Blog How the Coronavirus Outbreak Affected the Ratings & Reviews of Plague

How the Coronavirus Outbreak Affected the Ratings & Reviews of Plague

reviews plague mobileaction

Review Analysis is an indispensable part of increasing conversions. Having a good rating and reviews does not only give the green light for the new users to give it a try but indicates a superior customer service. There are a number of ways to do review mining, and as you already know, MobileAction has one of the best tools to do it.

To make your review analysis efforts even more hassle-free, we updated the user interface and launched some new features on our Reviews page! In this post, we’ll be showing you all the cool features and the interface of this tool on the case study of Plague Inc., a game occupying the number one position of paid apps in Top Charts for the App Store.

Before we get into the details of this update, if you’re curious to know why you should care about the reviews of your app, you should definitely check out our post about how reviews and ratings affect your ASO strategy.

Ranking of Plague

For those who don’t know about the Plague Inc., as the name suggests, it’s a simulation game designed to spread a disease and infect the whole world. Does the plot ring a bell for you as well? 🙂 As you might have already guessed, the game looks like a simulation for pathogen spread such as the coronavirus outbreak. Not surprisingly, the downloads of Plague Inc. has more than doubled in the first two months of 2020 compared to the total downloads of November and December 2019.

The ranking chart of Plague confirms the estimations since we clearly see an increase in the ranking as the news about the virus becomes widespread. On the iOS side, the game has a paid revenue model, and the rankings show that even before coronavirus emerged, it was a fairly popular game.

plague ranking app store
Ranking of Plague in the App Store

Plague has always been in the top 10 for Overall Paid even before the coronavirus outbreak at the end of December. Yet, we clearly see a sharp increase from Jan. 20 to Jan. 23 when the cases started to be heard all around the world.

plague ranking google play store
Ranking of Plague in the Play Store

On the Android side, the story is a little bit different. The game is free to play, yet offers some in-app purchases. Hence, we can observe the Overall rankings of two different groups: Free and Grossing. 

We see that both rankings started to climb up in late January. But they never reached the top. The highest rank in the last 4 months happened on Feb. 9th when it hit the number 13th for free apps in the Google Play Store. 

Now that we know the background story, let’s dive deep into the reviews to understand how the outbreak affected the users’ attitude towards the game.

Review Analysis of Plague

We first wanted to check the reviews and ratings from Nov. 1, 2019 to Jan. 1 2020 to see the average rating of the game. On the Reviews page under App Intelligence, we set the time window and switched to the “Most Mentioned Keywords” tab to get an overview of the most repeated keywords.

reviews plague before coronavirus
Most Mentioned Keywords Before the Coronavirus Outbreak

For the US market, the review count in the selected time frame is 102 while the average rating is 3.97. For comparison purposes, let’s take a look at the numbers after Jan. 1 as well.

reviews plague after coronavirus
Most Mentioned Keywords After the Coronavirus Outbreak

In the last 2 months, the rating has improved from 3.97 to 4.21 while the number of reviews has more than tripled. There is even a more interesting thing we caught in the most mentioned keywords. The keywords “corona” and “coronavirus” have become one of the most mentioned keywords in the highest-rated reviews. 

On the table below the charts, we can sort out the most mentioned keywords based on occurrence (how many times they’re repeated), the average rating, and the total number of the reviews which contain a specific keyword. So, let’s sort them according to the average rating to see which keyword people giving high ratings mention in their reviews.

Most Mentioned Keyword Analysis in the Reviews of Plague

reviews plague coronavirus
Most Mentioned Keywords in the Reviews of Plague

As you can see above, out of the nine most mentioned keywords, the top 3 are related to coronavirus. The number 3, “coronavirus” got the highest numbers of occurrences and reviews with 79 and 64 respectively. 

The sentiment analysis shows us how positive or negative the ratings are for the reviews containing that keyword. See that green color dominates the bar? This is a clear indication that people mentioning coronavirus thinks positively about the game. 

“Growth” shows us the difference in occurrences between the first and the last day of the analysis. If you hover on the line graph in the trend column, you’ll see that the occurrence of “coronavirus” was 3 on Jan. 23 when it was first mentioned. And it was 4 on Feb. 28, the last mention before the last date of our selected time window. So the difference between them is “1”, which gives us the growth.

We can go ahead and track any of the keywords here. When we click on the “Track” button on the last column of any keyword, it will be automatically added to our Keyword Tracking list on ASO Intelligence.

Let’s click on the reviews button for the keyword “coronavirus” to see the historical distribution of the reviews that have that keyword.

Historical Distribution of Reviews of Plague

historical reviews plague
Historical Distribution of Reviews containing “coronavirus” keyword

The page directs us to the “Review Analysis” tab when we click on “coronavirus”. In the Daily Review Breakdown chart, you can see how the review numbers and the ratings change on a daily basis. The Ratings Breakdown section shows the total number of reviews along with the breakdown of them for each rating level.

The first peak happened on Jan. 26 when there were 8 five-star reviews with the “coronavirus” keyword. And the next peak happened on Jan. 29 with 7 reviews in a day. 

According to Review Breakdown, 60 out of 64 reviews got five stars. This shows that people who mention “coronavirus” in their reviews actually have a positive attitude towards the game. When you think that the game is about spreading a disease, you may think that it’s quite insensitive when there is such a tragedy going on in the world. But first, let’s see some of the reviews to understand why people like this game amid the coronavirus outbreak.

plague coronavirus reviews
Reviews containing “coronavirus” keyword

Looking at the reviews above, you’ll realize some other keywords that these users mention in their reviews. For example, many say that the game is very “realistic”, they downloaded the game to “understand” and “learn” about the situation going on, and the game “simulates” the current chaos.

So, for many users, the game has an educational value, and for others, it helps them relieve their boredom. This explains why the rankings and the download numbers of this game have increased since the beginning of the outbreak.

Want to take a look at the review analysis for the Android app of Plague? Or just curious about the reviews of other apps? Sign-up to dig in the reviews and learn about your users’ voice now!

Wish to learn more about all the features that App Intelligence has to offer? Schedule a demo to let us show you the best insights about app stores.

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