- "Fortnite," the popular battle royale video game by Epic Games, saw a 31% drop in social-media mentions from a year earlier, per a study that social media analytics firm Talkwalker shared with Mobile Marketer. The decline was steeper than the 17% decline for rival game "PUBG," by a unit of gaming company Bluehole. "Apex Legends" by Electronic Arts has only been out for a month and is gaining traction.
- "Fortnite" was still ranked No. 1 with 88.2 million mentions and 1.3 billion engagements in a 12-month period, compared with 31.1 million mentions and 404.5 million engagements for "PUBG." "Apex Legends," which was released on Feb. 4 and gained 10 million players in first three days, grossed 2.1 million mentions and 19.4 million engagements.
- A virtual concert staged by music producer and DJ Marshmello in the Pleasant Park section of "Fortnite" was the most discussed and viewed gaming topic in the past 12 months with 1.6 million likes or shares and 23.3 million views, according to the study.
Talkwalker's data indicate battle royale games, which challenge players to fight to be the last avatar standing, are showing signs of fatigue despite their global popularity. "Fortnite," which has added more sponsorship opportunities for mobile marketers in the past year, reached $500 million in revenue on Apple's iOS devices in 326 days, a record for multiplayer action games, according to researcher Sensor Tower.
Talkwalker's data confirm other reports that indicated Marshmello's virtual concert in "Fortnite" was a big hit. That success may mean more recording artists use gaming platforms to reach a mass audience equaling or exceeding that for a pay-per-view event. Leading up to the concert, players had the opportunity to buy Marshmello-themed game items including a skin, glider and emote pack. The concert reached 10 million people among the game's user base of 80 million, per Digital Music News. The promotion for the concert helped to boost Marshmello's Twitter following by 147,000 and his YouTube subscribership by 699,000, analyst Jose Arroyo said on LinkedIn.
Games also have made celebrities out of influencers who have gained massive followings on social media, such as Tyler "Ninja" Blevins, Jack "CouRage" Dunlop and Ben "DrLupo" Lupo. The three gamers this week signed management deals with Loaded, which handles sponsorship sales, creative and merchandising services for gaming influencers. Loaded in the past year has created brand and digital marketing campaigns that combine its roster of influencers with brands like Gillette, The Hershey Company, Capitol Records, Coca-Cola, Samsung, Activision and Red Bull, per VentureBeat.
Games are the third-most popular category of app after social media and shopping apps, according to survey by researcher Newzoo. Half of mobile app users said they opened a game app in the prior week, compared with 67% for social media and 56% for shopping. Mobile gamers are also much more receptive to advertising, with 53% of gamers saying ads helped them get updates about products they need or want, compared with 42% of non-gamers. Almost half (43%) of gamers said they're more likely to buy or use brands that have ads they like, compared with 32% for non-gamers.