The money spent on games may be dwindling, but the time spent researching them certainly is not.
A new Google whitepaper entitled ‘Understanding the modern Gamer' says that desktop searches for top tier” games in the ten months before and after release have increased 20 per cent year on year. Mobile searches grew 168 per cent.
Four in ten searches for any particular title happen in the six months pre-release – in fact, this is the strongest growth area with searches climbing 37 per cent year-on-year. Post launch searched were up 29 per cent.
Throughout the pre-launch months searches focus on official publisher-issued information such as screens, gameplay videos and demos.
One a game's launch reaches, however, this shifts to walkthroughs and tips. Reviews also spike at this point as users look to weigh up a possible purchase. Reviews remain in demand for up to four months after release week.
Triple-A engagement follows a classic bell-curve, with searches reaching a peak during launch month and reaching up to 540 per cent of those logged in month one of the ten-month period.
Perhaps most interestingly, desktop engagement patterns show a .92 correlation to a game's unit sales with AdWords clicks in the ten months surrounding launch predicting 84 per cent of a title's unit.
The full report can read here.