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Online Trends

Published November 6th 2018

The 5 Most Anticipated Video Games Ahead of Christmas 2018

The Brandwatch React team is stoked for Christmas and all the games that are being released right now. But which major release is generating the most excitement as the holiday season approaches?

It’s the most wonderful time of the year (for gamers, that is).

Counting down the days from when your favorite new video game is first announced to its final release, putting it on your Christmas wishlist, excitement rising every day 😍

This year’s line up of video games is one of the most exciting ever, with the likes of Fallout 76, Call Of Duty Black Ops 4, Red Dead Redemption 2 (RDR2) and many more being released right around now.

We are counting down the top five most anticipated video games ahead of Christmas 2018 📣

But first, a little context.

Interest spikes like a Christmas tree

In the run up to Christmas, the most hotly anticipated video games are released and people start to discuss and make searches around buying video games in early November.

It makes this period an interesting one to study when trying to work out which games will be under the most trees this Christmas.

But the holiday season isn’t the only time people are talking about video games.

E3, the biggest gaming conference of the year (where many of the biggest releases are announced or teased), can have a huge impact on hype generation.

The impact of E3, then and now

It’s been impossible to avoid RDR2 on the internet in the last two weeks. With its release just passed, many gamers are discussing the game, from specific gimmicks to broader features of gameplay.

A few individuals helped bring further attention to the game by posting their plays on Twitter. Funny videos of particular scenes, accidents, and stand-out moments from gamers have proved particularly popular. Here are a few examples of what we’re talking about.

Fun fact: The official Twitter account of Rockstar Games received less retweets than the game memes we tracked.

RDR2 was not present at E3 this year, although gamers still discussed its absence.

However, this conversation volume doesn’t compare to the buzz Fallout 76 received during the course of the conference.

Fallout 76 used E3 as a catapult to launch the hype. @Fallout was used to drop the trailer and @BethesdaStudios gave a “behind-the-scenes” look of Fallout 76. It was a successful strategy – their game was the top mentioned announcement at E3 2018.

Meanwhile, other games like Super Smash Bros Unlimited (SSBU), Super Mario Party, and Assassin’s Creed Odyssey got a huge amount from the conference – their conversation volumes increased a lot more throughout compared to the days prior. For example, Fallout 76 was already discussed quite a lot prior, hence the conversation increase was only 467%. SSBU had a much sharper rise because it was first announced at the conference, meaning it’s shoot to fame was much more rapid in this time period.

Had RDR2 been at E3, Rockstar Games could have increased the game’s social presence, and generated an even bigger anticipation for its upcoming release. But has the E3 omission done it too much damage?

The top 5 most anticipated games

Now you’ve got the context we can get to the data you came here for. What are the most anticipated video games ahead of Christmas 2018?

To work this out, we took a list of 15 big-hitter video games that are either going into pre-order or full launch in the coming weeks (or have come out very recently). These were mainly sourced from hype articles in big games publications.

We looked at mentions of these games for the full month of October, breaking those mentions down by emotions to find the games that had the most “anticipating” conversation.

Here are the results.

Good job, RDR2 (especially since you weren’t at E3!) – although CoD is hot on your tail.

Meanwhile, Fallout 76 (which is released later this month, so will likely see a bigger rise as we get closer) is at number 3, followed by AC Odyssey and Forza Horizon 4.

Looks like Santa’s going to be busy this year 🎄

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