Game Theory: Flappy Bird, PewDiePie, and Pasta Sauce


The secret to what gamers want rests inside this jar of extra chunky pasta sauce yum yum I love me a some of a the pasta and the answer is!.. Flappy Bird, Goat Simulator, and You again. [intro music plays] Hello internet, Welcome to Theory of Games The show that’s practically “Game of Thrones”: Similar both alphabetically, and in the sheer number of gratuitous boobs we show per episode. Actually I did the math, they average about 5 per episode? We’re more like 1.7… so..uhh….yay us? Anyway, we’ve spent the last two episodes- Well, there was that episode about the aforementioned…
‘bewbs’ talking about what gamers don’t want they don’t want monocromatic 3D action they don’t want a tablet controller and contrary to what we all say, they don’t want innovation but there’s a slight hole in that theory, well lots of holes in that theory holes that go by the name of, Minecraft, World of Warcraft, the Wii and many more innovative games and systems that broke with the established mould and went on to sell tens of billions completely changing the gaming industry So innovation works, sometimes and when it does, holy cow does it really work which begs the question succeed and another one fail how does the Virtual Boy flounder while the oculus rift is everyone excited in 20 years what is the secret sauce that separates what works from what doesn’t well the path to our answer begins with another type of sauce tomato meet Howard Moskowitz he’s not a game designer he’s not a game developer or even a tester know the name of his game is food food optimization food optimization revengeance return of the green tomatoes anyway what’s food optimizer mean well how he uses data from taste tests to determine the perfect combination of flavors to make a food appeal to the most people but he hit a snag when he was hired to find the perfect level of sweetness for diet pepsi the numbers made no sense they should have fallen into a bell curve with some people liking it sweeter some people liking it less sweet but most people falling toward the middle accept the numbers didn’t go that way the data was a mess it wasn’t until years later than cancer finally dawned on him been asking the wrong question they were trying to find the one perfect Pepsi to appeal to everyone instead they needed to look for the perfect Pepsi’s there was no one formula to appeal to everyone but instead multiple formulas to appeal to clusters of people Vlasic hired him to perfect their pickle he told them not to touch the regular version but instead make a zesty option sales took off the solving Vlasic pickle pickle but how his biggest claim to fame was in pasta sauce where he found that people broke down into three categories the ones who like straight marinara the ones who like it with some spice and the ones who like it extra chunky but at the time every sauce was thin no one was selling a chunky sauce why because when researchers asked focus groups no one ever said that they wanted a chunky sauce think about it this way do you drink coffee I’m more of a team and myself but whatever if I asked you what type of coffee you liked what would you say studies show that most of you would say something like a rich dark roast great but if I then gave you a taste test Howie’s data shows that only twenty-five percent of you would actually choose the rich dark roast quite the contrary most of you would like it milky thin and weak practically me at coffee form but when asked no one ever says that in general Howard Moskowitz a–‘s research proves that people don’t know what they want until they have it so cool story bro but what’s any of this got to do with games well it’s true for both pickles and pixels think about it here’s a conversation that would never happen in any focus group ever you know what I want my next-gen gaming scene an open world rendered in retro graphics where I dig ah dig an what now sir that’s it I just punch trees and I dig dig for minerals and are you looking for buried treasure or there’s a princess in an underground cast nope just digging right Oh make of that minecraft motion controls these things are the chunky pasta sauces of the gaming world things that people were craving but didn’t realize they were craving and with that knowledge in mind going back to episode 1 of this series the reason why it’s so important for Nintendo to keep pushing the envelope by producing virtual Boyz 3d esas wheeze and we use is that they’re finding those chunky sauces the things people want and gaming without knowing it that’s also why the indie scene is so crucial so the answer to what gamers want is that we don’t know nope there’s definitely an answer that explains everything we’ve talked about so far why the Virtual Boy flopped why the Wii U is under selling why cod games and non innovative sequels oversell and why it’s so difficult to predict the next trend flappy bird flappy bird flappy bird flappy bird flappy bird flappy bird explains it all there have been tons of articles written in the wake of flappy bird success everyone wants to crack the code of how this game took flight yeah that was a lame bird pun so sue me don’t really sue me though that was just a figure of speech and well the articles have theorized everything from fake reviews to bots downloads the real answer that no one’s talking about is PewDiePie here’s the google trends chart for the relative searchability of flappy bird as the line goes up that’s when more and more people are searching or talking about that thing looking at the chart you can clearly see things start to ramp up around here January 27 let me circle that in my meaningless onscreen calendar now let’s take a stroll over to the bastion of brofist his video flappy bird don’t play this game was uploaded it’s the same day seriously though while this man is out there fisting the world he’s also setting trends so give him some credit industry writers through your research it’s not that hard at 25 bajillion video views give or take a few it’s no understatement to say that the pude influential and his role in flappy bird blowing up exemplifies the essence of what gamers want we want to belong we want to do things that are friends and people we look up to are also doing PewDiePie fills that role for tens of millions of gamers don’t believe me there’s actually a theory not related to games I don’t know how such a thing exists but whatever called diffusion of innovations theory which explains how ideas and technology spread through culture basically it says that there are five types of people innovators early adopters early majority late majority and laggards about 2.5 percent of people are innovators they’re the first people to adopt a new thing they tend to be very social they’re willing and able to take risks because they can handle any potential losses to illustrate let’s use YouTube and pewdiepie as an example he’s the biggest channel on YouTube by far his videos get millions upon millions of views if he takes a risk on a video and it doesn’t work it’ll still do pretty well and he has enough other videos and views that he can sustain the loss so PewDiePie does a video on flappy bird people start to check it out seeing that beauty pie did something other people start to follow along people who value his opinion people who want to ride the trend this next 13.5 percent are the early adopters they’re still super influential helping to set the trends but tend to be a bit more picky in what they choose to endorse than the innovators markiplier and smosh games are two great examples from youtube they’ll accept some of the innovators ideas flappy bird impossible quiz goat simulator but not all of them these top two categories are the ones that set the trends and their combined social power is what starts spreading the word this in turn motivates the early majority to join in if there’s enough momentum you crest that hill and it’s all downhill from there at that point to the late majority and the laggards it seems like everyone is talking about this great flappy bird thing so they download it now you have people who’ve never even heard of PewDiePie markiplier or Smosh raging at their phones trying to get past six pipes just because they heard about it from a friend who heard about it from a friend who heard about it from a friend who saw it on PewDiePie’s channel and that’s the key PewDiePie and flappy bird are just easy amples they’re the catalysts that get the ball rolling but ultimately it’s all a popularity contest don’t you want to get the games that your friends are playing or the ones that you know everyone is talking about right now we’re trained to trust the majority because we don’t want to be the one left out of the conversation if everyone else is doing it I guess I should too it’s actually an evolutionary instinct and it provides us the answers to all the questions we’ve been asking throughout the last three episodes why two sequels seem to grow and grow in the numbers it’s because they’ve already established a significant following putting it well into the early majority meaning each game needs less and less energy to crest that early adoption Hill why can’t you predict what’s gonna trend next it’s because nobody knows what the pubes will focus on and then what the rest of the early adopters will choose to pick up and run with why did the Virtual Boy fail there weren’t enough early adopters saying that it was cool setting the trend trust me if neck pains an eye strain were considered to be the fad by influencers like the pubes the sales story around the virtual boy would be much different and finally bringing us all the way back around why has the wii u been slow to grow the same reason there’s not enough start of momentum to push it over that early majority hill and create the buzz needed for it to become the next smash hits and why doesn’t that buzz exist here’s the big reveal for all of you sticking around this long it’s all related to Nintendo being anti YouTube and its copyright policies believe it they’re killing their own momentum by stifling the voices of some of the most influential people in the gaming space right now youtube gamers video game website traffic right now is trending downward because everyone’s moving to youtube for their news and entertainment but Nintendo’s policies have made YouTube gamers afraid to talk about their games for fear of getting copyright strikes and that cuts off the first critical fifteen percent of people who set the trends for the rest of the gaming community you don’t want us to talk about the new smash brothers fine we’ll go play goat simulator instead and is that perhaps the big reason why the ps4 with its built-in online sharing ability is crushing the sales of both xbox one and we you may be but hey that’s just a theory a game theory thanks for watching hey you should subscribe to this channel we’re pretty awesome around here now with that business out of the way welcome back to the super amazing end card tournament where last time smite gods and goddesses clashed for your clicks in the end it came down to two neath and Aphrodite but with 10,000 more votes it was Aphrodite who took the cheesecake this time something a bit different in honor of Howard Moskowitz I asked you which pasta sauce do you prefer regular spicy or chunky click on one to choose but as we learn today you probably don’t know which you like well at this point you probably do because they make all these varieties but who knows maybe your favorite is something like marinara marshmallow fluffer tomato basil and gummy bears anyway all this food talk has made me hungry so if you’ll excuse me I’m gonna go make some cheese fondue more like cheese fun do cuz it’s fun to do wow lame puns today OOP so bad

100 thoughts on “Game Theory: Flappy Bird, PewDiePie, and Pasta Sauce

  1. So Nintendo being more lenient on YouTube as of recently is part of the reason as to why the Switch has blown up?

  2. Don't I want to do what all my friends are doing? NO I DON'T. Screw this entire Theory. I play games because they're GOOD, not because they're popular.

  3. Well given the adpocalypse is killing most of these early adopters…
    and the fact that Pewdiepie doesn't play games anymore…
    …what now?

  4. The other consoles like Xbow and wii u work but the PS4 had many features such as Livestream and share as Matt Patt stated even if PS4 is keeping to themselves there product not being like Xbox and Nintendo teaming up together to too better

  5. haha I'm a laggard I've don't care about being involved seriously I'm watching this in 2018 and I still don't know what a meme is

  6. All capitals oh my God Freddy Fazbear's pizza pizzeria Pizza kids FNAF is pizzagate exclamation exclamation exclamation pretend I'm yelling

  7. I prefer roasted garlic spaghetti sauce. And I'm usually the thing that comes after the laggers, the um *snapsnapsnap*………….

  8. This video just taught me to be an innovator and to not follow trends to find quality. Already knew that but thanks for the advice.

  9. I didn’t even know who pewdiepie or markiplier were when I played flappy bird, I just liked the game and honestly I hate how humans all do the same thing just because someone else is doing it. #FinishFortnite

  10. Today I learned that in Poland there are or were pickles with green unlicensed Sonic on them. Honestly, I've never seen them before despite living in this country for 24 years. Dude, that's so funny it even beats many weirdest Chinese logo mutilations.

  11. Each and every year a this video gets more moldy and stale. It will go like this for generations until the very point where nobody will understand matpat’s explanation and the video decays. You could see this video as a metaphor. I see it as a rotting cow corpse. After matpat has murdered the cow by making the theory only work for the current time period the cow gets progressively foul and moldy. Once nobody can understand the video then nobody can make out what the corpse is meant to be. But hey.. that’s just a theory A GAME THEORY! Send help now!

  12. I saw ZackScottGames play Super Mario Odyssey & I really want to play the game! (But I don't have the Nintendo Switch! ?)

  13. MatPat2014: Do your research, it's not that hard.

    me looking at MatPat2019 Yeah, this one looks pretty burnt.

  14. Can someone force Mat to watch this over again and acknowledge that he said pewds is fisting the world?

  15. No… And also no I don't like fortnite, I think it's the hello Kitty adventure island of the unisex games

  16. PewDiePie at 25M… and nowadays in Minecraft you really can dig for buried treasure. Nostalgia over the weirdest things!

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