Week 20 was a slower press week in the gaming world compared to recent weeks. Grand Theft Auto V, first released in 2013, managed to make into the number one spot once again, as the gaming juggernaut became available for free from the Epic Store. The retailer topic made up 36.7% of the game’s coverage followed by free to play/trial at 18.9% and then leak/spoiler/rumour/speculation with 6.9% all based on the same story.
Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla dropped from first into second this week as excitement starts to drop off as time passes. The announcement topic remains the biggest chunk of the games press at 13%, technical specs was worth 12% with discussions about frame rates frequently appearing. Launch details was up next at 11.9% with outlets hoping to get an idea of the games release date in the upcoming Ubisoft digital event.
Making its way back into the top ten this time in at third was Ghost of Tsushima. A State of Play event centring around the up coming samurai epic was announced and then took place in week 20 which dominated the games coverage. The State of Play topic was 31.5% of Tsushima’s PR which was then followed by gameplay with 23.8%, then came launch details at 10.9% and after that announcement with 8.7%. All of these topics were of course covered by articles which talked about the State of Play event.
Fortnite jumped one spot up week on week from fifth up to fourth. News that Fortnite would be a launch title on the upcoming next gen consoles was a dominant topic in games coverage and the launch details topic therefore held down a 27.9% chunk. Retailer was the next most covered topic for Fortnite at 8.3% for a rather unusual reason, the amount of traffic generated by Epic’s GTAV giveaway caused disruption for players attempting to play Fortnite through the Epic Games Launcher. Announcement was a 7.4% chunk of the Fortnite press as articles about the next gen news mentioned the game and also as Fortnite was mentioned within articles about the reveal of Unreal Engine 5.
The long-rumoured Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2 re-masters finally got announced in week 20 causing quite a stir, securing the Birdman’s next outing the number five spot. Naturally the announcement topic was dominant making up 27.8% of the PR. The music behind the Tony Hawk titles is always very important, articles on the soundtrack topic made up 14.7% of the overall press. Launch details made up another 11.7% followed by trailer at 8.6%
Animal Crossing: New Horizons fell out of the top five for the first time since release, in week 20 it captured the number six spot. New Horizons followed a similar topic breakdown as it did in the previous week, the biggest chunk of press at 21.9% was sales/player numbers. As has been the case, the guide/walkthrough topic once again held a significant part of the game’s coverage, this time 18.9%. Harvest Moon/Story of Seasons revealed a new game in the same genre as Animal Crossing in week 20, this announcement generated press coverage which compared the two titles, as a result the announcement topic made up 6.4% of New Horizons weekly total.
Seventh place belonged to The Last of Us: Part 2 after experiencing a 34% drop in activity and a resulting five place drop in the Strongest PR Presence Top Ten. Launch details was the most covered topic for TLOU2 as the title was featured within articles about the forming of PlayStation Studios and discussions about software on the next gen, the topic made up 27.1% of the games press. 10.5% of the games PR came under the announcement topic for the same reason as launch details, the reveal of PlayStation Studios. Up next was State of Play as The Last of Us: Part 2 was mentioned frequently within articles about the previously mentioned Ghost of Tsushima live event.
Apex Legends picked up the eighth spot, a marked improvement, as Apex has been out the top ten for numerous weeks. The driving cause of this return was the release of the latest season, Apex’s Season 5 launch led the DLC/content update topic to 22.3%. Content on the fifth season also led the in-game event topic to 22% and trailer topic to 11.5% as new gameplay footage of newly introduced Loba character became available.
A surprising announcement was made in week 20, the reveal of a new Paper Mario game Paper Mario: The Origami King, naturally the new Mario title made it in to the top ten, it claimed the ninth spot. The announcement topic made up a huge 42.3% which was then followed up by launch details at 26% and then trailer with 13.3%. The rest of the press belonged to a variety of other topics for much smaller pieces of PR pie.
Finally, in at number ten, Mafia Trilogy. Word had been circulating about Mafia remasters for some time but an official announcement finally came in week 20. The announcement topic therefore made up 31.4% as you would expect, special editions was the second most covered topic as definitive editions of the Mafia games appeared in online listings. The next three topics all related to the announcement and made up the following percentages of the games press coverage: Trailer 13.25, launch details 12.6% and then screenshots/artwork with 10.8%.