Every month, Tubular’s Rankings Center showcases the top cross-platform video publishers, as well as platform-specific and category-specific brands and creators, including Media, Automotive and Beauty properties. While we have given you a road map on how to Run a Successful Video Game Launch using Tubular, we haven’t fully equipped you just yet! In this blog post, we’re going to do a deep dive into the Top 10 Cross-Platform Gaming Franchises in July 2016.
Top 10 Cross-Platform Gaming Franchises
Let’s take a look at the top 10 cross-platform gaming franchises, in terms of both owned, and earned video views, using exclusive data from Tubular Labs. Here’s the list, followed by the numbers that matter, plus the info on earned and owned video views for each of the franchises.
- Pokémon by Nintendo
- Minecraft by Microsoft
- Grand Theft Auto Series By Rockstar Games
- League of Legends by Riot Games
- Call of Duty Series by Activision
- FIFA Series by EA Sports
- Overwatch by Blizzard Entertainment
- Counter-Strike Series by Valve Corp.
- ROBLOX by ROBLOX Corp.
- Clash Royale by Supercell
#10: Clash Royale by Supercell (270M Total Cross-Platform Views – 267M Earned Views, 3M Owned Views)
You may know Supercell’s other mega hits Clash of Clans and Boom Beach, but it’s the company’s newest game that earned a spot on this list. Clash Royale is an addictive genre-blender, combining game mechanics from trading card games, tower defense, and multi-player online battle arenas (MOBAs). So what exactly are they doing to reach their audience? Like many other publishers, Supercell posts trailers in multiple languages to reach their diverse, international player-base.
#9 ROBLOX by ROBLOX Corp. (289M Total Cross Platform Views – 288M Earned Views, 1M Owned Views)
ROBLOX has been capturing the hearts (and eyes!) of kids everywhere since 2004. By mixing physics-based sandbox gameplay with the connectivity of a Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game (MMORPG), ROBLOX has a solid fanbase that lifts it to the ninth spot on our list.
#8 Counter-Strike Series by Valve Corp. (408M Total Cross Platform Views – 403M Earned Views, 4.4M Owned Views)
This series’ latest entry Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is a staple in eSports. Valve’s own content reflects their fans and the players they root for. Despite the game being 4 years old, Valve continues to leverage the passion of their community by creating profiles of their top players.
But catering to the competitive audience was not the sole reason for CS:GO’s #8 place finish. The community found itself steeped in controversy when h3h3Productions accused two popular YouTubers and streamers, Trevor ‘TmarTn’ Martin and Tom ‘ProSyndicate’ Cassell, of deceptively advertising a CSGO Lotto website to their audience without overtly disclosing that they owned and operated the business. H3h3 productions’ video and Scarce’s two follow-ups were the top 3 unbranded videos in July, raising the franchise’s profile overall.
Due to the uproar on YouTube, Valve has since shut down the site and its competitors. With tools like Tubular Labs, gaming studios and other brands are able to track the top videos associated with their properties and clearly follow major events such as this.
#7 Overwatch by Blizzard Entertainment (441M Total Cross-Platform Views – 422M Earned Views, 18.5M Owned Views)
By and far the newest franchise on this list, Overwatch was only released worldwide in late May of this year. Blizzard’s zany team-based multiplayer first person shooter racked up an impressive 441M views, showing that the hype is still going strong.
Overwatch scored massive hits before its release with several cinematic trailers that gave insight into the world’s detailed backstory. July was no exception to this. On the 12th, Blizzard announced their first DLC character: Ana Amari. Not only did they show off her unique play-style, they also launched a storm of speculation into the game’s mysterious backstory with the dedicated fanbase by also posting a story driven trailer.
#6 FIFA Series by EA Sports (522M Total Cross-Platform Views – 485M Earned Views, 37.4M Owned Views)
The NBA may crush their major league competition in social video, but it’s EA Sports’ FIFA franchise that outplays other sports games. Like Clash Royale, FIFA caters to its truly global audience by posting the same video in multiple languages. However, FIFA applies this best practice to channels. With pages in Korean, German, Italian, French, Spanish, etc. FIFA reaches footie’s truly international audience. July was also an exciting month for FIFA fans as more details were revealed for the franchise’s next release, FIFA 17.
#5 Call of Duty Series by Activision (597M Total Cross-Platform Views – 578M Earned Views, 19.3M Owned Views)
Call of Duty taking a spot near the top of the list probably won’t surprise most. After all, it is the best-selling First Person Shooter (FPS) franchise ever. With annual blockbuster releases, a thriving esports community, and Comic-Con trailers for the upcoming entry Infinite Warfare propelled COD to this #5 spot.
Call of Duty also benefits from the strength of its Influencer community. VanossGaming in particular had the 3 top performing Call of Duty Videos of the month. These uploads earned nearly 20M views for the franchise, more than Call of Duty’s owned content. This is why identifying influencers is critical to any franchise that wants to succeed.
#4 League of Legends by Riot Games (665M Total Cross-Platform Views – 586M Earned Views, 78.7M Owned Views)
League of Legends is a true juggernaut of a franchise; Riot’s Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA) is consistently the champion of Owned Content and July was no exception. With a whopping 78.7M views, League of Legends proves once again that it has cultivated a dedicated fan base.
So what content is driving Riot’s viewership? 13.7M views from Riot’s official channels in July were a result of announcing the newest champion (playable character), Kled. However, the single largest source of views was from eSports. LoL Esports’ pages alone earned 20.1M views in July, approximately 25% of all Owned Views. Riot’s investment in the competitive community appears to be paying off, securing League of Legends the #4 spot on this list.
#3 Grand Theft Auto Series By Rockstar Games (1.1B Total Cross-Platform Views – 1.1B Earned Views, 10.3M Owned Views)
Grand Theft Auto may be infamous to some, but clearly the blockbuster series has captured the imagination and attention of audiences everywhere. Rockstar’s franchise distinguishes itself for not relying heavily on owned content to generate views; In fact, over 99% of the franchises’ views come from Influencer uploads. One in-game feature that may account for the series’ success is the included video editing tools that simplify the upload process.
Rockstar’s owned views in July were primarily driven by trailers for GTA Online’s now released Cunning Stunts DLC. However, Rockstar also uniquely focuses their uploads on Twitter and Instagram; these two sites account for 90% of the franchises uploads.
#2 Minecraft by Microsoft (3.3B Total Cross-Platform Views – 3.3B Earned Views, 9.2M Owned Views)
Until July 2016, Minecraft routinely trounced its competition, often earning triple the views of any other franchise. The game’s focus on creativity and modification lends itself to large numbers of creators showing off their unique building projects. In fact, 555K accounts uploaded Minecraft content in July, the largest by almost 45%.
Minecraft’s views are also supported by the popularity of its Influencers. VEGETTA77, TheDiamondMinecart // DanTDM, and Sky Does Minecraft all rank among the top 40 YouTubers by subscriber count and all focus primarily on Minecraft content. The volume of videos and the profile of its influencers may support Minecraft’s dominance over the gaming category, but this is the first month since July of 2013 that Minecraft has not taken the top spot.
#1 Pokémon by Nintendo (7.2B Total Cross-Platform Views – 7.1B Earned Views, 50M Owned Views)
While Pokémon has been a popular franchise online, it has come nowhere near the top 5, let alone the top spot. Pokémon’s success in outplaying Minecraft can be directly traced to Pokémon Go. The mobile, location-based scavenger hunt has been nothing short of a meteoric success, launching the 20-year-old franchise back into the spotlight.
What content has Nintendo been using to promote the success of Pokémon Go? Very little. They have instead elected to focus on the upcoming Sun and Moon, due out in November.
While August is shaping up to be another highly successful month for the series with 6.7B views as of August 29th, only time will tell if this momentum can be sustained.
Insights: Gaming Franchises
Looking back, what are the major insights we can draw from these Top 10 Franchises? Of these games, 8 out of 10 owned content accounted for less than 5% of the total cross-platform views. In fact, 4 games (including the top 3) owned content responsible for fewer than 1% of the total views. League of Legends had the highest percentage of owned views at 11.8%, but this was primarily driven by Riot’s ownership of the game’s esports league.
Gamers are a passionate audience and can be counted upon to create videos featuring their favorite franchises. The franchises on this list are not short lived trends, but rather long-lasting and passionate communities. Publishers and studios that have supported their Influencers gain the loyalty of their audience and longevity of their franchise.
What placement surprised you the most? Be sure to let us know either in the comments below or on tweet to us @tubularinsights. Make sure you follow Tubular Insights for more strategic advice on video marketing. We wouldn’t want you to miss out on all of our upcoming gaming content.