Some surprising findings here…
Far from its days of being merely a microblogging site, modern-day Twitter has evolved way beyond what it was pictured to be. In the multi-billion dollar world of video games, Twitter is now seen as an avenue where game publishers, developers and teams go to release information and engage with their consumers.
Moreover, with the rapid rise of esports, Twitter is also the chosen platform for franchises and teams to focus on when it comes to building their fanbase and online community. This allows them to reach millions of eyeballs with just a single tweet.
According to a report by Twitter Gaming, there were 1 billion Tweets about gaming globally. So without further ado, let’s dive into some of the important data released.
The Japanese Love Their Games
Japan leads the country that tweets the most about video games, followed by the United States and United Kingdom. Here’s the final list, which we are super confident would see the Germans being knocked out of the top ten if China was included.
- United States
- United Kingdom
A Surprising Table Topper in the Game Most-Tweeted About Category
We were taken by surprise by this top ten, considering we never even once tweeted about the top game in this list. However, this next chart may also answer the question of why and how Japan managed to get the top placing in the previous category. Despite the global popularity of Fortnite, Fate/Grand Order which is very popular in Japan managed to out-Tweet the Battle Royale juggernaut – which says a lot about the FGO’s fan community.
Nonetheless, here’s a look at the most-Tweeted about games last year:
- Fate/Grand Order (@fgoproject)
- Fortnite (@FortniteGame)
- Monster Strike (@MStrikeOfficial)
- Splatoon (@SplatoonJP)
- PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (@PUBG)
- Granblue Fantasy (@granbluefantasy)
- Ensemble Stars (@ensemble_stars)
- Super Smash Brothers (@NintendoAmerica)
- Overwatch (@PlayOverwatch)
- Final Fantasy (@FinalFantasy)
The LeBron Of Esports
If Twitter Sports have Los Angeles Lakers’ LeBron James as the most-tweeted athlete in 2018, esports has its own superstar in OpTic’s Call of Duty team captain, Seth ‘Scump’ Abner topping the category.
It is a beautiful day to play video games
— Seth Abner (@OpTic_Scumper) January 7, 2019
With esports being more accessible to everyone thanks to the wonders of technology, esports athletes will soon reach the global appeals and reaches of traditional sports athletes regardless of their performance – or if they are even tied to a team! Take former Dallas Fuel main tank, Felix ‘xQc’ Lengyel for example. His unceremonious omission from the Overwatch League didn’t dent Lengyel’s popularity – it seemed to…. Fuel *cough* his standing in the social media sphere instead, coming out second behind Abner in 2018.
24 hours+ stream ez clap. Didn’t want to stretch low effort content for another couple hours. Thanks for hanging out and supporting throughout the night, it was pretty crazy. See you tomorrow morning with new sleep schedule hopefully. gn <3
— xQc (@xQc) January 22, 2019
Nothing exhibits the power of social media with xQc winning the T-Mobile MVP Award at the 2017 Overwatch World Cup – which was decided by a public vote – ahead of a bunch of much more skilled and established players. Blizzard later amended the voting rules for 2018, giving more weight to their analysts and casters to balance out this skew.
- Seth Abner (@OpTic_Scumper)
- Félix Lengyel (@xQc)
- Juan DeBiedma (@LiquidHbox)
- Yiliang Peng (@TLDoublelift)
- Ian Porter (@OpTic_Crimsix)
- Gabriel Toledo (@FalleNCS)
- James Clayton Eubanks (@Clayster)
- William Peter Hjelte (@TSM_Leffen)
- Dillon Price (@Attach)
- Thomas Paparratto (@ZooMaa)
An Unconventional Method Of Fan-Base Building
Speaking of esports, the most tweeted esports organization doesn’t come much of a surprise as FaZe Clan’s dominance in the CS: GO circuit played a massive role in ensuring that they remain a hot topic throughout the year. OpTic Gaming’s return to prominence in the Call of Duty Circuit propelled them to the second spot while Cloud9’s epic run at the 2018 Worlds sends them third.
One interesting take from the top ten most tweeted sports organization list was that Houston Outlaws and Dallas Fuel – two of the most disappointing and under-performing teams in the Overwatch League inaugural season were more popular and tweeted about than the Grand Final Champions, the London Spitfire!
Missing the Fuel guys? You can always keep up with them on their streams!
— Dallas Fuel (@DallasFuel) January 21, 2019
Just like Dallas Cowboys who despite their yearly failures on the field still manage to be the most valuable NFL team, this list shows that success is not only confined and gauged on teams tournament performance. Branding is key and the Outlaws and Fuel have it figured out. These Texans surely know how to market themselves.
- FaZe Clan (@fazeclan)
- OpTic Gaming (@opticgaming)
- Cloud9 (@cloud9)
- FNATIC (@FNATIC)
- TSM (@tsm)
- Houston Outlaws (@outlaws)
- Dallas Fuel (@dallasfuel)
- G2 Esport (@g2esports)
- London Spitfire (@spitfire)
- Team Liquid (@teamliquid)
E3 Stays On Top, But For How Long?
As expected, the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) is the most-tweeted gaming event of the year. Being the largest annual game show where most game developers and publishers choose to reveal their biggest games in the next twelve months or so, it’s a no-brainer to see them occupy the top spot. Expect this trend to repeat in several years to come.
The Game Awards has seriously gained ground though. Their aggressive marketing push and willingness to embrace new strategies may see them take over the top spot in the near future. I’d be looking over my shoulder if I were the ESA.
However, what surprised us is that despite its perceived irrelevance when it comes to games event, the 2018 Tokyo Game Show finished strong in second. This is again proof of the strong Japanese gamer community in social media. Some may regard Japan as a niche market when it comes to games but make no qualms about it – it is still video games central.
With the Japanese gaming community starting to embrace esports fully as we head into 2019, expect a massive shift in trends this year which will affect how Twitter is used by gaming brands.
- Tokyo Game Show 2018
- The Game Awards 2018
- 2018 League of Legends World Championship
- Overwatch League Inaugural Season Championship
- ELEAGUE Major: Boston 2018
- FACEIT Major: London 2018
- Gamescom 2018
- BlizzCon 2018
- TwitchCon 2018
With esports being included as an official medal category in a multi-sporting event at the 2019 Manila SEA Games, expect the Southeast Asian region to appear in one of these lists – possibly the Philippines – next year.
The results are also a testament to the crucial role gaming communities play in ensuring video game titles, esports franchises, and athletes remain relevant in their respective scene. Brands would be wise to take heed of this fact and acknowledge that success in the modern gaming scene goes beyond sales and winning championships.