Another week, another victory for Red Dead Redemption 2. This marks the fourth week in a row for the game, a feat no other 2018 release has achieved this year. We discussed earlier in the week what it is the press still have left to be talking about specifically and you can read more on that here. While it may seem Rockstar’s adventurer is unstoppable at this point, the game has continued to drop in terms of coverage each week since launch starting with nearly 5,000 articles during its launch week before dropping to 3,700 the next and then 2,650 last week. If this trend continues we may well see a new game in the leader’s spot shortly. Week 46 in particular is a big one for releases with Hitman 2, Spyro Reignited Trilogy, Pokemon: Let’s Go, Pickahu and Eevee! and Fallout 76 all set to make the debuts. Could one of these dethrone the western?
Speaking of Fallout 76, Bethesda’s post-apocalyptic action role-player maintained its strong coverage landing in fifth – a likely result of the final few beta sessions on all platforms – despite a drop in 25%. Of the four previously mentioned releases due in week 46, Fallout 76 is the only one to generate enough content to make it into the top ten list. Could this be down to the sheer power of the Fallout IP? When one of the other games happens to be a part of one of the biggest and most popular franchises of all time – Pokemon – I’d have to argue not. Could it be the beta then? There’s a strong chance of this for sure, a lot of articles focused on journalists’ experiences with the beta or at the very least influenced by them. I’m curious to see how the press handle their coverage for week 46 and if it will lean more toward one of these four games over the others.
Good news for Fortnite as it managed to climb back into second place following an increase of around 14% in press coverage on the previous week. It was it’s battle royale competitor though that saw a much bigger surge in coverage. PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds rose by 63 places thanks to a massive increase in press activities of around 800% on the previous week. It may not have been enough to overtake the always hot topic that is Fortnite but this resurgence in interest comes at a key time as we quickly approach the holiday period and arguably the busiest and healthiest for sales. So what caused this increase? Early in the week information of a PS4 version seemingly leaked leading to the game accumulating half of its weekly total by Wednesday alone. Microsoft’s XO18 event on Saturday meanwhile gave the game another boost in coverage due to the announcement of the game being added to the Game Pass. Both topics essentially come down to the game reaching a bigger audience and again as we edge closer toward Christmas, offering more opportunities for gamers to access your game is crucial.
Crackdown 3 makes a surprise appearance in last week’s chart generating around 750 articles, a massive 75% of which were published from Friday onwards. Of course this all had to do with its presence during Microsoft’s XO18 event on Saturday, both a new mode and final release date being revealed to the public for the first time. It’s interesting to see the Xbox and PC focused event lead have a similar effect to that of a Nintendo Direct with the games featured gaining a big boost in coverage. It raises the question though, are these sorts of events more successful at increasing a product’s awareness than simply dropping a new trailer or press release online? Do they work or are they merely a glorified more expensive method? On the surface the evidence points toward the former but it’s certainly something worth exploring.