“Red Dead Redemption 2 feels very much like a ‘calm before the storm’ situation…”
I felt very confident in the words I wrote in last week’s breakdown of press coverage, Rockstar’s juggernaut sitting comfortably with over a thousand articles and its release date only a couple of weeks away. The gaming industry may often be an unpredictable beast but when it comes to the launch of a new Rockstar product there’s really only one thing to predict. Just how big of a success will it be?
Which brings us onto the penultimate week before Rockstar’s latest is unleashed to the public. The open world western adventure more than doubled its activity count on the previous week jumping to the top spot and shooting down previous frontrunner Call of Duty: Black Ops IIII. With the game’s embargo due to drop on Thursday of this week, there’s zero chance of seeing this momentum slow. In fact Assassin’s Creed Odyssey may currently hold the honour of 2018 release with the strongest press coverage during its launch week – earning itself around 2,800 articles total – but there’s no doubt in my mind Red Dead Redemption 2 will breeze past this with ease.
Call of Duty: Black Ops IIII may have slipped one place but the military shooter is still performing brilliantly in its second week post launch seeing a drop of only 9% in press coverage. With this year’s game shifting focus fully over to the online multiplayer side of things it will be interesting to see if it will have the same legs as another online focused competitor like Fortnite which continues to drum up constantly high levels of press coverage week on week (even with a drop of 24% in coverage the game held strong in third place).
It seems Bandai Namco hope to replicate the level of success they found in Tekken 7 last year with another one of their fighting series, SoulCalibur. Seen as a soft reboot of sorts SoulCalibur VI went on to rise an impressive 27 places from the previous week just missing out on hitting the top three. Of its thousand plus articles roughly a quarter of them were focused on trailers and footage of the game in action.
Interestingly both the ninth and tenth positions were occupied by older games that have since had a newer entry released or close to. Grand Theft Auto V might be a five year old game by now but it’s from the same developer as the highly anticipated Red Dead Redemption 2. As a result 64% of all coverage for GTA V simply mentioned it, the articles focused on the newer release. Likewise a massive 97% of all Call of Duty: WWII coverage was mentions again likely coming from articles focused on the newer Black Ops IIII. It just goes to show the influence new entries in a series or from the same developer can have on its back catalogue.