As reported in the last top list for games, “The Sims 4” has been 2017’s undisputed champion so far with nearly 16.8 million file sharers worldwide! But second and third place are hot on its heels, generating high file sharing activity and showing some notable similarities!
NO MATTER THE WEEKDAY, ACTIVITY IS DECLINING FOR TOP 3 GAMES
So, what else did we learn from analyzing the trend lines? To really find out how the games’ popularity is developing over time, we looked past the periodic behavior to consider the weekly average of P2P users, revealing a slight decline in the months since 2017 began (see weekly file sharers trend line). Nevertheless, one bright spot still shines through: File sharing activity has started to pick up again slightly over the past few weeks and at least the first and second contender games seem to be gaining momentum again.
GAMERS PREFER TO SPEND THEIR WEEKENDS GAMING
Analyzing the file sharing activity of the top three games reveals some interesting patterns. This consistency in trends is something we haven’t really seen for other content such as movies or series – at least not to such a degree or for such an extended period of time. The squiggles that look like heartbeats in the chart below are actually the trend lines for daily file sharers of individual game titles since January 2017. Most striking, and again slightly unusual, are the regular and consistent peaks over the last months. Even though the pattern is not particularly common for the rest of the content types shared in P2P networks, the explanation for these spikes is probably least surprising: The top 3 games are generally shared on weekends, as evident on the graph.
Comparing the daily number of file sharers on weekdays and the corresponding weekends since January 2017, we observed an average increase of 4.4% for “The Sims 4”. The strongest increase was in the second week of May with 8.2%. The action-adventure game “Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas” and the multiplayer shooter “Counter-Strike: Global Offensive” both showed an even higher weekend boost of 6.3% on average, and one-time peak increases of 10.7% and 10.6%, respectively (for other rates, see table). Notably, we observed a surge in the number of P2P users for every single weekend. As a result, file sharing for games shows high correlations to the days of the week.
TOP 3 GAMES SHOW ALMOST IDENTICAL COUNTRY DISTRIBUTION
File sharing activity took a little dip, but how did “The Sims 4” and the other top spot holders like “Counter-Strike: Global Offensive” and “Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas” perform at the country level? A closer look at the distribution of fans sharing the top 3 games revealed a striking similarity! The highest density of fans was found in Russia and Brazil for all the top 3, followed by China for “The Sims 4” and “Counter-Strike: Global Offensive”, while “Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas” found its third-densest base in the United Arab Emirates. Overall, when comparing year-to-date numbers for 2017 with 2016, the countries with the highest fan base of those games remained steady.
RUSSIAN GAMERS ARE NOT PICKY ABOUT THE TITLES THEY SHARE
Another interesting fact? In Russia, a file sharing stronghold, at least every second fan who was interested in one of the top 3 games had also shared the other two games. Almost 65% of Russian fans of “Counter-Strike: Global Offensive”, for example, have also shared “Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas”. That being said, Russian game addicts seem to have no discernable preference for genres. Or – put more flatteringly – they seem up for trying new stuff. They shared a wide range of different games, including almost every game listed in our top 10 list! Many other genre-diverse games not listed in the top 10, such as “Need for Speed: Most Wanted” or “The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt”, were also shared by around 40% of Russian file sharers who shared one of the three top games, which further underlines the open-mindedness of Russians file sharers– at least when it comes to games.
Definition: The rankings are based on the number of unique file sharers: How many peers (file sharers) shared at least one file of the top3 games between Jan - May 2017?