There has been substantially less social-media chatter about the latest season of Fortnite than there was in past seasons, and that bodes well for big video game publishers Activision Blizzard Inc., Electronic Arts Inc., and Take-Two Interactive Software Inc.
Usually, significant social-media buzz accompanies the introduction of new Fortnite seasons, but launch day for Season 6, which made its debut Sept. 27, was fairly tame in terms of Twitter mentions, according to a report from TickerTags. Historically, the frequency of tweets about Fortnite has been “directionally correlated” with daily-player and bookings metrics.
Launch-day mention frequency for the terms Fortnite and Battle Pass each fell 37% with Season 6’s launch, relative to Season 5’s launch, per TickerTags. The firm, part of M Science, tracks social-media mentions and looks for stock implications. M Science’s transaction data indicate that daily players were down 37% as well with Season 6’s debut.
“We’ve been waiting for peak Fortnite to happen and it finally did,” sticker tags analyst Jacob Allen told MarketWatch. “That means more time for other games.”
Shares of Activision ATVI, +0.01% EA EA, -1.02% and Take-Two TTWO, +0.89% were big winners in 2017, but their performance has been more muted this year partly due to the rise of Fortnite, which is developed by Epic Games. The three major U.S. publishers have big holiday releases this year, and there’s been some concern that Fortnite’s popularity could eat into sales of so-called AAA titles like Activision’s “Call of Duty: Black Ops 4,” EA’s “Battlefield V,” and Take-Two’s “Red Dead Redemption 2.” After all, gamers only have so much time in the day.
Said Mark Bachman, the head of TickerTags: “If people draw a negative from this Fortnite data, it has to be a positive for some other players.”
The new “Call of Duty” comes out Oct. 12, while the latest “Red Dead” launches on Oct. 26. “Battlefield V” is scheduled for a Nov. 20 release.
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