It seems nothing can stop Red Dead Redemption 2, its reign as press coverage leader continuing for a third week despite a 24% drop on week 43. This also marks the third time a 2018 release has managed to secure the top spot not only during but one week after its launch too – a feat achieved by Monster Hunter World back in January and Kingdom Come: Deliverance in February. The range of conversation has been as varied as it is loud ranging from bugs and sales to tips and walkthroughs. It’s not that there is one big topic of discussion that has led to the game soaring high above the rest, it’s just the sheer quantity of them.
Nintendo meanwhile streamed another one of its Nintendo Directs on November 1st, this time focused on the upcoming fighter Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. The effect this has had on press coverage has been positive to say the least the game increasing over 300% on the week before. What’s also interesting is how similar the game’s PR figures are during the week of this Direct and the other Super Smash Bros Ultimate Direct released back on August 8th. There’s just a 5% differential between the pair with the latest coming out on top. It just goes to show the impact these events have in terms of press coverage for Nintendo and it’s no wonder the publisher continues to drop them throughout the year.
Fallout 76 holds its third place position, its coverage count nearly identical to the previous week. Interestingly much like last week a large percentage of articles are tied to the game’s beta events. With Bethesda staggering the release of its beta events between Xbox One in week 43 and then PlayStation 4 and PC gamers in week 44, it’s resulted in strong coverage across the 14 days. Had all consoles received access to the beta at the same time would the outcome have been the same or would we have seen a higher concentration during that first week and a major drop off after? Perhaps.
Fortnite’s PR coverage saw a 20% drop on week 43 but even these 1,400 activities are enough to keep it in third (shared with Fallout 76). Is this the beginning of the end for the game? Of course not. Throughout the year Fortnite has continued to see declines and leaps in coverage but always manages to find itself among the top of the pile. As we approach the holidays there’s no doubt we’ll see Christmas tied events that will help boost the game back toward the top spot.
Diablo III makes an appearance at number nine, the newly released Switch version clearly having a large role to play here. It’s interesting not just because it’s an older game getting an injection of coverage but also because it demonstrates how a big third party release on Switch can have an impact on coverage. Even one over six years old.