On the 16th February, Japanese publisher Capcom released the fifth edition of the legendary Street Fighter series. Using Radarly we tracked what internet users were saying about this event, with an aim to understand the sector's online consumers and identify the mechanisms of influence and recommendation.
A highly-mobilised community of gamers
During the launch week, almost 10% of all conversation within the online community of video game fans related to Street Fighter.
Since February 9th, online gaming platform Steam, has accommodated over 4500 posts in their ‘Street Fighter V’ discussion, each initiating a thread of related comments. Even the shortest of posts can launch hours of frenzied discussion between specialists.
Visibility through video
Another area of visibility for new video games is streaming platforms, with YouTube at the helm. According to Radarly YouTube boasted over 20,000 related video posts during the launch week of Street Fighter V.
In the wake of Twitch (bought for nearly one million dollars by Apple in 2014), gamers have made a habit of posting their exploits online and watching those of others. Numbers were still meagre on the 14th and 15th February, especially considering the reaction to the trailer released the previous week. However, from February 16th the number of videos on the subject trebled and remained above the threshold of 4,000 new videos per day until Friday 18th February.
Gamers fervently release their first fights, new cut-scenes and even the Street Fighter menu. In today's world of e-sport, the video game has become a real show for the fans!
Radarly's table of YouTube results on Street Fighter V – From the 14.02.16 to the 20.02.16
The world of entertainment on the case
On Twitter, Entertainment Weekly (5 million followers) and MTV News (4.5 million followers) are two of the major international influencers on the topic. Many historical stakeholders of mainstream entertainment who have been discussing video games have now made the move to Social TV and Social Radio. Consequently, they have become cross-channel, by offering increased visibility to the subjects that they cover in their programmes.
The gaming culture is adopted by mainstream media
The BBC (6 million followers), The Guardian (5 million followers), and The Independent (1.7 million followers) are all members of the mainstream media who have spoken on the launch of Street Fighter. They have offered critiques for the game and have also used it to shed light on the culture of gaming and its development. The evolution is striking but consistent with the ageing population of gamers - the average player today is 35 years old says the Entertainment Software Association.
The Guardian headline,
“Street Fighter V review – an ambitious but unfinished reboot”
was met with agreement by The Independent which stated,
“promising start to unfinished package.”
This is good news for companies in the gaming industry. New game launches can now benefit from the sounding board of some of the world’s most prestigious headlines, enhanced by digital media.
However, this doesn’t mean that other voices who are able to influence buying recommendations should be overlooked. On the contrary, each must be addressed according to their specific features and expectations: demanding gamers eager to develop and demonstrate their skills, the entertainment media hungry for stories to tell and the general press seeking to build its legitimacy on the subject.