New research from Google and YouTube shows how gamers use the web to find and consume the latest information during E3, the Electronic Entertainment Expo. The research appears in a new whitepaper entitled, “Gamers Descend on E3 … Virtually,” which was posted this morning on Think with Google. Written by James Getomer, a Senior Analytical Lead at Google, and Michael Okimoto, a Senior Industry Analyst at Google, the research whitepaper reveals that E3 is a major moment in the gaming industry that sparks tremendous online engagement and buzz as gamers virtually “attend” the event. Getomer and Okimoto found that:
- E3 is getting bigger each year: E3-related searches have been on an upward trend each year, with the exception of 2012, when fewer gaming hardware and software announcements were made.
- Gamers are increasingly turning to mobile devices: From 2012 to 2013 there was a 143 percent increase in the number of E3-related searches on Google and an 80 percent increase in game video views on YouTube across both smartphones and tablets.
- Live streams of press conferences are hugely popular: Seven in 10 E3-related searches on Google were for 'livestreams' during last year’s E3.
Getomer and Okimoto wrote:
Last June, as game companies showcased their newest trailers at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in Los Angeles, some very important people were missing from the audience—the fans. Because E3 is an industry-only event, the very people these publishers hope to eventually reach and engage—the gamers themselves—are not among the attendees. Luckily, these days physical presence is no longer required to ‘attend’ an event. Live streaming and real-time information updates have made virtual attendance a viable option for all kinds of exclusive events. Indeed, as E3 press conferences kicked off, a multitude of gamers were glued to their screens so they wouldn’t miss a second of the action.”
Gaming and Gamers on YouTube
Getomer and Okimoto explained, “To understand how gamers use the web to find and consume the latest E3 information, we analyzed Google and YouTube’s anonymized search and viewing data from 2012 and 2013. In this research, we define gamers as the aggregate of those individuals who searched for gaming content on Google and viewed gaming videos on YouTube during E3 week.”
They concluded, “To virtually attend E3 and learn about the latest gaming announcements, gamers increasingly rely on search and online video. During the week of E3 last year, activity on Google and YouTube significantly increased year-over-year (YoY).”
At the same time, YouTube announced a new trailers channel similar to what it does with Super Bowl ads. Dubbed the 2014 E3 Trailer Battle, this new channel will house all the trailers released during the E3 conference in one place, making it easy for gamers to catch up on the latest releases.
- Gaming fans can vote for their favorite trailer from June 9 to June 16. The most popular trailer of E3 will be announced on June 23.
- To promote this challenge, YouTube has enlisted the help of some of the most popular gaming channels to create custom videos about E3. Creators include Swiftor, Polaris, GameRiot, and PressHeartToContinue.
In addition, Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA) is using YouTube to livestream their press conference at E3 to gaming fans around the world. SCEA will also be releasing new trailers on YouTube the week of E3 featuring their new console. The Sony Playstation channel on YouTube has more than 2.4 million subscribers and one of their most-watched videos is the PS4 Teaser video released during E3 last year.
Guy Longworth, the Senior Vice President of PlayStation Brand Marketing at SCEA, said, “We’re excited to partner with YouTube at E3 as it enables us to reach millions of gaming fans during one of the most important weeks of the year for gaming fans. PlayStation has always pushed the boundaries of play and over the last 12 months PS4 has established itself as the leading Next Gen console and the Best Place to Play next generation games.”
He added, “At E3, we’ll be unveiling some amazing new games and experiences and our YouTube channel helps us bring those games and experiences to gamers around the world. Through our YouTube content strategy, we’ll be seeking to build the ultimate fan experience giving them first looks at our exciting new games.”