It is no secret that our internet interests, tastes, and patterns are monitored. While market analysis researchers are bidding profusely for our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram data to better hone their own advertising strategies, the minds at Google have been utilizing their own data for years. A report published today from Google – titled "Understanding the Modern Gamer" – analyzes hundreds of millions of internet searches from 2010 and 2011 of the top 20 selling video games.
The report looks at the type and frequency of internet search queries based on major video game releases during the months before, during, and after the game’s release. Moreover, the report also details what types of searches are most frequent at key intervals during a game’s cycle. In the months leading up to a game’s debut, "release date" is the most frequently used search entry, and "tips" becomes the most frequent during the month of release and those following. "DLC," (downloadable content), however, does become the 2nd most popular query in the 3+ months following a game’s debut.
Perhaps most interesting, however, is that according to their report, Google is able to predict with high accuracy the amount of units a game will sell based on AdWord Clicks – specifically, a person clicking on a link, image, or article directly related to the game in question. According to their analysis, a game receiving 250,000 unique clicks can anticipate selling between 2-4 million units. Though the report admits that other factors such as TV investment, social buzz, and game quality can impact their results, the report does state that user click data is “a powerful predictor of game unit sales.”
While the report does not go into great detail regarding individual age groups or specific titles, it is an insightful look into the larger trends of the gaming community. Coupled with a look into how gamers incorporate their mobile devices into their video game research, the 7-page report will undoubtedly be referenced by marketing departments of major publishers for some time to come.
See you in the next level,
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