How did the games media cover E3? We ask GamesRadar+

Matthew Jarvis
How did the games media cover E3? We ask GamesRadar+

The last year saw huge changes for Future's output, with the closure of CVG and the combination of its remaining games brands into GamesRadar+.

E3 was arguably the first big test for Future's flagship website since its November launch.

Itwas really, really pleased with how GamesRadar+ covered E3 in 2015,"reveals GamesRadar+ executive editor Andy Hartup.

"It was easily our best year.

"We've added a few new faces since last year, and there's a lot of talent on the team, so I think we all pulled together well and nailed the event. In fact, we did a great job of all the pre-E3 build-up, and post-show analysis too. It was a very rounded effort. The site itself has changed dramatically since last June too, so we had to approach our E3 coverage in a slightly different way – but it all worked to our advantage.

"The numbers we got from the whole of June were absolutely fantastic. During the actual week of E3, we doubled uniques year-on-year in the UK, setting traffic records on the Monday, and then again on the Tuesday.

"Globally, we added over one million unique users year-on-year during E3 week, so that was really encouraging. We're pretty smart at leveraging our social networks too, and we boosted our reach on Facebook and Twitter by about 40 per cent during E3 week, with 25 per cent more people actually engaging with and clicking on our articles.

"Traffic didn't come from a handful of break-out stories – the majority of our content performed extremely well. That's a great sign that the site is growing the way we want it to; we're not relying on single, one-hit pieces to prop up our stats."

Andy Hartup, GamesRadar+

"However, what I was really pleased to see is that traffic didn't come from a handful of break-out stories creating 'spikes' in our analytics – the majority of our content, from news to features to hands-on previews to video, performed extremely well.

"The way I see it, that's a great sign that the site is growing the way we want it to; we're not relying on single, one-hit pieces to prop up our stats. In fact, we've seen the site continue to grow since E3, despite the lack of blockbuster games during this summer – Batman notwithstanding. We broke our UK traffic record again earlier this month, and our Facebook group tipped over one million users.

"How did we do it? We genuinely work as a global team, so we can provide coverage almost 24 hours per day. During E3 week we actually split into three separate units – UK, LA and San Francisco – each with its own areas of responsibility for covering the show.

"Because we work globally every day – we actually have staff in four different time zones – all the tools were already in place for coordinating a big event like E3. There are a bunch of technical things we do within our CMS, and we obviously adjust our content strategy for big events, but making sure everyone knows what's happening at all times is crucial.

"More than that, though, everyone who works on the new GamesRadar+ genuinely loves what they do. I know most editors will tell you that, but there's a genuine desire to succeed and create some of the best stuff out there – be it news, features or reviews. So people are willing to go the extra mile. Most of the UK team stayed until 4am on the Monday to help cover the Sony conference, and were then back in work at 9am to write reactive features.

"For me the key is that we all work really well as a global team, and that, combined with a ruthless planning regime and about a million Google spreadsheets, is invaluable when it comes to big events like E3.

"Ha – and yes, we've already looked at our E3 coverage and worked out a few ways we can grow even more next year..."

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