E3 talk has felt all-consuming on social media over the past week. Tweets and Facebook statuses singing praises such as “OMG new Horizon looks sick” or “Kojima is back baby! 0.o” abound. But what were the most posts actually about? Two companies that track social media footprint, Pulsar and Brandwatch, reported their findings on the E3 online discussion.
On the Facebook side of things, Pulsar reported to Venture Beat, from Saturday, June 11th and through Tuesday, June 14th, the volume of conversation and statuses on Facebook regarding Sony vastly outweighed any of the other publishers, with many of the others grouped closely together. Sony was no doubt helped by surprises at their press conference such as the announcement of a new God of War and Kojima’s appearance and his new game, Death Stranding.
Brandwatch analyzed the general social media conversation across platforms and ranked both games and publishers by mention volume between June 12th and June 15th. Interestingly, they found Microsoft had the highest volume of mentions across social media, with a massive spike during their press conference. In their analysis of specific games, however, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild blew everything else out of the water, with Battlefield 1 and God of War trailing in the distance. Click on the graph below for a larger version.
We compared these numbers to what videos were getting the most views on YouTube, and they line up decently well, if not perfectly. The Battlefield 1 gameplay trailer had the most views of the videos we examined, sitting at 7.35 million views at time of writing. Following that is the Xbox One S reveal video, with 7.21 million views, backing up Brandwatch’s report saying Microsoft had the most mentions on social media. Below is a chart of some of the most viewed videos relating to E3 on YouTube.
What is discussed by industry insiders, personal preferences, and overall trends rarely line up. God of War doesn’t interest me personally, but it has blown up on social media and YouTube. Similarly, annualized sports games such as FIFA 17 often don’t make many waves among the games press, but it clearly has a huge following. One of the big takeaways, though, is that across all lines and after thirty years, The Legend of Zelda is still massively popular. Breath of the Wild almost singlehandedly kept Nintendo in the conversation this year, with some help from Pokemon Sun and Moon of course. It will be interesting to see how all of these games progress through their releases.