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Study finds YouTube is the most popular and trusted platform for game discovery

Meanwhile, Twitter and online ads were the least trusted sources in consumer survey

A new study has found that YouTube is the most popular and trusted platform for discovering new games among players.

PR and marketing agency Big Games Machine surveyed 1,000 US-based console and PC gamers about how they find new titles to purchase and play, of which 64% said they discover games via YouTube.

According to the report, TikTok was the second most used platform at 36%, following by Instagram (35%), Facebook (34%) and word of mouth (32%). Mobile-first social media platforms were more popular with younger games; for example, 58% of 18 to 24-year-olds use TikTok compared to 29% of 34 to 44-year-olds.

The least popular sources were Metacritic's professional reviews at 3%, the site's user reviews at 4%, and print magazines at 5%.

Among the survey's respondents, the average player used between four and five different discovery channels to learn about new games.

In addition to being the most popular, YouTube was also the most trusted according to 52% of those surveyed.

At the opposite end, online ads were the least trusted discovery source at 17%, following by X (formerly Twitter) at 19%.

The study also quizzed respondents on the influences that prompt them to purchase or play a new game, with 40% saying that a title being within a familiar franchise is their biggest motivator.

30% said they were interested in games if there were included in subscription plans, while 30% also said positive user reviews were a factor. 25% said they were motivated by influencer or celebrity endorsements.

"It's clear that respected franchises and subscription platforms are a huge driver of game discoverability," Big Games Machine co-founder James Kaye told "In reality, many developers will not have the advantages of an existing franchise or a partnership with a subscription platform, requiring them to look at alternative methods to raise awareness of their title.

"A complex mix of channels and influences shows that modern game marketing is nuanced, and developers shouldn’t bet the farm on a single marketing strategy. Instead, a blended approach that takes advantage of multiple channels — especially social media — should be chosen.

"Games marketing is far from dead but requires a more thoughtful, omnichannel approach to produce the best outcomes for developers."

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James Batchelor avatar
James Batchelor: James is Editor-in-Chief at, and has been a B2B journalist since 2006. He is author of The Best Non-Violent Video Games
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