Hey, it looks like we haven’t properly communicated what these two scores are.
“Likability” is actually “net upvotes”. The score is
((upvotes - downvotes) / total_votes).
“Traction” is just “total votes” (including downvotes)! Meaning you can improve this score by getting downvotes (although it’ll hurt your likability score).
This was created by the game theorists, and I think it’s actually brilliant. If you look at a real example, take Afari and Coins.
Afari got 803 upvotes and 50 downvotes. “Likability” is 88%.
Coins got 31 upvotes and 0 downvotes. “Likability” is 100%.
So, Coins does better on the likability score, but just slightly.
On the traction score, Afari got a much, much better score. I think most people would agree that they should be rewarded for many more votes. Voters have shown more interest.
So, why include downvotes in the traction score? I think this footnote from the game theorist’s paper (which we will publish when finished) explains it best:
Perhaps a concrete example from the online video gaming world may be illustrative here. Bungie’s famous 2014 game DESTINY has generally received subpar reviews from the critics. (The Metacritic score of this game is, for instance, 75/100.) And yet in 2014 it was the third best-selling game in the US. (By the end of 2015, DESTINY was purchased by 20 million users worldwide.) By contrast, FromSoftware’s 2011 game DARK SOULS has received raving reviews and obtained several “Game of the Year” awards. (The Metacritic score of this game is 90/100. Indeed, DARK SOULS is presently ranked by PC Gamer as the fifth in the "Best RPGs of all time” list.) And yet, this game is famously difficult, and as a consequence, with regard to mere popularity, ranked way below DESTINY. (It sold about 2.37 million units worldwide.) Deciding which of these two games is “more successful” obviously depends on the criteria with which one chooses to assess “success.”