June was the biggest month ever in Gamer Network’s history – following five consecutive months of record-breaking traffic.
Last month, the network saw more than 29 million unique users across its various sites – including Eurogamer, Outside Xbox, Rock Paper Shotgun, VG247 and more – a rise of 65 per cent versus 2014.
Eurogamer alone saw its traffic double, hitting 5.7 million unique visitors – a 102 per cent jump on June last year.
Of course, this was in large part thanks to E3. Gamer Network doubled-down on video content throughout the show, seeing more video views than page view for the three days of the show that took place during the week.
Eurogamer alone saw YouTube views double in June compared to June 2014 – this was thanks to the site’s dedicated four-person team covering the event.
There was also a big focus on social media such as Facebook and Twitter; Gamer Network directed more of its internal people-power at growing the social audience, attracting millions of post impressions and thousands of new followers.
Eurogamer was again the jewel in the crown, seeing its number of Facebook weekly engaged users more than triple (up 237 per cent) against June 2014. New user site traffic from Facebook was similarly up 242 per cent from E3 2014 to 2015.
These are all very impressive numbers – but how did the editors of Gamer Network’s outlets approach the show this year? We asked them.
Oli Welsh, editor, Eurogamer (pictured)
As much as I would like to take all the credit for our record traffic, much has to go to the industry in general for putting on such a great show this year. There was a huge and noticeably more diverse content showing, and an upbeat mood that really came across on the site – plus some stunning reveals that hadn’t even leaked. News like the Final Fantasy VII remake and Xbox One backwards compatibility generated exactly the kind of excitement our audience hopes for from E3.
"That said, we did a few things differently. We put a lot of effort into our social media, especially on Facebook – not just in terms of promoting site content, but also using it to give our followers a behind-the-scenes flavour of the show.
"We also had our four-person video team working from both sides of the Atlantic for the first time. Video is such a crucial part of the E3 experience, so it was great to have the resources to keep up with it, reflected in a huge increase in views.
"Other than that, we doubled down on our core philosophy for covering E3, using the majority of the team back in the UK to stay on top of breaking news and formulate reactions to it, while a small away team in LA pursued a very targeted appointments schedule, saving much of their material for after the show when the noise had died down and it could stand out more. We employed a similar split in video this year.
"That’s why by far our biggest hit from E3,Tom Phillips’ agenda-setting interview on Destiny pricing, ran in the week after the show. It can be difficult to hold your nerve when you know you’re sitting on something good, but in our experience, it’s usually worth it.”
Matt Martin, editor, VG247
"Going in to E3 we were absolutely laser-focused on titles like Fallout, Destiny, Star Wars Battlefront and Dark Souls 3, and prioritising the top ten franchises over everything else.
"We covered all the announcements as they broke, of course, but some games will always get special attention because they have such a huge fanbase among our readers.
"We’re only a small team compared to other sites, so we cut out the bullshit and go deep on the triple-A, rather than flap around trying to cover everything. That’s how we pushed past six million unique users."
Jane Douglas, co-editor, Outside Xbox
"We have to be selective and timely – rather than exhaustive – at E3, and focusing on the games that most excite our audience, such as Fallout 4, did us well at the show."