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Comparing pre-launch gamer conversation: Battlefield 2042 vs Call of Duty: Vanguard

By Zac Dhanoo, Commercial Associate

With 2021 being a quiet year for gaming, November looks to be shaping up as the standout month for the industry with two of the biggest first-person Shooters set to go head-to-head.

Sledgehammer GamesCall of Duty: Vanguard releases on November 5 while DICE’s Battlefield 2042 releases exactly two weeks later on November 19. With the two games being backed by publishing juggernauts Activision and Electronic Arts respectively, the war for gamers interest, approval and more importantly dollars are already heating up.

Both franchises have their own sets of die-hard fans, yet reactions to their open beta’s have been polarising. I wanted to dig a little deeper into how gamer perception surrounding these two games have differed in the lead up to their release.

Using Relative Insight’s comparative text analysis software I gathered social data from Twitter, and compared conversation relating to COD: Vanguard to conversation relating to Battlefield 2042, and here’s what I found:

Call of Duty: Vanguard

Technical issues

COD fans were able to access the game’s open beta from mid-September, but unfortunately when I compared conversations to those about Battlefield, I noticed that issues pertaining to bugs and graphical issues were 3.4x more prevalent.

Gamers also often talked of their experiences where they encountered specific issues regarding audio and sound design. Complaints about the audio being muffled were 6.4x more prevalent in this data set, and I also saw higher volumes of discussion about the footsteps in the game being a major area in need of improvement.

Of course, the purpose of such open betas is to identify these technical issues, but Sledgehammer Games will nonetheless have quite a few issues to iron out before the the full release if they are to earn the approval of gamers worldwide.

Zombies

More positively, the new zombies mode was met with optimism and praise, with fans describing it as fun as hell and “the only reason” they plan to purchase the game. Clearly, zombies will continue to be a major point of differentiation between the two franchises, with Battlefield more focused on grounded and realistic gameplay where COD focusses on outright fun.

Anti-cheat software

Finally, conversations surrounding COD: Vanguard were 3.5x more likely to include concerns regarding cheating and hackers. Fans feel the game desperately needs a suitable anti-cheat system and with Sledgehammer games already announcing the games new Ricochet anti-cheat system in the wake of the open beta, fans are quietly optimistic this will “make COD enjoyable again“.

Battlefield 2042

Lack of single-player campaign

Undoubtedly the focus for both franchises in the last few years has shifted towards multiplayer gameplay, yet some Battlefield fans are upset at the new title totally doing away with the game mode. Mentions of single player and no campaign were 12.4x more likely to occur. Some fans went as far to say that Vanguard offers superior value due to its inclusion of both single and multiplayer modes, and this could be an area where COD: Vanguard again differentiates itself.

Graphics

Fans were excited to see the games graphics, describing them as beautiful, gorgeous and amazing. People talked about the set piece maps adding to the spectacle of playing online with friends, and how it will further add to the full immersive experience of playing this game.

Dynamic weather

Finally, Battlefield fans were especially interested in the new dynamic weather and events feature within the game, with this topic arising 8.9x more often in these conversation than in the COD data set. Gamers talk about looking forward to experiencing the dynamic weather system within the game, and talking about it as insane, stunning and terrifying.

I did this research for fun, but gaming developers and publishers are using Relative Insight’s comparative text analytics platform to track consumer perceptions over time and to benchmark against industry competitors.

Analysing consumer conversation is an important source of information for marketing, product development and organisations as a whole to better understand their customers needs and wants.

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