YouTube War Games: Call of Duty vs. Battlefield

YouTube War Games: Call of Duty vs. Battlefield

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Last fall saw releases of longtime video game rivals Call of Duty and Battlefield. Specifically, the versions were “Call of Duty: Ghosts” and “Battlefield 4.” On Nov. 4 of this year, Activision will release “Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare,” and on March 31, 2015 we’ll see EA’s “Battlefield Hardline.”

Call of Duty fans and Battlefield fans can debate forever about which game is better and why. One YouTuber named “jackfrags” even made the video “Battlefield vs Call of Duty Rap Battle!” which was viewed by 5.8 million fans.

Which Game is Winning on YouTube?

But enough with the debate – let’s look at the numbers, and find out which game wins on the playing field that really matters: YouTube, of course. Video games are the second largest category on YouTube after music. And if you take away Vevo, games are the largest category that is driven by independent YouTuber channels. YouTube videos have a big impact in the gamer ecosystem.

At Octoly we recently completed an extensive YouTube and Video Games Study to help game publishers and brand managers better understand the space. Our research showed that 95% of YouTube views about video games were of videos created by fans, who love sharing their gameplay with the YouTube community.

So who’s doing better on YouTube: Call of Duty or Battlefield? Let’s find out.

According to our research, Battlefield has 212 million views across all its worldwide channels, while Call of Duty has more than twice as much, with 525 million views. Call of Duty has more engaging owned videos – it’s viewers had a 3.6% likelihood of taking a social action (liking, sharing, or tweeting) about the video across YouTube, Facebook or Twitter. Battlefield viewers only took 1.9% actions per view.

Call of Duty Officially-Branded Content
Battlefield’s officially-branded channels have been viewed 211 million times. Call of Duty’s officially-branded channels have been viewed 525 million times.

On the influencer front, Call of Duty has twice as many creator channels making videos about it, with 416,000 channels. Battlefield has 204,000 fan channels. Battlefield does win in one area – its fan-created videos have more engaged viewers, with 3.4% social actions per view. Call of Duty viewers of influencer-created videos were less engaged, with 2.2% social actions per view.

Call of Duty vs. Battlefield - User-Generated Content
Battlefield videos uploaded by YouTube influencers have been viewed 3.5 billion times. Call of Duty videos uploaded by influencers have been viewed 10.2 billion times.

Influencer-created Videos about Video Games

But perhaps the most important metric is the total number of views of influencer-created videos about the two games. Battlefield has a very large number, at 3.5 billion (yes, billion with a “b”), views. But Call of Duty fan-created videos have been viewed 10.2 billion times, almost three-fold the Battlefield views.

Importantly, holding true to our formula, both brands had roughly the same ratio when it came to views of brand-created videos vs. fan-created videos. Call of Duty’s YouTube footprint consisted of 95% influencer videos, while Battlefield was at 94%. When the field of battle is YouTube, Call of Duty defeats Battlefield by a significant margin.

Do you like Battlefield or Call of Duty better? And do you enjoy watching YouTube videos about games? Tell us in the comments below.

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November 2018

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