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.