What do Google (GOOG) searches and video games sales have in common? More than we thought. According to a report called “Understanding the Modern Gamer,” there is a lot of insight on game sales that can be gleaned from video game-related searches. For example, using tracked search data from 2010 and 2011, the white paper reveals that “if a game accrues 250,000 clicks in the 10 months around launch, it will likely sell between 2 and 4 million units in the first four months after release.” The report claims it can predict 84% of game sale just from using Google searches.
In addition to predictive sales data, the analysis also says that 27% of game-related searches — for pre-orders, trailers, DLC, strategies, cheats, etc. — are performed on mobile devices, which means engaging gamers with related mobile applications is growing in importance.
By studying search data, publishers and their marketing/public relations teams can devise a strategy to properly guide a game to success. As shown below, important searches differ during different periods, from pre-launch to during launch to post-launch. So if you’ve ever wondered why media are drip-fed only a handful of screenshots for a new game at certain times, this type of data is the reason.