Square Enix Presents, Square Enix’s yearly gaming showcase, fared very well among viewers on several fronts this year. Impact sentiment, which is a measure of meaningful, conversation-driven messages, earned an impressive 90/100 score, indicating that the event resonated with audiences.
Tomb Raider’s 25th anniversary generated the most buzz around viewers, with announcements including a Tomb Raider games giveaway, upcoming crossovers with other popular titles, and a Tomb Raider inspired cookbook.
In aggregate, the conversations pertaining to Tomb Raider accounted for 37% of the overall conversation volume for the event, and were received quite well, as sentiment around the announcements ranged between high 70’s and 90’s out of a possible 100.
Notable conversation volume also centered around the upcoming role-playing game, Forspoken, which accounted for 25% of the total conversation for the event. The studio behind the title, Luminous Productions, was involved in creating the highly buzzed about Final Fantasy XV, which generated excitement and drove conversation among gamers for their expectations of the new title.
Life is Strange’s new chapter, “True Colors,” also prompted considerable discussion, accounting for over 12.05% of conversation volume, as fans chattered about the new protagonist’s storyline and unique powers.
Although the event enjoyed over 408k engagement, much of it was not particularly substantive, as indicated by the relatively low impact ratio of 4.4%. As a reminder, impact ratio is a measure of the engagement share that is impactful to a given conversation. Considering that the average engagement impact ratio for the Square Enix brand is 24.5%, this is an anomaly. Let’s explore what is driving this to occur.
Spiketrap data revealed that over 17% of the total conversation was composed of responses to the Tomb Raider games giveaway promotion on Twitter, which contributed to the low overall impact ratio on the social platform (4.1%). This serves as an important reminder about the limited insights derived from looking at engagement metrics alone, since they don’t provide an indicator for the quality of that engagement or qualify how content is resonating with audiences.
However, substantive conversation could be found amid audience reactions to coverage by gaming news publications, where the impact ratio was considerably higher at 43.5%.
The disparity in engagement impact is not uncommon, and is a reminder of the importance of the contextual relationship between source material and responses to it. In this instance, Twitter served as a place for instant, surface-level responses to promotion. As an example, the immediate excitement generated when an audience first sees a new trailer for an upcoming game may elicit quick, short-hand praise from seeing cool new graphics. Meanwhile, an analysis from a gaming publication will elicit more critical and thought-out responses from gamers, where they may discuss the gameplay of that trailer in greater detail or compare it to other titles in the franchise.
In the case of Square Enix Presents, the in-depth nature of these responses helped generate higher engagement impact from editorial coverage, as opposed to the surface level responses prompted by the Twitter Tomb Raider games giveaway.
Nonetheless, the event drove positive lift for the Square Enix brand. Specifically, impact sentiment has risen 8 points since the event, climbing from 77 to 85 due to the announcements surrounding Tomb Raider’s anniversary, an upcoming game from the makers of the beloved Final Fantasy XV, and a unique protagonist in Life is Strange’s latest chapter.
To see how Square Enix Presents fared against other gaming announcement events this year, check out our insights into Sony’s State of Play, BlizzConline, and more when you log into Spiketrap.