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Summer of Games 2020

As the world continues to suffer from a global pandemic and as all summer gaming events have transitioned to virtual platforms, we here at Spiketrap wanted to continue to provide our audience with data insights on some of the major video game announcements, trailers, press releases, and gameplay happening this summer.

While people continue to social distance, gamers are excited for new games and content to consume. We will be collecting data on conversations, engagement, sentiment from over 350 different sources including Twitter, YouTube, Reddit, Twitch, Mixer, and many more.

We hope that while it is important to be engaged with the world outside of video games, audiences are still able to escape into these beautiful virtual worlds, connect with friends, and have fun. Continue to check back here for updated information as the summer progresses!

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Gamescom: Opening Night Live

Sep 15, 2020 9:30:00 AM / by Spiketrap, Inc.

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Every year, gaming audiences around the globe look forward to Gamescom for news about their favorite titles. Albeit one of many similar events throughout the year, the attention paid to Gamescom is often rewarded as publishers save announcements for the European event. In this installment of our Summer of Gaming Series, we are taking a look at how fans reacted during Gamescom Opening Night Live.

In this pursuit, we’ve segmented audience conversations into key timeframes during the event. In total, over 85,000 chat messages were monitored and analyzed. 

To maintain audience interest prior to the official launch of the show, the broadcast began with a pre-show playing world premiere trailers. The main event kicked off with a cinematic mashup of numerous titles designed to introduce “the future of gaming” and welcome people to the show. Geoff Keighley then offered opening remarks, acknowledging how — now more than ever — games have comforted and connected people as they stay safe and healthy at home. Keighley also thanked publishers and developers for working under challenging circumstances to keep players entertained, even amid high expectations. 

Following the opening remarks, the first collection of trailers showcased a diverse line-up of games from first person shooters in Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, the next expansion for the World of Warcraft MMORPG titled Shadowlands, and platformer in Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart. Overall reactions to the event were positive with a sentiment score of 65/100, as viewers felt the pace of the show was awful, but were still interested in the highlights for major AAA titles such as Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart.

The first major game to be featured was Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War. During this presentation,Creative Director of Raven Software Dan Vondrak set the scene, which takes place after the events of the first Call of Duty: Black Ops and has players in 1981 as they try to deal with a threat during the Cold War. Notably, the presentation revealed that this title would offer players more control, from character creation — a departure from previous titles — to how the story ends as a result of player choices.

Despite the notable expansion of player choice and impact, audience reactions were mixed, resulting in an overall neutral sentiment score of 50/100. While some were excited for the next installment and some of the noted improvements, others expressed boredom and did not see sufficient differentiation from the previous title. Whether subsequent promotion of the title better illustrates the differences and improves sentiment among this cohort before the game’s November 13, 2020 launch remains to be seen.

Opening Night Live ended with an extended, uninterrupted live demo of new gameplay for Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart. After the demo, Insomniac developers highlighted the improvements in game design and graphics with the power of the PlayStation 5, such as filling the worlds with more density and life compared to previous Ratchet & Clank games and the dimensional shifting that is part of the core gameplay for Rift Apart.

Initial reactions for Ratchet & Clank were positive with a sentiment score of 63/100. Notably, positive conversations around the presentation focused on the perceived fun of gameplay and anticipation for playing the game upon release. 

Of course, there were numerous notable conversations throughout the broadcast, as evidenced in the infographic above. Additional, in-depth insights into what drove audience conversations are available via the Gamescom event monitor within the Spiketrap platform.

Spiketrap Launches Review Summary Dashboard in Beta

Aug 25, 2020 12:57:36 PM / by Spiketrap, Inc.

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What inspires your users to leave a 5-star review, and what drives them to give a 1-star rating? Discovering the answers is easier than ever with Spiketrap’s new Review Summary Dashboard, now available in beta!

Within the Review Summary Dashboard, Spiketrap clients have unparalleled insight into video game reviews. Specifically, Spiketrap clients can now monitor reviews across top stores & sites, identify themes, understand outliers, and discover key moments.

Monitor reviews across top stores & sites
The new Review Summary Dashboard already provides insights across the top game stores & sites, including:

Cyberpunk 2077: Night City Wire Ep.2

Aug 11, 2020 2:39:11 PM / by Spiketrap, Inc.

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In the latest episode of Night City Wire fans of Cyberpunk 2077 saw additional components of the character life paths, an exclusive look behind the making of the music and lyrics from in-game band Samurai, and a closer look at the “Tools of Destruction”. Initial reactions to the stream were very positive with a sentiment score of 84/100, as fans enjoyed the variety of weapon gameplay, replayability of character paths, and integration and detail to the game soundtrack.

First, answer the questions, “Who are you? Who do you want to be?” by selecting your life path within Cyberpunk 2077. Players choose a path from a street kid, nomad or corpo, each path providing your character backstory, a distinct view of life, and personal connection within Night City. As a real RPG you can play the entire game, beginning to end, as one character.

In an exclusive interview with members of the band Refused, the music behind the in-game band Samurai, we see how lyrics and music are selected as they get into the mindset of the game characters. With three original songs already out and a fourth streaming today, Samurai’s music plays an essential role in the ambiance and rhythm of Cyberpunk 2077.

Finally, fans got an in-depth look at the weapons in Cyberpunk 2077 with a gameplay tutorial of the weapons and how each weapon works, demonstrating exciting combat within the game. In addition, there is a collector’s book available now with an extensive look into Night City for fans to learn all the background prior to playing the game when it is released November 19 on Xbox One and PlayStation 4 with free upgrades to Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5.

Sony PlayStation State of Play

Aug 10, 2020 4:31:09 PM / by Spiketrap, Inc.

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Playstation’s latest State of Play stream had a lot of exciting news and previews of games coming soon. One highly anticipated game available this holiday season is Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time. This latest update in the franchise takes you on a journey with Crash and Coco, including a new Insanity Beach landscape with unique art style and animated cartoon inspired characters. It will allow old fans a reintroduction into everything you loved about the previous Crash Bandicoot series, but adds new elements to the platform with wall running, rope swinging, rail grinding, and more. Also, you can choose between playing the game as Crash or Coco. Several additional skins are available and can be earned throughout the game and the new quantum masks help assist in challenges. Initial reaction to the gameplay was positive, with a score of 62/100, as the majority of players found the gameplay to be amazing. There is also inverted mode play where all levels are rendered in a new design and artform which allows players, once a level is unlocked, to play that level in several modes with new and dynamic artwork. Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s about Time is out on October 2nd.

Another highly anticipated game showcased in the Playstation State of Play stream is Godfall, a looter/slasher which can be played solo or with 2 additional players. Godfall is a world of 4 realms (Earth, Water, Air, Fire) where you have multiple enemies and ultimately must defeat the mad God. The fluid combat mechanics reward players for aggressive combat as you want to be in constant motion and closing the gap on your opponent. There are 5 unique weapon classes with each weapon having a primary and secondary trait. Reactions from the stream were mixed with a sentiment score of 54/100, as players were either excited to play Godfall or bored by the gameplay. With no microtransactions, Godfall looks primed to make a splash Holiday 2020 on PS5.

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Xbox Games Showcase 2020

Jul 25, 2020 8:06:38 AM / by Spiketrap, Inc.

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Overall sentiment of the Xbox Games Showcase was positive with a score of 70/100, as viewers enjoyed the amount of first-party games, gameplay shown for Halo Infinite, and reveal of Fable. Fans got a look at several new first party games, another look at the Xbox Series X console, and several world premieres of some upcoming games, including from Rare Studios, a unique look at the fantasy world of Everwild, the mysterious and intriguing story in Tell Me Why coming August 27th, and a new version of Ori and the Will of the Wisps with updated visual, audio, and design improvements.

Google Stadia Connect

Jul 24, 2020 3:55:03 PM / by Spiketrap, Inc.

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During the recent Google Stadia Connect event, gamers got a chance to see more games available in the Stadia Store for “Click to Play” access. Click to Play will also be available for big titles including Marvel’s Avengers, Assassins Creed: Valhalla, and Cyberpunk 2077 when they are released later this year. Stadia will also have titles from 2K Games, including Mafia II & III remastered, Borderlands 3, PGA Tour 2K21, NBA 2K21, and WWE Battlegrounds.

Stadia also announced it is working with a variety of studios around the world on exclusive games for Stadia. These studios include Harmonix, Uppercut Games, and Supermassive Games. More information on these projects will be coming later this year.

Additional releases coming to Stadia in the next few months include PUBG on July 30, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice coming in Fall 2020, and the Hitman Trilogy with Hitman I & II available in September, and Hitman III in January 2021. Initial reactions to the Connect were neutral, as viewers found the game announcements to be subpar, and ultimately wanted more mentions regarding additional features or updates to the Stadia service.

Ubisoft Forward

Jul 17, 2020 1:58:13 PM / by Spiketrap, Inc.

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Ubisoft made several exciting new announcements around franchise favorites in its first Ubisoft Forward stream. The overall stream was received well with viewers, as fans enjoyed the announcements and have a close affinity with Ubisoft games.

First fans got an in depth look at Watch Dog: Legions in a short film featuring the realistic streets of London. In a world where ordinary people on the street become heroes, and enemies are black market thugs or massive security companies, the unique universe of Watch Dog: Legions looks like a high speed adventure to watch for. Initial reactions to the cinematic trailer and gameplay were neutral as fans felt the game either looked promising or fell short of their expectations when compared to other games.

World of Warcraft: Shadowlands Developer Update

Jul 10, 2020 10:38:04 AM / by Spiketrap, Inc.

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Fans of World of Warcraft (WoW) were treated to an update on the latest expansion of Shadowlands, which has completed Alpha testing and is starting Beta testing next week. During Alpha testing there were over 817k quests completed with 64k in-game bugs reported and a countless level of invaluable feedback that has been implemented to prepare for Beta testing. Players who have opted-in for Beta testing will receive invitations to participate and while the game is feature complete, there is still more work to be done. Beta testing will include a level cap increase to 60 as well as a first look at endgame loot.

In addition, the Shadowlands Update stream highlighted several features and showcased more detail on the four distinct covenants, including the Covenant Sanctums which illustrated the unique features in each covenant such as Ember Court, and in-game party location, Path of Ascension where you can play as a Soulbind character, or Queen’s Conservatory, a self-contained gameplay where powerful souls prep for rebirth. Also, Theater of Pain, the last dungeon was revealed, as well as, a quick look at Return to the Maw.

While the stream lasted approximately 45 minutes and there was no gameplay featured, updates for the long standing MMORPG from Game Director, Ian Hazzikostas, were well received from fans, as they believe Blizzard is listening to player feedback about the constant grind of the game. An exact release date was not mentioned, however, Executive Producer, John Hight, stated the Shadowlands expansion would be released this fall.

Cyberpunk 2077: Night City Wire Ep.1

Jun 26, 2020 11:34:00 AM / by Spiketrap, Inc.

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Fans of Cyberpunk 2077 were treated to new insights and visuals of in-game footage with a new, high octane trailer which streamed on Projekt Red’s first episode of their web series, Night City Wire. CyberPunk 2077 is set within an area of 6 districts with a surrounding 7th district called The Badlands, a dystopian desert landscape inhabited by the Nomads. Fans also got a look at Adam Smasher, a fully computed cyborg metal monster, and a more in-depth experience of Ripperdocs, surgeons within Night City who are able to upgrade cyber body parts.

Extensive time was also spent featuring Braindance, a component of gameplay where players can access recordings of another character’s experiences including emotion, sensations, memories, and actions. Braindance is a tool for storytelling and a look into the lives of the people of Night City. Players will be able to use Braindance in editors mode to pick up different clues as they solve mysteries throughout the game. Initial reaction for the stream was overall positive, as fans are excited to see new gameplay for Cyberpunk, however, the Braindance gameplay did see a dip in sentiment, as there were comments comparing the gameplay as a copy and paste to the Batman Arkham series.

Also included in the stream was the announcement of Cyberpunk Edgerunners, an anime series debuting on Netflix in 2022, developed by Trigger Studios. Fans of the video game will recognize the same setting of Night City, but will be able to discover new characters and story lines through the forthcoming series.

With extensive character development and the Witcher 3 quest experience where nothing is a throwaway and every aspect is an important clue in the game, Cyberpunk 2077 creators have listened to their audience and learned what the fans want to make the game the best possible for its release on November 19th for Xbox One and PlayStation 4 with free upgrades to Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5.

Marvel's Avengers War Table

Jun 24, 2020 9:49:21 PM / by Spiketrap, Inc.

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Staying true to the 50 years of lore and history from the comics, Square Enix tells a unique story in Marvel’s Avengers and expands their universe with the newly revealed footage that took a deeper dive into the hero based gameplay. As players enter the game, several years have passed since “A-Day”, a day for celebration for the Avengers wherein a tragedy caused death and destruction and the Avengers were blamed. The supervillain, MODOK has emerged to manipulate public fear and control machines with his mind, making him the most sophisticated threat the Avengers have ever faced.

Modern Avenger fans will be able to play in both single-player mode and teams of four in War Zones. There are several ways to customize your character including classic outfits inspired by the comics going all the way back to the 60’s, as well as the ability to select your character’s attitude with emote customization. You can also match your hero to your style of play with combat versatility. There are also single-player campaigns called Hero Missions, where you can engage in non-A-Day play, selecting from a variety of your favorite Avengers characters including Iron Man, Thor, and Black Widow.

In War Zones, players will be able to come together on the Helicarrier, select missions or challenges, and explore several different cities and locations with a variety of landscapes. Along the way you will work with The Resistance, a diverse cast composed of inhumans, shield agents, and other factions to help you along your journey. Initial reactions from the stream are very positive, as viewers enjoyed the look, feel, and gameplay of the hero missions and war zones gameplay. Marvel’s Avengers is set to launch on September, 4th.

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