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Games On Social Media – Which Publisher Is Most Engaging? UPDATED

by Tilo Kmieckowiak on July 17, 2013

Nintendo, Electronic Arts, Sony – brand names you can read when you start playing a video game. But what’s really behind those names? Today we’ll have a look at the social media appearances of a very interesting group of social media marketers: video game publishers.

How are these companies performing on Facebook and YouTube to advertise their games and to engage their supporters? Are there differences in their strategies to keep fans interested? My analysis focuses on the five best game publishers. Four of them are the best ones according to the 7th annual game publisher rankings by metacritic.com from February 2017. The analyzed social profiles consist of Electronic Arts, also just commonly known as EA (Redwood City, US), Square Enix (Tokyo, JP), Nintendo (Kyoto, JP) and Sony Computer Entertainment (Tokyo, JP). I also chose to include the XBOX brand by Microsoft, as the Redmond (US) based software company designed one of the three major consoles but is not included in the ranking by metacritic.com. For this analysis, I chose to look at very recent social media performance data from the month of August 2017. So without further ado, let’s start with looking at the Facebook fans and YouTube subscribers for the five publishers!

Fan And Subscriber Count For Games On Social Media

The number of fans for a given page is, if you will, the baseline of its social media performance. The more fans you have, the more people you can potentially reach with your content.

games on social media

Looking at the five publishers, XBOX and Playstation are clearly leading among them. Microsoft’s gaming brand had more than 23 million fans on August 31st, while Sony’s had over 21 million, reaching a combined share among all analyzed publishers of 89.8%. Far behind them, there is Nintendo with about 2.3 million fans, followed by Electronic Arts (1.7 million) and Square Enix (940,000). On YouTube, Playstation is clearly leading the pack, coming to 5,831,616 subscribers in total (50.1%). With approximately three million subscribers, Nintendo comes in second (25,9%), followed by XBOX (2,138,323) and EA (538,668) with Square Enix having the smallest subscriber base at around one hundred thousand users following their channel.

Activity For Games On Social Media

So now that we know which of the publishers and console manufacturers has the most fans and subscribers, let’s see how active they actually are. Meaning: who posts the most on Facebook and YouTube! Looking at the graph belows, it becomes clear that Playstation posts most often, coming to more than 200 posts in total for the month of August 2017. XBOX comes in second with 59 posts, followed by Square Enix, Nintendo and EA, all posting between twenty and thirty times.

games on social media

Playstation was also the “busiest” channel on YouTube, showing 232 new videos in August of 2017, followed by XBOX with more than 120. Nintendo comes to little above 60, while EA only published three new videos. Unfortunately, there is no data available for Square Enix. Video games are a visual medium and so it makes sense to consider that fact. Accordingly, Sony is on a good path with their Playstation brand by publishing lots of trailers on their YouTube channel.games on social media

For EA, Square Enix and Playstation, video is indeed the most prominent content type. Nintendo posts the least video content on their Facebook page. Looking at data for XBOX, they come in at the second to last place. However, they are the only ones that really make use of live streaming content, pushing the to second place when combining pre-recorded video and live video.


Nintendo sticks out as they use only two content types: images and videos, with the former taking the biggest percentage (81.8%).


Interactions For Games On Social Media

games on social media

While we saw that XBOX has the most Facebook fans, the total interactions on there were fewer than Playstation achieved. The gaming platform created by Sony received many reactions, comments and shares on a post that gives a 360° view of a scene out of their latest game, Uncharted.


However, this was not the post with the largest impact in terms of interactions. Nintendo announced a revival of its highly successful 90’s gaming console SNES. The remake of Nintendo’s NES already created much buzz and sold out quickly – so it is no surprise that nostalgia wins again for the Japanese video game company.


The most interacted with video on YouTube was a trailer for a new Sonic game that Nintendo published. It received a 45,991 interactions (likes, dislikes, comments) in August 2017. It is not surprising that a trailer for the SNES revival comes in second.


Video games seem like a perfect business for social media marketing as it is heavily focusing on visual content. While both Playstation and XBOX lead the pack regarding their fans on Facebook, Nintendo comes in third but grabbing the second place regarding YouTube subscribers, leaving XBOX behind on a third place on the video platform. It’s interesting to observe that Nintendo is very far behind on Facebook concerning its fans, but shows the content with most interactions. It seems like their nostalgia factor is playing out well for them. What also surprised me is the low posting frequency by EA on YouTube. The North-American publisher features many prominent brands such as Need For Speed, Battlefield or Star Wars Battlefront. Accordingly, they should have so much content that they could share post much more videos. Did you like this analysis? Then share it with your friends!


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Tilo Kmieckowiak

Tilo is part of the communications team at quintly. His focus lies on product communication and data storytelling. He also manages all marketing and PR activities in the US and the German speaking markets. With his academic background in both political science and marketing, he creates all our political analyses on the blog, covering events like the US elections in 2016. His work has been shared by WIRED Germany and The Guardian besides others.

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