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Google’s search data reveals how the digital era has changed video game launches | VentureBeat


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— About 40 percent of game-related searches occur in the six months leading up to a launch as individuals evaluate what to buy. Video game related searches increased by 20 percent on desktops and laptops, and they increased 168 percent on tablets and smartphones over the last year during this period. About 28 percent of searches occurred in the 30 days after launch, and 32 percent of searches occurred after that.

— During the pre-launch period, players are most interested in official content from publishers. They search for release dates, trailers, artwork, and demo versions of the game. For marketers, this means that the pre-launch window is a key time when they can influence gamers’ purchase decisions. Electronic Arts uses media ads on search and YouTube video ads to ensure that trailers for new games are in front of people actively seeking new content.

— After release, people search for tips on how to play. They do so on desktops, laptops, smartphones, and tablets. Gamers are increasingly using mobile devices to help them make purchase decisions. One in five of the purchase-related searches happens on a mobile device. Players want tips, cheats, hints, and walkthroughs. One in four of all tips-related searches happens on a mobile device. In 2011, 10 percent of all game searches happened on a mobile device.

Why are they searching Google instead of a videogame portal?

Variety, most likely. When I search for a movie, I like seeing results from rotten tomatoes, IMDB, Wikipedia and even google movie ratings in the search. Similarly there's kotaku, gamesbeat, ign, bitmob and a host of other video game sites and folks may want a quick preview of different sites and content (e.g. YouTube)

I think the concept of single-source information on the Interwebthingy, whether it's gaming news or any other subject is long gone. I know I'm not alone in this, I cast a pretty wide net to collect information and compare and contrast similar coverage--pretty efficiently in fact. It's a good way to eliminate content bias.

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