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Google Trends & Interest in FF

Discussion in 'Final Fantasy Discussion' started by APZonerunner, Aug 3, 2015.

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  1. Lulcielid

    Lulcielid Turk

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    Everyone brought up interesting points but i think there´s a simpler answer (which probably ties with another reason i brougth up before), from my perspective another reason for why (certain franchises) the decline in interest also has to with the oversaturation of games nowadays in the market. For instance, comparare the number of games release between for example 2000-2007 compare to 2008-2015.
     
  2. APZonerunner

    APZonerunner Network Boss-man Staff Member Administrator Site Staff UFFSite Veteran

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    Some people asked me for an update on some of these graphs, so here we go. How have things changed? :chocowalk:

    Keep in mind that these stats include Google Search, Google Shopping, YouTube, Android-based phone stuff - anything Google has a hand in, basically. It's sampled data, but we believe it to be decently accurate.

    To give you some context: We use these stats very carefully on our end in order to gauge how successful a game might be, but beyond that in how heavy the appetite is for the internet audience for content about that game. If people aren't searching for a game, we consider that a warning sign and we're less likely to focus resources on lots of content for it. It's an imperfect science, but we find it does help and does give us a heads up as to where things are moving.

    For example, here's a look at Deus Ex. Blue is Human Revolution, Red is Mankind Divided, and Yellow is the series at large:

    [​IMG]

    We looked at this graph and realized that search interest around Mankind Divided in the run up to and after its launch was significantly behind Human Revolution. Not by a bit. By a lot. Over half. We realized this meant that maybe there wasn't as much buzz around the game and, honestly, we killed plans for a couple of RPG Site features on Deus Ex because we didn't think they'd traffic. We think we were right, as my understanding is that the game (while good) was a disappointment.

    Hopefully through this you see how these graphs are interesting. With that said...

    FFXIII vs FFXV: Search interest over time
    This graph hasn't changed too much. FF15 saw a big build as it approached its original release followed by a boost from the delay news and then a dip.
    [​IMG]

    What about a like-for-like comparison? Is FF15 really behind?
    Yeah, sure. But by less than some would have you believe. (Honestly, it's caught up a lot more than I ever thought it would.)
    [​IMG]


    So, this is a zoomed in version of this graph going from 2 months from FF13's launch in Japan to roughly 1 month from FF15's worldwide launch. You can see it's actually pretty close in terms of search volume - and with a big launch spike, FF15 could catch 13. Do you think it will?

    Did FF7R steal FF15's Thunder?
    This is something I've seen banded about a lot - did the FF7 Remake announcement and later trailer steal some of FF15's thunder? We talked about this months ago, but now the dust has settled we can look at the metrics again and say... not too much. It's clear there was a bit of a dip for 15 in the wake of the 7 announcement, but 15 quickly recovered. Here's that.

    [​IMG]

    Is FF15 helping the wider FF brand to recover search traffic/interest?
    The answer to this is so far turning out to be no, but the gains FF13 made were very small anyway. I'll be very curious what this post-launch boost is like.

    This graph posts a grim picture, but do try to remember FF is still one of the world's biggest gaming franchises. It just isn't anywhere near as big as it was. That makes this graph interesting. What happened? Why does this graph look the way it is? What can Square do to make the numbers go up again?

    [​IMG]

    The FF Brand's continuing battle for search interest vs its rivals
    We did some of these before, so here's how FF15 stacks up vs Kingdom Hearts since 2004, plus against Mass Effect and The Witcher 3.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2016
    15thCrystal, Storm and Koozek like this.
  3. Koozek

    Koozek ShinRa SOLDIER

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    Thank you very much for doing this update! Interesting. Now I wonder if the launch spike will be able to make it catch up with FFXIII again.

    But one thing I think should be considered is that SE's social media presence has become a lot bigger since the FFXIII years, especially Twitter and Facebook, which wouldn't count into these Google stats, no? Also if you look at the official FB accounts you can see that many of the FFXV trailers have millions of views on FB too, not just on Youtube. I imagine that plays a part too in why FFXV has less Google-related stats than before. Correct me if I'm wrong, though.

    Looking forward to further updates post-launch. Thanks again :)
     
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  4. DrBretto

    DrBretto AVALANCHE Warrior

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    That is interesting.

    I've never seen these before, so I'm still processing everything. I would have expected FFXV to be higher. Not even for the hype, but for the hate. I was under the impression that even though the talk wasn't always positive, that people were really talking.
     
  5. APZonerunner

    APZonerunner Network Boss-man Staff Member Administrator Site Staff UFFSite Veteran

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    This stuff wouldn't factor in, but generally speaking, a large chunk of the people converted to be interested who are interacting and engaging via social activity on twitter/facebook will transfer over into search volume - they end up opening a new tab and searching for stores, or previews, or heading to YouTube to see more videos, etc. It's not exactly representative to say "look at the FB accounts, look at all the views beyond YouTube" because simply put - go and look at Elder Scrolls' Facebook presence! Look at Bioware's. Look at The Witcher's. They also have gigantic presences in these areas - and their presence on these social channels actually tends to mirror the search interest (IE, the higher your social impact, the higher your search volume and the reverse). This can be seen with rival games pretty clearly. It obviously doesn't include data from Bing or Yahoo either, but we're still confident enough that the data is representative to use it to make major decisions (and marketing departments use similar metrics, of course).

    That's why we trust these figures; they're not bulletproof, but they do provide a generally accurate picture of overall trends. See Deus Ex for this (that series has a very successful facebook page with over half the likes FF has despite the series being much, much smaller - socially, it's punching above its weight but that didn't translate to sales for MD) - that's why I included that example. I think the evidence is there to show that the missing users aren't just going elsewhere for their FF; they're just not looking for it anymore. That's a downtick, but that's ok too.
     
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  6. 15thCrystal

    15thCrystal Balamb Garden Freshman

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    Thanks for those graphs, really interesting information! I wonder if social media graphs (Twitter, Facebook) would show similar results.
     
  7. DrBretto

    DrBretto AVALANCHE Warrior

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    I would imagine there would be a pretty strong correlation, at least relatively speaking.
     
  8. Mistwalker

    Mistwalker Red Wings Commander

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    Interesting stuff. Thanks for sharing it.
     
  9. APZonerunner

    APZonerunner Network Boss-man Staff Member Administrator Site Staff UFFSite Veteran

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    launchdays.jpg

    So, this is launch day traffic measured. Red is XIII, Blue is XV. This stuff doesn't always pan out to match sales, but it often does (see my Deus Ex talk earlier in this thread) -- buuuut, yeah, it's a big difference. Our first indication will be the countries that release charts weekly - so the UK and Japan - next week. But, yes - search is sadly way down.
     
  10. Mistwalker

    Mistwalker Red Wings Commander

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    The damage is done, then.
    I just hope the brand can recover over time. I think FFXV will help with that, but a lot more is needed. The fact is that other franchises have appeared and taken the place FF once had (The Witcher, Persona, etc.)

    I still want FFXVI and I think SQEX will do it. In what platform? I don't know.
     
  11. Rogue-Tomato

    Rogue-Tomato Yevonite

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    While it's good to have comparisons, FFXV was always going to be on the back foot here.

    FFXIII was the first Final Fantasy to be made in HD, for next gen PS3. This was huge for the fans because of how stunning it looked. It looked as good in game as the CGI cut scenes from FFXII (just about) and that was a big deal because people were looking forward to roaming towns and villages in stunning HD and exploring caverns, woodlands, fields and what not - Sadly as we know, this was not the case. Also I think FFXIII appealed massively to non Final Fantasy fans too because the cut scenes / footage they kept showing prior to launch was very much an ''appeal to the masses'' approach with all the high tech trains, guns, soldiers and what not..I mean, who wouldn't wanna play an RPG as a sexy sword wielding back flipping badass called Lightning.

    The casual gamer who bought FFXIII who shortly after found out just how sub-par the game was, would have probably played enough FFXIII for them to pay no interest in the franchise ever again due to it's boring gameplay (walk straight and hold auto attack) - So when they announced / presented Versus XIII, I bet a lot of those people simply didn't care, and again, when it turned into FFXV, also didn't care because there would be an assumption that it would be similar to FFXIII, and if you're not a fan of the franchise, why wouldn't you assume it'll be the same?

    As an example, I played the first Mass Effect when it came out after having read numerous reviews, searched for videos and what not. I didn't like it and so when the sequels were announced, i didn't search / look up / watch / read anything about them because I didn't like the first and I'm assuming they'll be similar games - Whether they are not, I still don't know.

    I think FFXIII damaged the brand a lot and I think this is a major contributing factor to the results you've found so with that in mind, it's hardly surprising. We also need to take into account the styles here. XIII's marketing primarily consisted of Lightning posing with a sword - For the casual gamer, that's probably more appealing than 4 dudes who look a bit emo.

    It's a shame because the fact is, XV is leagues ahead of XIII. To be honest though, Tekken has more depth than XIII did. ;)

    After 35 hours of XV (and I am only in chapter 8) I think it's the best one out of all of them.
     
  12. Ikkin

    Ikkin ShinRa SOLDIER

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    I think the issue with XV's marketing is less that it's not as immediately appealing as FFXIII's and more that people had copies of the game in their hands before proper Western ads even appeared. Say what you want about the choice of song, but the "Drive Together" trailer is much cooler than that weird XIII ad where a bunch of videos of the game turned into Lightning. On the other hand, I'm still not sure how much presence the game actually has on TV, so... there's that.
     
  13. Rogue-Tomato

    Rogue-Tomato Yevonite

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    I haven't seen a single FFXV ad on TV.

    I saw lots for FFXIII though because Microsoft went overboard advertising it for the 360 given that it was the first FF to be non exclusive to Sony.
     
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