Overtone’s GameVoice Report Says Halo: Reach was the Most Talked About Video Game Online in September

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According to Overtone’s GameVoice social media listening report for the video game industry, Microsoft’s Halo: Reach, the highly anticipated first-person shooter video game launched last month, was the most talked about video game online in September.

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“GameVoice uncovered that the gameplay, replayability and graphics of Halo: Reach garnered the highest consumer sentiment, all with significant increases over the previous month,” said Michelle Mathis

According to Overtone’s GameVoice social media listening report for the video game industry, Microsoft’s Halo: Reach, the highly anticipated first-person shooter video game launched last month, was the most talked about video game online in September. GameVoice found that Halo: Reach surpasses Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, with consumer comments about the multiplayer mode and storyline generating the most buzz.

“GameVoice uncovered that the gameplay, replayability and graphics of Halo: Reach garnered the highest consumer sentiment, all with significant increases over the previous month,” said Michelle Mathis, GameVoice Product Manager at Overtone. “A significant number of gamers note that graphics are much better than previous games in the franchise but still not as impressive as some PS3 or PC games. Gamers are favorable toward the story and call it ‘interesting,’ ‘compelling’ and ‘explosive’. GameVoice continues, month after month, to produce valuable insights by collecting and analyzing millions of comments compiled from video game forums and message boards, that game publishers, retailers, or console manufacturers will find relevant and actionable.”

GameVoice found that Halo: Reach, with 24,793 comments in September was followed by Activision Blizzard’s Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, with 22,342 comments, and Mass Effect 2, with 11,412 comments, both which dropped by approximately 25 percent compared to the August report. Metroid: Other M, the Nintendo Wii exclusive that came out on August 31, increased by nearly 5,000 comments to 10,149.

GameVoice can be a predictor of video game sales as is the case with Halo: Reach. According to the NPD Group’s September analysis of the video game industry, Halo: Reach was the best-selling game in September, with sales of 3.29 million units. Electronic Arts’ Madden NFL 11, Capcom’s new Dead Rising 2, and EA’s National Hockey League (NHL) 11 took the number two, three, and four top sales rankings, respectively. The GameVoice report found a significant increase in overall comment volume and intent to buy conversations about the September release of Dead Rising 2 in anticipation of the product’s introduction. Despite their high sales rankings per the NPD Group, GameVoice did not find any significant increases in volume or consumer sentiment changes in sports games such as Madden NFL 11 and NHL 11.

While nine of the top ten games on NPD’s September 2010 US Game Sales were released in August and September of this year, tenth place game Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 was released in November 2009, but is still second on GameVoice’s Intent to Buy ranking, showing that gamers are not only still playing this game but recommending it to others.

GameVoice highlights the top line rankings of 300+ video games, consoles, publishers, genres, retailers, and other hot topics and summarizes consumer sentiment and volume across these categories providing insight into millions of social media conversations. The 30+-page September report compiled from comments in video game forums and message boards, offers valuable video game consumer insights including:

Platform Sentiment

Handheld platforms including the Nintendo DS, 3DS and Sony PSP continue to have higher sentiment than the game consoles. Gamers say they are excited about the 3D experience and the lineup of games that will be available on the 3DS. 3DS sentiment remained positive when the price was announced in Japan for the equivalent of $300 on September 29, showing that most gamers won’t be deterred by the price tag. The Microsoft Xbox 360 and PS3 score lowest on the sentiment index as gamers debate the Microsoft Kinect and Sony Move motion control devices and the consoles’ exclusive games.

Game Publisher Insights

The most talked about game publisher in September is, once again, Electronic Arts, with a slight increase in comments over the previous month. Nintendo moves up to second, spurred by conversation about the Nintendo 3DS and comparisons of the Wii to Sony’s new Move device. Motion control is a hot topic in conversation about third place Microsoft and the Kinect. Capcom surpasses Activision in comment volume this month, as gamers welcomed the announcement about Demon’s Souls’ price reduction but questioned design changes to Devil may Cry.

Game Insights: Top Upcoming Games

Call of Duty: Black Ops, which will be released on November 9, leads the conversation about upcoming games in September with 11,996 comments. Racing game Gran Turismo 5 shows a 52 percent increase in the number of comments over August as gamers anticipate the release of that game, which has been delayed but is still expected this year. Gran Turismo 5 has moved up in GameVoice rankings over the course of several months as interest of the new game grows. “It will be interesting to see if the huge interest and anticipation for the product online is a predictor of product sales,” added Mathis.

October releases Medal of Honor and Rock Band 3 are next in overall volume and intent to buy conversations, while Killzone 3 is fifth overall and Fable III is fifth in terms of intent to buy.

Download the entire September 2010 GameVoice Report for more insights from online conversations about the video game industry. You can also sign up for a free 14-day trial of GameVoice Interactive at http://www.gamevoiceinteractive.com.

About GameVoice

The GameVoice Report is created using GameVoice Interactive, the social media insight application built specifically for the video game industry. GameVoice Interactive tracks millions of consumer comments per month in real-time, accurately measuring true sentiment and extracting meaningful insights. GameVoice Interactive applies unmatched artificial intelligence capabilities and a text analytics engine that “reads” comments and is able to competently determine accurate results and insights suited for marketers, publishers, developers, and retailers in the industry.

Overtone, Inc.

Overtone, Inc. provides an advanced customer listening solution that out performs simple social media monitoring for many of the world’s leading consumer brand companies including Microsoft, Yahoo!, Equifax and Continental Airlines. Overtone’s OpenMic delivers meaningful customer insights from unstructured customer-generated content enabling strategic decisions and intelligent action. Overtone is funded by top-tier venture capital firms Dolphin Equity Partners and ABS Ventures. For more information, visit http://www.overtone.com

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Stephanie Aldrete
Overtone
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