To give brands, consumers and publishers more insight into which video games are being geeked out over, top gaming information site GameSpot will rank interest in upcoming games in real time on a new list called the GameSpot 50.
"Advance buzz is more critical than ever before," said Ben Howard, GameSpot's vp of content. "We really felt that there was room in the marketplace for something which looks at upcoming titles and what the world is going to be playing in the next few years and how our audience is getting into this stuff games six, 12 or 18 months before release."
Starting today, the list—also known as the G|FIFTY—will encompass several metrics, including video views and search traffic across the San Francisco-based web publication's online hub. Because much of the website's traffic is directed through Google searches, the site reflects larger online behavior, said Stan Kwon, vp of strategy and operations at GameSpot. Previously, some of the information was available for subscribers of the gaming information portal's B2B service GameSpot Trax, but the publication decided to make the knowledge public.
"Video games really only have one chance of success at release. The stakes are higher than ever," Kwon added, noting that these games often have Hollywood blockbuster budgets.
Also, the list won't be limited to just PC and console offerings. G|FIFTY will encompass any upcoming game, which means mobile titles could climb up the charts. However, with the hardcore gaming community still swearing by traditional platforms, it's an unlikely scenario for now.
Video game publisher Ubisoft is interested in the list because it will show audience interest and intent for buying its games. Such data will provide insights into titles that lurk under the most popular 10, potentially giving the company time to tinker with its marketing strategies.
"We spend a lot of time trying to understand what's motivating gamers," said Jill Steinberg, Ubisoft's senior director of media and promotions. "It can change all the time. It brings to the forefront games that are very good games that aren't always exposed."
The information may be beneficial to people outside the gaming industry as well, according to Howard.
For example, one of GameSpot's main sponsors is Samsung. The Korean telecommunications company will support some of the gaming website's upcoming E3 events, which will be held June 10-12 in Los Angeles. While Samsung doesn't produce games, using GameSpot could help show off devices that players may be into.