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Subject: Top five most influential board game reviewers? rss

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Clyde W
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As recently mentioned over in the UV LOAD Fiasco thread (Re: Do you still trust Undead Viking after the LOAD fiasco?), I began to wonder if there was a way to quantify who the most influential board game reviewers are in the industry.

Certainly, if we're going on volume of reviews alone, Dice Tower is clearly the winner. Tom and company have been doing written, video, and audio views of games for over a decade and have a whole network of content producers.

But as someone in the above thread pointed out, Tom's YouTube subscriptions aren't as strong as some others, like Geek and Sundry (100k vs 1m), though it's hard to quantify just what these numbers really mean in terms of impact and influence. If Tom speaks to "alpha gamers" on a weekly basis and influences their buying habits, while Wil speaks to ten times as many causal gamers who only buy a few games a year, which one is more influential?

BTW, while I don't claim to know all board game reviewers, these to me are the most visible on BGG (and their YouTube subscribers as of 10/04/2016):
* Geek & Sundry: 1.4m
* Dice Tower: 120k
* Rahdo Runs Through: 50k
* Shut Up And Sit Down: 20k
* Drive Thru Review: 20k
* Undead Viking: 13k
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Andrew J.
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I'd never heard of undead viking, but the other five would have been my top picks. Although I'd say Space Biff is pretty influential just by virtue of having so many text reviews on BGG itself -- at least influential among BGGers. Maybe jockeying with Drive Thru Review/SUSD? Though I don't know his numbers at all.
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Michael Coniff
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I place Tom and Rahdo above Wil because for the most part (and what I've seen), they do more in depth, "gamer's games" than Wil. Since I am beyond more casual games that Tabletop often plays (with the exception of this new season apparently) and way more particular in my taste in games, Tom and Rahdo cover a wider depth.

By sheer numbers and guessing by the amount of people brought into the Hobby (me included), Wil takes the cake by a long shot.
 
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K S
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If it hadn't been for TableTop, I would have never found BGG, I would have never heard of Dice Tower, Rahdo, SU&SD, Drive-Thru or UV, and I would have never spent as much money as I now have. Wil Wheaton in a landslide.
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Daniel B
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as great and important as Tabletop is, not sure i'd say playthrough videos are really a review?

but Dice Tower is where i go for a review and (if available) Tabletop to watch playthroughs and be entertained. so, Dice Tower it is (and Tom especially)
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Asher Kennedy
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Watch it Played - 84k subscribers

Geek & Sundry is not primarily a BG channel. Their content reaches a much broader audience overall. Still the importance of the Tabletop Effect is significant even if there are no plans to continue the series into another season.
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Clyde W
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Arydis4 wrote:
Watch it Played - 84k subscribers

Geek & Sundry is not primarily a BG channel. Their content reaches a much broader audience overall. Still the importance of the Tabletop Effect is significant even if there are no plans to continue the series into another season.
I don't think of Rodney as a reviewer, but good to point him out since he is clearly influential in terms of subscribers.
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Kirk
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Arydis4 wrote:
Watch it Played - 84k subscribers

Geek & Sundry is not primarily a BG channel. Their content reaches a much broader audience overall. Still the importance of the Tabletop Effect is significant even if there are no plans to continue the series into another season.


I love WiP and Rodney!

But I believe that Rodney goes explicitly out of his way to stay neutral and NOT review games; he teaches them.
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John Prewitt
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Why is there a new board game reviewer thread literally every day?
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Kirk
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79strat wrote:
Why is there a new board game reviewer thread literally every day?


Because this is a board game website with threads about all kinds of differnet topics, everyday, that are associated with people who are in the hobby?

whistle
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Asher Kennedy
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Fair enough. I would say that whether or not he is a reviewer is a moot point. I personally use his videos to gauge my own interest in a game. I can see how the game plays, get an explanation of the rules, and can make an informed decision. Often more informed about the game than by watching a "review" by one of the others.
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Asher Kennedy
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clydeiii wrote:
Arydis4 wrote:
Watch it Played - 84k subscribers

Geek & Sundry is not primarily a BG channel. Their content reaches a much broader audience overall. Still the importance of the Tabletop Effect is significant even if there are no plans to continue the series into another season.
I don't think of Rodney as a reviewer, but good to point him out since he is clearly influential in terms of subscribers.


Should also note that by the same measure, Tabletop doesn't review games.
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Clyde W
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Arydis4 wrote:
Fair enough. I would say that whether or not he is a reviewer is a moot point. I personally use his videos to gauge my own interest in a game. I can see how the game plays, get an explanation of the rules, and can make an informed decision. Often more informed about the game than by watching a "review" by one of the others.
Because reviewers are tastemakers. If Tom says phrases like, "This is going in my collection" then that definitely helps all of us with similarly huge collections know that the game is pretty special.

Also, I could be wrong, but I get the sense that Rodney is getting paid by publishers to make his "how to play" videos, as he should, since it's an amazing service.
 
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Pauly Paul
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If we're talking influence I'd place Rahdo pretty high. Having a video on a Kickstarter is a must for most campaigns to be successful. Having a Rahdo video doubles that I feel.

Edit: I think the word "reviewer" in the title is throwing people off. I guess I read it as more which video channel that covers board games in some fashion, whether as a review or preview or play through. But that is more of a mouthful.

I do think Wil's Tabletop should be number one. While not the first choice for regulars of BGG the fact that publisher who have their game on his show repeatedly report their stock sells out can't be overlooked. Plus the show helped turn maybe BGGer's into BGGer's in the first place.
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Ess Why
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Starlit Citadel had 28k subscribers.

Too bad they stopped doing reviews
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Pete
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I wonder where the numbers on Geek and Sundry come from. I subscribe to several things over at G&S, none of which are board game related.

Pete (bets he counts toward the 1.4 million)
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Rich M
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I think that Dice Tower is perhaps the biggest as they give many reviewers air time and exposure to go on and do their own thing over time.
Undead Viking is dying because of his whole paid review but trying to come off that it is not being paid for fiasco.
 
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Clyde W
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Arydis4 wrote:
clydeiii wrote:
Arydis4 wrote:
Watch it Played - 84k subscribers

Geek & Sundry is not primarily a BG channel. Their content reaches a much broader audience overall. Still the importance of the Tabletop Effect is significant even if there are no plans to continue the series into another season.
I don't think of Rodney as a reviewer, but good to point him out since he is clearly influential in terms of subscribers.


Should also note that by the same measure, Tabletop doesn't review games.
A really fair point. I do think that Wil throws out an opinion or two about the games featured though, making him slightly more reviewerish than Rodney.

I'm really just responding to:
clydeiii wrote:
jsc19702 wrote:
clydeiii wrote:
jsc19702 wrote:
I think you over value his influence A LOT. He's not even close to the top five reviewers out there.
Cite?
I'm not going to do your homework, check the subscriber numbers of YouTube.
Sorry, I didn't realize my homework was reading your mind to know the relevant metric.
I'm trying to figure out which 4 other reviewers (assuming Wil is one) are more influential than Tom, at least in terms of YouTube subscribers.
 
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Andrew Watson
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79strat wrote:
Why is there a new board game reviewer thread literally every day?


And what are the top five board game reviewer threads of the year so far?
 
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Magic Pink
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Dice Tower, UV and SUSD and Rahdo are really the only reviewers on that. UV is a joke, Dice Tower is awful, SUSD just like totally different games than I do and Rahdo is almost always excellent plus has the background to really discuss the inner working of a game rather than give vague feelings about it.
 
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Clyde W
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Oh, BoardGameGeekTV has 37k subscribers. Mostly they do previews, but WEM reviews games occasionally.
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Daniel Drickman
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Boardgamebrawl has over 20k subscribers and Man Vs. Meeple is newer, but rising quickly and over 10k.
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Andy Szymas
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Based on the success of their podcast, and the fact that they only have 1 review posted, I would imagine the Secret Cabal would quickly join the ranks. They're over 3k subscribers after one review.

Edited to fix my idiocy
 
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Clyde W
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AndySzy wrote:
Based on the success of their podcast, and the fact that they only have 1 review posted, I would imagine the Secret Cabal would quickly join the ranks. They're over 3000k subscribers after one review.
How many goats did they sacrifice to get 3 million subscribers?!
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Chris
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SUSD is probably a fair way under-ranked if you base it on the youtube subscriber metric. They've moved around a lot, including being under the Penny Arcade and Escapist umbrellas, and then being on Vimeo for about 2 years. Their 'very own' Youtube channel has only been in existence for less than 5 months. Not that it's not a good data point, but it's apples and oranges to a degree.
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