Significant Live Sample (SLS) Playtesting & Concept Testing

Our innovative Significant Live Sample (SLS) Playtesting & Concept Testing methodology ensures product quality and marketing effectiveness, guarantees the security of confidential assets, and provides normative benchmarking of product quality.

Ideal For

  • Hands-on Product Testing (video games, mobile applications, websites, consumer electronics, any type of product)
  • Media Testing (trailers, promos, pilots, ads, film, any type of media)
  • Concept Testing (positioning statements, concept descriptions, feature lists, key art, video, any type of conceptual assets)


  • SLS is the only approach that delivers both quantitative benchmarking and qualitative feedback with the guarantee that confidential assets cannot leak
  • We bring up to 300 of your target consumers into a secure facility to evaluate a product or concept, complete a survey, and participate in focus group discussion and/or one-on-one interviews
  • Quantitative findings from large samples ensure statistically significant survey results, while qualitative feedback from individual interviews and group discussions support, interpret, and complement the quantitative results


  • Quantify key metrics (e.g., overall fun, play interest, intent to recommend, intent to purchase, intent to download, quality of individual features)
  • Develop actionable steps to improve key metrics.
  • Prioritize improvements in order of those that will produce the greatest marginal returns.
  • Identify key strengths and unique selling points.

Methodology (First-Time User Experience)

  • Part 1 – Testing (60 minutes or longer if necessary)
    • Product Testing: Consumers use the product either at individual stations or together in groups, as specified by the client. We observe organic usage behavior
    • Media Testing: Consumers are seated at individual TV stations with headphones and exposed to the visual stimulus (trailer, promo, pilot, ad, film, any media)
    • Concept Testing: Consumers evaluate concept descriptions, positioning statements, feature lists, key art, and video footage
    • The client will be able to observe behind a one-way mirror
    • We securely record and stream the experience live to accommodate remote clients worldwide
  • Part 2 – Survey (30 minutes)
    • VGM’s standard key metrics for normative benchmarking
    • All customized research objectives at client’s request
    • Open-ended feedback
  • Part 3: Focus Group (60 minutes or longer if necessary)
    • In each testing session, a small portion of the respondents (generally 6-8 people) will participate in a moderated focus group to discuss overall experience, key strengths, and areas of improvement

Methodology (Longitudinal/Long-Term Product Usage)

  • Part 1 – The first part is exactly the same process as the First-Time User Experience product test described above — respondents use the product on-site (60 minutes or longer if necessary), complete a survey on-site (30 minutes), and participate in focus group discussion (60 minutes or longer if necessary)
  • Part 2 – Users then take the product home with them and continue to play for 7-14 days or longer if necessary. Each day users complete a Daily Diary about their experience, which includes a combination of quantitative scores and open-ended feedback.
  • Part 3 – On the final day of testing, users return to the facility to uninstall the software/return the product, complete a final survey, and participate in exit focus group discussions.


  • You will have total control over the recruiting criteria of your respondents
  • VGM delivers superior quality, higher accuracy, and faster turnaround time on recruiting vs. other full-service vendors because we recruit for qualitative studies using our proprietary respondent database and our internal team of seasoned recruiters
  • We are one of the only full-service vendors that handles recruiting internally rather than outsourcing to third-party subcontractors
  • Every respondent that attends your groups will undergo a rigorous five-step screening process:


  • The moderator will have experience conducting 500+ qualitative sessions
  • Watch and direct the qualitative discussion sessions in real time with VGM’s live video stream and integrated chat, included at no charge

Conventional Focus Group Option

  • For our clients that do not require the quantitative input of SLS methodology, we simply strip out the high sample size component and provide conventional focus groups with 6-8 respondents/group to explore any topic qualitatively in major markets worldwide

Execution Timing

  • 30-99 respondents: 1-2 days in facility
  • 100-199 respondents: 2 days in facility
  • 200-300 respondents: 3 days in facility

Analysis and Reporting

  • Part 1 – Topline (delivered in 48 hours upon completion of the research, including weekends)
    • utlines the key takeaways of the research and the most critical areas of improvement
  • Part 2 – Final report (delivered in 5 to 7 days upon completion of the topline, including weekends)
    • Our deliverable provides an overall assessment of quality with competitive benchmarking, outlines the key strengths/unique selling points, and provides actionable steps that the client can take to improve quality

Services Included:

  • Full service test plan creation and execution
  • Project management
  • Recruiting
  • Respondent incentives
  • Moderation
  • Streaming/recording of group discussion (secure online archive)
  • Streaming/recording of product usage (secure online archive)
  • Real-time chat feature with moderator during group discussion
  • Device rental (iPhone, iPad, Android Tablet, PC, TV)
  • On-site logistics
  • Facility
  • Travel
  • Client meals
  • Analysis
  • Topline report
  • Final report
  • Follow-up analysis upon request