
To do this, the author classified console game series into four categories on the basis of their sales, identified a singular case that corresponds to each category, and presented a performance calculation model that approximates variation in sales for the first and second titles of each series.
Coupled with the results generated by the performance models a comparison of each game series showed that although word-of-mouth and backward serialization may influence sales performance for the first title in a console game series, sales of the second title in the series were most heavily influenced by forward serialization and advertising. The author further found that word-of-mouth via social networks was unlikely to affect the sales performance of a series’ second title.
The sales of first title video game console series permit the forecasting and evaluation of the sales’ second title performance through the performance calculation model incorporating the advertising, word-of-mouth, and serialization effect and vice versa.
Taken together, these results demonstrate that the affordances of social networking can be used to improve sales performance for the first title in a series, and the use of backward serialization for subsequent titles could incite the purchase of over a million copies of the game(s).
The author greatly appreciates the cooperation of Media Create Co., Ltd. (www.m-create.com), who provided the console game sales performance data used in this study.
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