Electronic Arts said that its social media reactions broke records with its revelation of the Battlefield 1 video game last Friday. And the reaction to the reveal trailer for the World War I-based game was far more positive than the reaction earlier last week to the Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare trailer.
On YouTube, Battlefield 1’s trailer received 20.6 million views in the first 72 hours. That compares to 14.9 million views for the Call of Duty trailer in more than a week. In addition, the reactions to Battlefield 1 were overwhelmingly positive, while the reaction to Infinite Warfare was negative. EA noted that the views on Battlefield 1 were bigger than a full year’s worth of views on Star Wars Battlefront.
Players can vote thumbs up or down on Youtube videos. Infinite Warfare received 1.41 million thumbs down votes, and only 279,657 positive votes as of yesterday. Battlefield 1, by comparison, had only 20,429 negative votes and 1.12 million positive votes. That’s only 0.01 percent negative votes for Battlefield 1.
In an earnings call today, EA chief executive Andrew Wilson said that the Youtube trailer may have been the “most liked trailer ever on Youtube. He said, “The community has been asking for something different. The DICE team has delivered, and the feedback has been resoundingly positive.”
“Everyone at DICE and across EA was totally blown away by the awesome reaction gamers have had to Battlefield 1,” said Dan Mitre, Battlefield global community manager, in a statement. “Last week, we pulled back the veil to show everyone what we’ve been working on, and we bore witness to incredible support from fans. We invited Battlefield Game Changers, longtime Battlefield players, and shooter fans to join us in London, San Francisco and Berlin at the three Battlefield World Premiere events, but those events were just a megaphone for our community to shout their excitement online. We thank the amazing Battlefield community for making the Battlefield 1 announcement one of the biggest reveal events this year. Up next is EA Play (June 12) where the game will be hands-on playable for industry and fans in both L.A. and London. We can’t wait for everyone to experience it for themselves.”
On Twitch, EA’s livestream of the game and its developer conversation reached 2.1 million views, with a peak of 505,000 for simultaneous viewers. According to Twitch, this makes the game the largest reveal of the year to date, when it comes to concurrent viewers.
“EA has been a power user of Twitch for years, spanning everything from events to showcasing their latest games,” said John Imah, senior manager of partnerships at Twitch, in a statement. “As a result of their strong relationship with our community, we witnessed over half a million users tune in for Battlefield 1, establishing an impressive 2016 concurrent viewership record for a single game reveal. This new milestone — which is one of the biggest reveals to date — reflects both the high level of excitement for Battlefield and the growing audience on Twitch.”
Meanwhile, on Twitter, #Battlefield was also trending on Friday, and Battlefield 1 was featured in the Twitter Moments section. The press wrote 3,370 articles in the first 72 hours, and those generated 111.2 million impressions. Here’s our own interview with EA DICE’s lead designer.
Eric Hirshberg, CEO of Activision Publishing, addressed the negative reactions last week during Activision Blizzard’s analyst conference call. He said:
First of all, you gotta love the passion of gamers. This is an industry like no other and a fan base like no other. We love that our fans treat this franchise like their own and have such strong points of view about it. There just aren’t many entertainment franchises on earth that can generate the kind of passion that Call of Duty can… and that’s a good thing.
Secondly, of course, we know there are people in our community who are nostalgic for the boots on the ground-style gameplay; that’s why we made Modern Warfare Remastered. But we also have millions of people in our community who want to have new innovative experiences in the game each year and Infinite Warfare is going to deliver that.
The good news is this year we found a way to deliver both in one package while keeping our community together. While of course we see the passionate opinions online, we also look at other measurements and the fact is — while it’s very early — pre-orders are off to a very strong start. Views of the reveal trailer … are up and, in fact, the number of likes per view on the Infinite Warfare trailer are the highest we’ve ever seen.
We’ve seen this in the franchise before. The reveal trailer for Black Ops II, which took the franchise into the future for the first time, had the most dislikes of any reveal trailer we had ever made at that time. And that went on to become our most successful game ever.
Right now, the franchise has never been stronger. We have more people playing Black Ops III, a game that takes place in the future, with boost jumps and fictitious weapons, than any game in our history.
What we know for sure is that if we always just did what worked in the past and never took any creative risks, we wouldn’t have a franchise. The day to worry is the day we stop trying new things.