It may come as no surprise that core games and Q4 blockbusters were among the most common search terms of the year when it comes to gaming.
Google supplied MCV with an alphabetised list of the Top 10 console video game queries from January 1st to December 11th 2012, and the list reads thusly:
Assassin's Creed 3
Black Ops 2
Mass Effect 3
Nothing massively shocking, perhaps. But in a year when the industry's biggest trade show was dedicated to retaining or reclaiming the core gamer, it emphasizes how actively this demographic is seeking information on its next purchases.
Also note that all but two of these titles were released in Q4. Only Mass Effect 3, released in March this year, and GTA V, due next spring, buck this trend.
Again, this may not seem surprising, but it reinforces how weighted the tail end of the year is for the industry – something retailers warned against back in May. Fortunately, publishers listened – but the focus is still around the all-important run-up to Christmas.
Core titles also seem to have longer tails when it comes to consumer interest, with FIFA 12 (released in September 2011) and Skyrim (November 2011) rubbing shoulders with the most recent blockbusters. Similarly, awareness of GTA V is already high ahead of its release next year.
Interestingly, there is still a presence from the casual side of console gaming in the form of Skylanders. The toy-game crossover has been a retail phenomenon, making more money than any other game in the first five months of this year, and big things expected from October's sequel, Skylanders Giants.
Obviously, this chart is limited by the fact that it is focused on consoles. This means it does not take into account the likes of mobile hits like Angry Birds, social games like Bubble Witch Saga and free-to-play giants like League of Legends.