Can we ask why a certain game became popular or successful? The question seems to be subjective but I believe people with good observation skills and knowledge can answer these types of questions objectively.

It is not clear on here:

Either way I think something about this should be added in the link.

  • 3
    Well done for reading the on-topic help page, we have one for off topic too :)
    – fredley
    Commented Feb 14, 2014 at 16:31

2 Answers 2


The key here is to acknowledge the difference between "expert knowledge" and "incidental knowledge".

"Expert knowledge", here on Arqade, is about playing video games. It's primarily about the actual gameplay but also deals with some things like getting things to run or terminology of the system. Point is, what we deal with is primarily as people who are playing games. That's what the expertise of the site is, and what questions and answers here are all about.

"Incidental knowledge" is anything that people happen to know. For example, I know a lot about how to cook eggs. More related to the subject matter of Arqade, I am buddies with various localization groups and so I know a bunch of release schedules, and I also know a few developers and thus can learn why certain people made certain mechanics. Ergo, I exist as a person in this community who happens to know this stuff. That doesn't make it on-topic - because all of this is incidental knowledge that is outside the scope of what the audience of this site caters to. Likewise you can't ask how to make an omelet here - unless it involves corpses that are safe to eat.

What makes a game popular is going to be incidental knowledge. On a player level, people have their own ideas of what they like. The big picture of why a game gets popular is an amalgam of these ideas - and studying what that amalgam is, that extends outside the realm of the players and into the realm of sociology and people study. It at heart comes from the gameplay but the topic itself isn't. So for the same reason that we don't handle news, or game mechanical reasoning, I would say we do not cater to studies of why things are successful.


No. Those types of questions have no definitive answer whatsoever. The best that we can do is guess as to why it became popular. Since it inherently garners speculation, those types of questions are off-topic.

  • People that are guessing do not know the answer, thats why they are guessing. I am sure there are people who do know the answer. Sociology is considered a scientific field and every question regarding it has an answer.
    – Esqarrouth
    Commented Feb 14, 2014 at 16:56
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    Sociology is not in our expertise, however. We are gamers. We play games. You can't expect us to be able to answer this with anything that's not a guess, because it doesn't play to our skillset.
    – Frank
    Commented Feb 14, 2014 at 17:14
  • There are pro players, there are players who actually work in the game industry etc..
    – Esqarrouth
    Commented Feb 14, 2014 at 17:22
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    Pro players have no better idea about this sort of stuff than casual gamers. Those that are in the game industry also have no better idea about what makes their game successful. Look at Flappy Bird; made by one guy, stupidly hard, and is apparently a runaway success. He has no idea why it's successful, any more than anyone else.
    – Frank
    Commented Feb 14, 2014 at 17:40

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