The COVID-19 pandemic quarantine is driving us all a bit loopy, to say the least. While the United States discourse continues to politicize not dying of a currently incurable virus, the more reasonable members of society are staying at home and finding stuff to do. Obviously this includes video games. For the sake of market research, a lot of folks are looking at gaming data during this time, including… a pest control company? Here’s some interesting data about quarantine-time gaming searches per state, courtesy of Insight Pest Solutions.
This may come as a surprise to anyone reading this, but in terms of Google search analytics, Fortnite was the most popular game in the United States. Searched the most across ten different states, Epic Games’ money-making machine is still on top. This could be boosted in 2020 by Epic Games’ clever repurposing of Fortnite during the pandemic situation, creating a non-violent multiplayer space that doubles as a digital concert venue. Several popular artists have performed in Fortnite already, and more events are to come.
Number two on the list is Blizzard’s Overwatch, which almost comes as a surprise. A lot of folks out there have declared Overwatch on the decline, due to things like the esports league not quite generating as much buzz as expected, and a lot of drama at Activision Blizzard. Despite that, Overwatch was the most searched for game in nine states, just one under Fortnite. It just goes to show that social distancing isn’t as much of a problem with multiplayer games, giving people a chance to hang out with their friends in fun settings.
FIFA 20/MLB 20: The Show
Sports games will always be popular, they’ll always come out on an annual basis, and they’ll always dominate search results. Sports fandom is big, and sports video game fandom is proportionately big. Even people that don’t normally play video games will pick up the yearly sports sims, just to run digital seasons and tinker like a football god. FIFA and MLB: The Show are particularly known for their quality, so it makes plenty of sense that these are the most popular. These titles each won the favor of six different states.
Grand Theft Auto V
Another shocker, this one. The most profitable piece of entertainment media of all time also happens to be in the top echelon of gaming search terms. Grand Theft Auto V, which was free this month on the Epic Games Store (an event that knocked the service out for a day), continues to be a sales powerhouse. Not only are people constantly picking up copies of this, they’re also pumping cash into Grand Theft Auto Online, one of the most prolific digital social spaces running today.
Insight Pest Control (I can’t believe I’m typing that in this context) also did a separate search on mobile games, and some of the data is fascinating! Sure, Clash Royale continues to be a juggernaut, but I never would have expected Sonic Dash to sit so high up there. Garena Free Fire, a battle royale joint I’ve never heard of, also cracked the top three. I was also pleasantly surprised to see a couple states give a good shout out to Final Fantasy XV Pocket Edition, and for some reason the state of Pennsylvania was really into Kero Blaster. I mean, Kero Blaster (from the creator of Cave Story) is rad, but showing up in this specific context is ludicrous.