Posted on December 13 2014 by Nathanial Rumphol-Janc
The Game Awards show, the one that featured Nintendo rather prominently and ended with some brand new Zelda U footage, was arguably a bigger online success story than the entirety of the PlayStation Experience, which took place on Saturday and Sunday. According to Topsy, a social media website tracker, there were roughly 39,000 tweets about Zelda on Friday evening, where as the PlayStation Experience topped out at 35,000. That means Zelda drew more attention on Twitter than the entirety of Sony’s offerings. It was also notable for Zelda U in general, because The Game Awards served a much larger audience than Nintendo’s own Digital Event offering at E3 2014.
To date, the E3 Digital Direct has around 1.7 million views, while The Game Awards had 2 million live viewers, plus millions more after. As an example, the world premier of the new Zelda U footage on the game awards channel, by itself, has almost 2 million views. Nintendo’s own channel hosting the video only has north of 500,000 views. That’s huge, and it’s just the sort of attention Nintendo has been lacking from outside their own ecosystem. It also highlights some of the mistakes other companies may have made by not supporting The Game Awards as much as they could have (or in the case of Microsoft, not showing up at all). Nintendo took advantage of a massive audience grab they don’t traditionally have at their own events and made it shine through with one of their very best IPs.
This all served to prove three points: Nintendo made the right move, Zelda is still a really popular series when shown to the correct audience (which does extend beyond Nintendo’s ecosystem), and despite being the little engine that could… Nintendo was able to steal the weekend from under Sony’s nose with a Wii U game. Hopefully this increased exposure continues into next year and sales for this game, and the Wii U, will be invigorated during Holiday 2015.