In such an important year for the video game, but emptied of all its events and meetings, it was necessary to relearn how to communicate to make the new consoles talk like blockbusters. And it’s online that both Xbox and PlayStation have thrown themselves into battle, with Twitter as the willing arbiter.
Talk, exchange, react, interact. From now on, social networks and other interaction platforms win all the votes when it comes to giving their opinion and sharing it with as many people as possible. Initially perceived from the outside as a laboratory of human interactions, in what they have of good and less good, the social networks became over time a universe to tame, with its popular effervescence to channel or, the case if necessary, rally to his cause.
Like all other sectors, video games are no exception. It is the subject that is also discussed – and especially – online. Okay, not okay, more like PlayStation or Xbox, FIFA or PES: everyone has a video game opinion and wants to be heard. And on Twitter, these are voices that carry, conversations that engage between fans and fans of the controller. “In the first half of 2020, we recorded more than a billion tweets around video games. A record level, “ congratulates himself Rishi Chadha, head of gaming partnerships at Twitter, with Frandroid.
A video game conversation that grows
For several years, the platform has felt the enthusiasm for video games and exchanges between fans. France is not the least euphoric country when it comes to talking about gaming (6e country that tweets the most and the 1is in Europe). The addition of Topics relating to video games even boosted exchanges on Twitter with the possibility of following topics related to his favorite games (Call of Duty, Fortnite, Minecraft, Animal Crossing…), Its brands (Nintendo, Xbox, PlayStation) or events (eSport, conference, etc.).
« People come to Twitter to talk about video games, whatever the game. It’s a conversation platform and game publishers are thinking more and more about what they can do there, how they can advertise their games, share trailers, get in touch with their community and their fans», Explique Rishi Chadha. « They understand that it is now an important place and it becomes natural for them. »
Video game fans have something to be particularly excited about and they’re saying it on Twitter
With its canceled shows, confinement or even the time spent in front of his computer, 2020 is proving to be an original and interesting year for the Gaming branch of Jack Dorsey’s firm. From now on, no more an exit or an announcement of a game, console or events is done without going through the social network and being exposed to the comments of each one. ” The conversations exploded by the situation, the fact that we see our friends less to exchange our points of view, but also with the richness of the sector this year.He admits. ” All the games announced, the arrival of the PS5 and the Xbox Series X… Video game fans have something to be particularly excited about and they say it on Twitter. Whether they are happy or not. Publishers and manufacturers have understood this well.And everyone is now working to be active on Twitter.
Go look for the players “where they are”
Twitter has unsheathed a whole series of tools to promote its community “which was already there and active before the players in gaming” with publishers and manufacturers. “ They can post videos, create their events broadcast live, make interactive formats with automatic response, feed Topics on games. We do everything to ensure they have a really cool product to use that will spark conversation », Explains the American.
In this game, Xbox immediately saw how to move its communication from TV screens to social networks. “ We focused our communication on social networks to be able to interact directly with them, better understand their expectations and get our message across. “, Explained Ina Gelbert, director of Xbox France, recently, acknowledging to go and look for the players” where they are now “. To support its launch of consoles, both the French branch and the American parent company have redoubled their efforts on the platform to reveal, explain and give a positive image of their new arrivals.
— Xbox (@Xbox) March 16, 2020
Because the war of new consoles was also played out on Twitter. “ We saw the two strategies put in place , »Analy Rishi Chadha. « PlayStation has communicated a lot about its incredible exclusives, the console and what it can do. On the Xbox side, it was pretty much the same, but with a greater focus on Game Pass and Game as a service, everything the ecosystem can offer players. And the fans were able to respond to these messages . »
— PlayStation France (@PlayStationFR) November 14, 2020
And the highlights of the two manufacturers, as well as publishers like Ubisoft with its Ubisoft Forward events, went hand in hand with those of gaming on the platform. Thus, the presentations of the PS5 or the Xbox Series X | S, the game announcements, have been particularly followed and commented on. In this game, PlayStation won by being the video game conference that generated the most tweets, when the console was revealed last June, even dethroning the release. d’Animal Crossing : New Horizons , so far the most tweeted event of 2020.
Spider-Man: Miles Morales, one of the most commented games
“Game trailers are very popular on Twitter. People analyze videos a lot, the first images. The gameplay of Spider-Man: Miles Morales at the PS5 conference was one of the most discussed topics, ”recalls Rishi Chadha. “We immediately noted that it was a sign of an extremely favorable reception from the players”. At Twitter, we admit that the difference of the platform, its ability to generate a lot of conversations, comes from the good integration of video.
« In a year like this where there was neither E3 nor Gamescom or Paris Games Week, consumption figures have jumped, as people want to see images. It generates conversation over a longer period of time, as videos live longer and events like IGN’s Digital Summer of Gaming have been longer than a fair, with a lot of videos being shown. », He emphasizes. ” It’s all good for us, for the community and for the world of video games that are talking abouthis. »
— PlayStation (@PlayStation) June 11, 2020
More than ever in such a year, getting people to talk about their game or console is becoming essential for a brand. The twittos are now pouring out everything. A disappointing game, a surprise announcement or, more recently, unobtainable consoles: publishers and manufacturers are informed in real time and can adjust their communication. Faced with the Xbox offensive, which relied heavily on humor and an offbeat tone, Sony played it seriously. “PlayStation took more care in its formats, the way they presented everything. Everything is much more controlled for this “, We analyze on Twitter.
« At Xbox, they were more playful and it was more fun. They had fun with their ads and it got user engagement. The two understood how the platform could help them with their different storytelling strategies. It’s interesting to see how they address the community. They fully understood how to use the platform and this contact with the gaming community. »
Twitter as a privileged interlocutor
Discussions go according to the wind and the outputs.Animal Crossing : New Horizonshad been the containment game, released just before players were cut off from their friends. It remains the most discussed game of the year. Follow Fall Guys, surprise summer star of the social network, andAmong Uswhich has taken the ascendancy in recent weeks, driven by excellent word-of-mouth 3.0 on the platform. All benefit from the contribution of the video which reinforces the words of the users, but also of their ability to mix fun and a subject for debate (cheating, tactics, offbeat tone, etc.). “Overall, Twitter follows trends and supports them. A title can be at the top and its interest wanes as players turn to other games. The same will apply to discussion topics», Recognizes Rishi Chadha.
— Tism (@FowLdonn) August 31, 2020
If Twitter has a Twitter Gaming account, this does not mean that the San Francisco firm intends to engage more in video games or even in esport, yet a better expression of fan engagement and exchange of views. “We are here to support», Insists the head of partnerships. And to add that his priorities are user safety and healthy discussions. For video games like everything else, the emphasis is on ensuring that conversations will take place without animosity and with respect. Twitter has also put tools in place to act proactively against harassment or offensive language. This also applies to video games. “We are the perfect place for video game fans to express themselves and share. We don’t want to lose that by straying from our mission. We are building on our strengths.»
This will not prevent Twitter from contributing to the setting up of tournaments broadcast on its platform or from supporting events by offering surveys, partnerships or contests, or even by getting involved as when the Twitter Gaming teams have decided to show their island onAnimal Crossing. But it stops there for now. The future will tell whether to go further. “What we dream of is to be the conversational layer. This second screen on which people exchange while watching something else. A kind of companion», Hopes Rishi Chadha. Because for him, the essential remains in the exchange: “As long as people tweet, I’m happy ”.