The Benefits and Nuances of Reaction Videos: A Study of the Effects of User-Generated Content When Marketing Video Games During Pre-Release

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Golter, Trevor
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Video games have become a massive industry that is constantly growing, with its market value being an estimated worth of 245.55 billion USD in 2022. Further, with modern developments in social media and video streaming platforms, user-generated content has become a principal means of marketing video through content creators and influencers. One of the prominent genres of user-generated content on video platforms is the Reaction Video. With these videos being such a relied upon means for spreading and marketing for video games before they release, a better understanding of the benefits and nuances of these videos and their audience would be beneficial for marketers. Data was collected from 623 undergraduate students at Middle Tennessee State University using a Qualtrics survey. The survey consisted of two sections and included a Reaction Video of a trailer for a recently released video game. Students were asked to watch this trailer and respond with their thoughts on the game and the content creator involved. The results from each question were broken down into individual tables to examine differences in means and responses. The research questions were developed by examining the change in viewer’s opinions and purchase intentions for the video game before and after having watched the reaction video. Results indicate little change in opinions from watching the reaction video. However, many respondents answer that the content creator’s reaction and interjection of personality had a positive effect on the trailer, improving audience impressions. While reaction videos do not appear to be decisive in convincing customers to purchase the game, there is potential in their benefit to the video game trailer watching experience.