Creative communications agency Way to Blue collate keyword mentions across Twitter, news sites, blogs and forums to generate a picture of the social buzz surrounding entertainment properties relative to one another. A measuring stick for the online popularity and market penetration of each titles Gamescom presence, Way to Blue’s analytics have declared FIFA 14 to be the king of Gamescom by netting 41% of the online buzz generated by the event.
Unsurprising considering FIFA’s consistently high sales and the high impact of the announcement that a digital copy of FIFA 14‘s would be included in the Day One edition of the Xbox One. More interesting though is Battlefield 4’s edge over fierce rival Call of Duty: Ghosts. Grabbing 19% of global internet mentions in comparison to Call of Duty’s 12% – could this be the year Battlefield finally topples Activision’s giant?
Whilst it is admittedly unlikely to beat Call of Duty in the all format charts come the end of the year, the high amount of online mentions Battlefield 4 has accrued could point to a lessening of Activision’s stranglehold on the genre. Conversely, the figures could also point to the negative attention the PS4 version of Battlefield 4 garnered whilst on display at the show – in this regard, the far reach of Battlefield‘s Gamescom showing could potentially be a sign of negative public opinion of the title. As it is, Way To Blue’s research is interesting though a little thin. It is only possible to see that Battlefield was highly visible at Gamescom, not whether it was received positively or negatively.
Furthermore, in spite of the franchise’s year on year decline in both commercial and critical terms, Call of Duty’s numbers are still indomitably huge. The last time the two titles went head to head with the release of Modern Warfare 3 and Battlefield 3 in 2011, Activision’s game sold more than double what EA’s managed.
The chance of successfully predicting the outcome of the COD/Battlefield showdown is further complicated this year with the arrival of next generation consoles. Call of Duty’s ubiquitous reach and familiarity will no doubt see it attached to console sales in great frequency while Battlefield 4 looks to be the more definitively next generation experience. In a contest that will revolve around numbers, be they those of metacritic scores or pure sales, it will likely be Battlefield’s key next gen feature – 64 player multiplayer, that will form the crux of its campaign to dethrone Call of Duty.
It will be interesting to see to what extent the online buzz translates to sell through – FIFA has played second fiddle to Call of Duty in the all format charts for the last three years, so as such, being talked about online cannot be seen as indication that consumers at large will commit to a purchase.
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