In this guide, we’ll go over the values of competitor insight testing, the benefits, and the different methods you can use, depending on your needs.

What is a Competitor Insight Test?

Competitor Insight allows you to dive into a popular and/or successful title closely related to a game you are currently working on (whether it’s a concept or in development), to understand what is and isn’t working in different categories (genre, target audience, …).

You can also compare multiple competitor titles at once to have a broader and better understanding of what is and isn’t working for players.

Competitor Insight Testing will allow you to dive deeper into what the players are doing right now, what they enjoy, dislike, and what they want to change. It allows you to understand their motivations, their blockers and understand what is working for them to continue playing long-term.

If you are reading this, you might be wondering: Do I need Competitor Insight Testing to address my needs or does another method work better?

You might be working on a game, and you know the market already has a similar title (genre, gameplay, target audience, …) that is working really well (positive reviews, number of players, …) and you want to know why!

Competitor Insight for market validation vs. Expert review

An expert review can be a great tool to assess UX standards (stay tuned for a guide about Expert Reviews), but a competitor insight test will give you an access to players’ behaviours you can’t get otherwise.

Players, like anyone, are biassed, finicky, delicate and sometimes they do something you wouldn’t expect. Garnering feedback from players directly is the best way to understand why a title works so well.

You might be looking at a title of a visually exceptional game and think it’s working so well due to the art direction, but you can ask players and they might tell you they like it because the gameplay is unique, they love the IP, feel rewarded by the progression or any other reason.

Getting close to players is like investigating journalism, you need to understand the root causes of their enjoyment.

Testify Competitortesting

The following recommended approaches have been successful for the vast amount of studios/publishers using our platform.

  • Option 1: An unmoderated 'Tailored Survey/questionnaire' focusing on a series of key topics in which people provide Verbal Feedback (like being interviewed without you being there)


  • Option 2: An unmoderated 'First Time User Experience Playtest', in which people provide feedback from downloading to playing the game for a desired time period. (E.g. the first hour or two)

To help decide which route to take, look at the comparison table below

Survey with Verbal Feedback

First Time User Experience

Primarily used when wanting to understand players who have a certain amount of experience with one or more titles & evaluate key strengths/motivations, weaknesses and opportunities that exist.

Used when wanting to understand how people experience the title(s) for the first time to consider & identify key blueprints that need to exist within your title to succeed within the market.

Key questions this method answers

  • Why are people still playing the title or not long-term retention?

  • What are the players’’: rituals, habits & routines with the game(s)?

  • What are the titles' strengths/motivators, weaknesses & opportunities to consider for your own game design blueprints?

  • What features do people like and love overtime?

  • What could be improved from the public's opinion?

Key questions this method answers

  • How does the market's reaction compare to our internal team's evaluation?

  • How do new players find the onboarding journey, and does it prepare them for success?

  • What do people like or dislike during the early phases of the game?

  • What motivates them to, or not to, continue playing the game afterwards?

  • What do people see as the USPs that make it stand out from the crowd.

Key benefits from this approach

  • This approach replaces expensive focus groups & accelerates the turnaround time of getting insight, as people can participate in the test whenever it suits them.

  • Reduces bias that can come from focus group moderation.

  • Reduces internal logistics management of 1 to 1 or group-based interviews.

  • Verbal feedback provides more in-depth insight than a traditional survey which restricts people by the number of characters/words they can add to a box.

Key benefits from this approach

  • You get an unbiased understanding of the game's performance from the market's opinion.

  • It provides you with what the market likes/dislikes within the desired time period.

  • You can gauge the public's reaction outside of your team's expert review to ensure any features added to the backlog will be wanted.

  • Long-term experience or biases towards the game do not skew feedback.

Example Scenario

You’re working on a popular IP, which might be the direct sequel of an already popular game/series:

Competitor Insight using a Tailored Survey with Verbal Feedback on Assassin’s Creed Origins (2017), Assassin’s Creed Odyssey (2018) and Assassin’s Creed Vahlalla (2020) to understand the overall appeal of the IP, the key motivations and blockers of each title.

Example Scenario

You are working on a game inspired by a popular book series turned movie franchise:

Competitor Insight using the First-Time Experience of Hogwarts’ Legacy (2023) to understand the initial appeal and the quality of the onboarding experience.

Note we recommend between 20-50 people for confident decision-making.

In conclusion, you must consider first what you need to learn from the competitor title(s) and choose the method to get these results.

Would like more guidance from our team, reach out to your dedicated customer success manager or email, as our team would love to assist you to deliver actionable market validation.