[The GameDiscoverCo game discovery newsletter is written by ‘how people find your game’ expert & company founder Simon Carless, and is a regular look at how people discover and buy video games in the 2020s.]
Welcome to Wednesday, recreation discovery crew. Many of you should still be wandering round Cologne, whereas sampling the delights of many tiny glasses of Kolsch. So we hope you meet up with this truthful publication in your return!
Did you catch the One Night Live showcase at Gamescom, btw? Here’s the entire bulletins, in the event you didn’t. We speculated on plenty of metaverse-adjacent broadcasts, however in addition to Everywhere (from L.Benzies & buddies), possibly not a lot?
Data dive: one of the best instances of 12 months to launch video games!
(Trying to select a date to launch your recreation? Definitely a ‘Safety Last!’ drawback.)
In this more and more crowded market, launch timing in your PC or console recreation is more and more ‘a thing’. And at GameDiscoverCo, the place we’ve been monitoring the Steam recreation ecosystem for 12 months+, we lastly have information to speak cogently about it.
The background? Via our GameDiscoverCo Plus-exclusive information set, we assign pre-release rankings for the entire 1,000-ish Steam video games launched each month (‘Hype’ – based mostly on Steam followers, wishlist ranks & extra), and post-release efficiency (# of Steam opinions in Week 1) – after which examine them.
So we will now present a full Jan-Dec 12 months – some in 2021, some in 2022 – of conversion charges for Steam video games that debuted with a Hype rating of 500 or extra. (Very roughly? Games with >10-15,000 Steam wishlists at launch.)
(Thanks to GameDiscoverCo’s Alejandro for quantity crunchin’ on this!)
The median & common is 0.14. (This quantity doesn’t ‘mean’ something – we’re the way it varies up or down. Although it’s near the ‘first week sales/wishlists on launch’ ratio we frequently discuss. So maybe it may very well be used as a proxy for that.)
Anyhow, there’s solely actually one time of the 12 months when conversion appears to dip considerably – that’s This autumn, the place median video games convert 20-28% worse than common. And January to April sees titles convert 7-20% higher than common. It’s what you would possibly count on with a crowded vacation season, however fascinating to see some ‘proof’.
There are additionally outlying months, like June 2022, which transformed at 0.20, 42% higher than common (!) But we expect that’s probably a one-off because of the high quality and sort of video games that did nicely within the month – June 2021 was solely 0.16, as a comparability.
We additionally mapped the ‘busy’ weeks on Steam, based mostly on the cumulative rating for the Top 10 most-Hyped video games releasing from August 2021 to July 2022:
(Sometimes, ‘massively Hyped’ video games skew weeks or total months. For instance, Elden Ring was 93,000 of the 272,000 Hype factors for all of February 2022! So simply bear that in thoughts…)
And right here’s the ‘cumulative # of Week 1 reviews’ for the highest 10 Steam video games in that very same timeframe. The extra opinions, the extra copies of recent video games bought that week:
Again, you’ll see some anomalies based mostly on break-out hits (Elden Ring, and others.) But total, you’ll see that Q1 and Q2 have been quieter, and Q3 & This autumn fairly a bit busier.
However, please bear in mind – conversion charges ‘only’ went down by ~22% in most of This autumn – when quantity of each Hype and opinions was up as a lot as 300% or extra from earlier within the 12 months. So a busy month doesn’t seem to have an effect on issues as a lot as you would possibly count on.
And that’s actually the largest takeaway we’ve got. We’re planning a follow-up to see if launching the identical week as a large recreation is empirically ‘bad’. But in our view, it’s not potential to tank your recreation’s launch by placing it out on the fallacious time*. (*But don’t launch them through the large Steam gross sales!)
If something, it’s only a minor nudge by hook or by crook – promoting 8k or 11k copies within the first week, vs. 10k. Other issues have an effect on success much more. (And after all, the variations we’re seeing may very well be attributable to the kind of recreation that chooses to launch in This autumn, not the precise time of 12 months itself – it’s troublesome to A/B take a look at for this.)
Follow the movies, discover the avid gamers: UK model!
Following the U.S. Pew Research survey on teenagers and social media, we’ve got one other broad, public social media survey to peruse. The UK communication regulator OFCOM’s has its model new ‘Media Nations’ report, which focuses on how British people watch ‘video content’.
Since watching movies is a key a part of how folks uncover video video games, we thought we’d higher dig into it. The above chart – displaying video watching on numerous standalone social media platforms by age – is an effective instance of the longitudinal goodness on show.
As OFCOM explains: “Short-form video was watched by a third (32%) of online adults in Great Britain aged 15+ daily in Q1 2022, with viewing skewing more to younger audiences; 69% of 15-17-year-olds and 65% of 18- 24-year-olds watched short-form videos daily, compared to 12% of those aged 65+.”
So sure, YouTube is fairly dominant. But the rise of TikTok specifically is nicely shown-off right here, with 73% of ‘online’ 15-17 12 months olds within the UK utilizing the platform. Which is, uh, quite a bit, given the relative youth of the social platform itself.
Finally, the report referred again to OFCOM’s ‘Online Nation’ .PDF report from a few months again, which has over 20 pages on video video games. It’s nicely price poking at, & contains nice high quality information equivalent to which units the UK performs video games on:
For a staid authorities entity, there’s a whole lot of nuance in these studies. For instance, on the redeeming energy of video games: “UK Safer Internet Centre’s research in 2021 found that 70% of parents think online games have helped their child connect with their friends, and 60% of children aged 8-17 years old said that playing online games made them feel less lonely.”
[We’re GameDiscoverCo, an agency based around one simple issue: how do players find, buy and enjoy your premium PC or console game? We run the newsletter you’re reading, and provide consulting services for publishers, funds, and other smart game industry folks.]