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What were the most talked about games of E3 week?

Elden Ring, Battlefield 2042, Forza Horizon 5 and the sequel to Zelda: Breath of the Wild drew the most attention

E3 (and this year's adjacent events) achieves one thing, if nothing else: it gets people talking about video games.

Every surprise reveal, every in-depth gameplay trailer and every partnership announcement has the potential to launch thousands of excitable forum discussions and convoluted fan theories, as well as tweets conveying peak levels of both hype and snark.

With the dust fully settled from last week's reveals, various platforms and companies have released their statistics on what were this year's biggest hits, which we have collated -- along with a little analysis commissioned by GamesIndustry.biz -- below.

Twitter

The rapid-fire social media platform is very much the go-to destination for discussions for many in the gaming sphere, and Twitter included a section specifically about the conversations around E3 in its half-year update last week.

Focusing specifically on the official event, the company said that at one point during the four days -- June 12 to 15 -- 26 of the top 30 Worldwide Trends were related to the emerging games news.

According to Twitter, the most discussed games were:

  1. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild sequel
  2. Elden Ring
  3. Battlefield 2042
  4. Halo Infinite
  5. Forza Horizon 5

The company also singled out the tweet from the official Elden Ring account bearing the first gameplay trailer as the most viewed video of E3.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the United States was the country that produced the most E3 week tweets, followed by Japan and Spain respectively. The United Kingdom and Brazil rounded out the Top Five.

Facebook

The social network dedicated a blog post to its findings from this year's E3 week, searching all posts for mentions of both new game reveals and established games that received updates and announcements during the various showcases.

Interestingly, the top five titles here are significantly different to that of Twitter, with only Microsoft's upcoming racer and EA's futuristic shooter in both lists.

The most mentioned new game reveals were:

  1. Battlefield 2042
  2. Forza Horizon 5
  3. Halo Infinite
  4. Starfield
  5. Metroid Dread

The top three above also mirrors the top three trailers on Facebook that achieved the highest views and engagement (likes, reactions, shares and so on).

Ubisoft was the most mentioned games company during the week, followed by Bethesda, Activision, Capcom and Square Enix.

All in all, Facebook claims there were 1.2 billion gaming engagements when you combine all posts, likes, shares and comments.

YouTube

Market researcher Fancensus kindly prepared the tables below for GamesIndustry.biz to give us an exclusive insight into what people were watching during the week.

Nintendo's E3 2021 Direct was the most popular broadcast at more than 10 million views above what the Xbox & Bethesda Showcase achieved -- although it's worth noting the Direct was broadcast across over 100 more channels than Xbox (but don't tell Nintendo).

Here were the most viewed presentations of the week

Product Title Views Channel Count Reach % Likes % Influencer
Nintendo Direct 26m 305 99.9m 97% 26%
Xbox & Bethesda 14.4m 191 44.3m 97% 7%
Summer Game Fest Kick Off 9.7m 172 51.5m 96% 14%
Ubisoft Forwards 5.1m 207 87m 94% 31%
Square Enix Presents 3.2m 85 42.3m 89% 16%
PC Gaming Show 2.5m 115 26.5m 94% 26%
Koch Media Primetime Event 1.8m 48 22.7m 94% 6%

Looking at individual trailers, Elden Ring was the most popular release of the week, as it was on Twitter. Again, we see Forza Horizon 5 and Battlefield 2042 performing well, as they did on Facebook, but also a lot more interest in Ubisoft and Square Enix's titles, including the debut footage of Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora.

Below are the most watched E3 week trailers on YouTube. '% Influencer' shows the percentage of views that came from influencer channels.

Product Title Views Channel Count % Likes % Influencer
Elden Ring 23.1m 241 98% 40%
Forza Horizon 5 20.5m 125 98% 34%
Battlefield 2042 10.9m 137 97% 84%
Avatar Frontiers Of Pandora 10.2m 100 96% 27%
Rainbow Six: Extraction 7.1m 98 96% 45%
Guardians Of The Galaxy Game 6.8m 184 93% 23%
Halo Infinite 5.3m 107 96% 40%
Zelda: Breath Of The Wild Sequel 5.1m 130 98% 78%
Mario and Rabbids Sparks of Hope 4m 82 97% 26%
Starfield 3.4m 79 95% 58%
Far Cry 6 2.7m 79 97% 33%
Redfall 2.3m 54 87% 9%
Just Dance 2022 2.1m 27 97% 9%
The Outer Worlds 2 1.9m 44 98% 4%
Evil Dead: The Game 1.8m 30 98% 7%
Back 4 Blood 1.4m 36 97% 5%
Age Of Empires IV 1.3m 31 96% 15%
Jurassic World Evolution 2 1.2m 27 99% 69%
Microsoft Flight Simulator 1.2m 27 99% 11%
Valorant 1.1m 8 99% 89%

Media coverage

It's not just consumers talking about the games shown off during E3 week. Each year's reveals typically trigger a spike in media coverage for the biggest upcoming games, and ICO -- a UK-based communications, business and marketing agency for the games industry -- prepared a breakdown for us.

Below is a ranking of the games that received the most mentions -- both in the headline and the article itself -- across more than 30,000 websites over the course of the week:

Game Mentions
Elden Ring 2,849
Starfield 2,525
Battlefield 2042 2,110
Forza Horizon 5 1,757
Halo Infinite 1,752
Marvel's Avengers - Updates & Expansion 1,602
Far Cry 6 1,512
Back 4 Blood 1,349
Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy 1,349
Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope 1,253

Pre-orders

We've already reported on GameStop's top ten most pre-ordered titles following the announcements of E3 week, but it's worth including them here since the historic function of the trade show has been to drum up interest and ultimately sales in the biggest games of Christmas.

Here's what gamers were itching to get their hands on by the end of the week:

  1. Metroid Dread (Nintendo)
  2. The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD (Nintendo)
  3. Mario Golf Switch (Nintendo)
  4. Pokémon Brilliant Diamond/Shining Pearl (Nintendo)
  5. Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy (Square Enix)
  6. Far Cry 6 (Ubisoft)
  7. Dungeons & Dragons Dark Alliance (Wizards of the Coast)
  8. Madden NFL '22 (Electronic Arts)
  9. Pokémon Legends: Arceus (Nintendo)

If you missed any of the big news during E3 2021 and all the adjacent events, be sure to check out our breakdown of all the announcements, plus a guide to all the release dates revealed during the event.

Author

James Batchelor avatar

James Batchelor

Editor-in-Chief

James Batchelor has been a journalist in the games industry since 2006, joining GamesIndustry in 2016, and also runs Non-Violent Game of the Day (@NVGOTD). He does play violent games, but always on Story/Easy mode.

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