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Gamescom catching up with E3 in terms of PR impact

ICO Partners research sees PS4 getting most press attention from show

Research around the press coverage of Gamescom has revealed that, whilst the event still doesn't have quite the impact of E3, it's still an effective place to attract coverage, especially from German media, says PR and online analytics company ICO Partners.

Monitoring the output of both specialist and mainstream online media after the Cologne show, ICO Partners found that the PS4 harvested the most column inches: a total of 10,929 articles. That's almost a clear 3,000 articles ahead of its closest rival in the Xbox One with 8,043. Nintendo's lack of press conference hurt its exposure, the report says, with only 1,563 articles appearing about the Wii and Wii U combined, less than half that for the Xbox 360 and only around a third of the total for PS3.

Still, E3's shadow looms large. The PS4 was featured in over 16,000 pieces after the LA show, the Xbox One in 11,433. Nintendo's platform fared considerably better, even in comparison to others, after E3, with the Wii U the third most talked about platform, featured in 6,271 columns.

The power of the press conferences was evident again in the date range of the show's online presence. Tuesday, when both Sony and Microsoft had their conferences, generated 4,195 articles compared to 3,435 the day after and 2,580 on Thursday the 14th. Coverage drops off consistently as the week goes on.

In terms of regional reach, German language articles were unsurprisingly the most common, with over 4,700 pieces written. Less predictably, French language articles (2064) on Gamescom were slightly more commonplace than those in English (1976), with Spanish and Italian language pieces close behind. Far more German websites covered the show, too, with 326 different outlets writing about it, compared to 188 in English and 193 in French, 131 in Spanish and 91 in Italian.

It's perhaps the analysis of which games communicated most effectively at the show which is most interesting. Largely, most games saw a much bigger pay off from E3 than Gamescom, although for some titles that disparity becomes clearer when you consider that they were announced at E3 and were not playable in Cologne. Nonetheless, the gap is overwhelming for many games. Only two titles saw more PR come out of the German show than E3: FIFA 145 and Call of Duty Advanced Warfare.

Whilst EA's perennial soccer game can probably explain its slightly better coverage with a more receptive audience, CoD: AW saw a huge increase in numbers, marking an increase in exposure of around fifty per cent.

All images courtesy of ICO Partners.

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Dan Pearson