OntarioGenerally speaking, things have gone about as far as they can possibly go, when things have gotten about as bad as they can reasonably get.
What reviewers do people check out? Who has a good following? We've all seen a lot of the popular reviewers' work, but how do they compare?
We start with a list of the top 7500 games by BGG rank, and for this purpose filter it down to the games that are listed as released in 2010 or 2011, just so we are looking at more recent stuff.
For each game, get a list of videos for it identified with the category of "review".
For each video review, get a list of all the users who thumbed or tipped the video post itself. The author-user pairing gets a point for each thumb, and tips get turned into points at an exchange rate of 1 GG = 10 points.
Also for each game, get a list of all the text reviews, by checking the game-specific review forum.
For each text review, get a list of all the users who thumbed or tipped it. The author-user pairing gets points as above. Text reviews can be thumbed/tipped both in the "header" and the "body" of the post, so we look at and combine both of those.
Now we have a list of authors (combined from the text and video reviews), and for each a list of all the people who thumbed/tipped them along with a score based on the number/amount of thumbs/tips totaled from all their reviews. We filter out those with a score of less than 5 (either 5 thumbs, 0.50 GG in tips, or some combination thereof) -- so what we have left is a good approximation of the text and video reviewers along with their "followers", where a follower has shown via thumbs/tips that they might pay at least some attention to what the author posts when they see their name. The threshold of 5 is pretty low, but should filter out the random/occasional thumb or tip associations.
Here's a list of the top 25 reviewers for games released 2010-2011, with the number of "followers" (based on the above criterion):
Neil Thomson (24)
Uncle G (21)
Remember that these only go by thumbs/tips -- there's lots of unregistered vistors, users who aren't logged in, and people who read/watch but don't thumb, but I think this is list certainly forms a good ranking on which all those other viewers would be based on.
We can try to apply the data for use, by say, a publisher looking to figure out who they should get a new game to. If you are interested in "coverage" -- what subset of reviewers reach the most people -- we can calculate that. Using a greedy algorithm, we can loop through the reviewers, adding ones to our list that will add the most already-not-included followers (a greedy algorithm is not without weaknesses, but it's a decently good/fast way to calculate coverage in this case).
So here's the top 12 reviewers based on the same data, sorted by the number of new followers each would add (based on all reviewers' followers listed above them being included already):
There is a lot of overlap, so the numbers do drop down quickly. It's not a definitive list, since only the BGG folks know the real post views (which would include unregistered users or those not logged-in), and direct video views on YouTube and such, but it does show popularity combined with diversity of audience. It should be a rather good approximation of which people you would want to get your games in the hands of, as a game designer/publisher.
Hope you found that interesting and/or helpful! If you are a publisher or designer and the information was useful, I like games too