A survey conducted by Nielsen Hldg NV (NYSE:NLSN) has revealed the games most sought-after by gamers for the upcoming holiday season, and happily for investors, many of them are from the publicly-traded companies which are the most popular among the investors that we track as part of our small-cap strategy, which has returned 118% in the last 36 months, beating the market by more than 60 percentage points (read more details here).
More than 4,800 gamers were surveyed for the study, which uses a combination of the current hype for the game coupled with the hype of past games in the franchise to generate an anticipation rating. Leading the charge for multi-platform games was Activision Blizzard, Inc. (NASDAQ:ATVI)’s Call of Duty: Black Ops 3, whose predecessor Black Ops 2 has sold over 27 million copies according to data from VGChartz.
Black Ops 3 earned an anticipation score of 98% in the study, which was topped only by the perfect 100% rating for Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)’s Halo 5: Guardians, an Xbox One-exclusive title being developed by 343 Industries, which took over the series from Bungie beginning with Halo 4. Despite the perfect anticipation score, Microsoft will be looking for a bit of a rebound with Halo 5 after the fourth installment fell well short of matching Halo 3’s 12 million sales, selling just 9.5 million copies.
Bethesda Softworks’ Fallout 4 and Ubisoft Entertainment’s Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate ranked second and third on the multi-platform list with scores of 95%. They were followed by two Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ:EA) games: Need for Speed and Star Wars: Battlefront, which scored 92% and 88% respectively. Rounding out the multi-platform list were Square-Enix’s Rise of the Tomb Raider and Harmonix’ Rock Band 4, the latter being somewhat of a surprise inclusion after the music rhythm genre mostly flamed out several years ago. It has been five years since the previous installment however, which may have created pent-up demand for its return.
Moving on to console-specific games, Sony Corp (ADR) (NYSE:SNE) has enjoyed a turnaround partly thanks to its success thus far with the PlayStation 4, which has dominated Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)’s Xbox One in sales since the near-simultaneous release of the two consoles last year. Like Microsoft with Halo 5, Sony Corp (ADR) (NYSE:SNE) had just one exclusive title make the list, that being Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection. Nintendo on the other hand had several exclusive games for both the Wii U and handheld 3DS make the list including Animal Crossing: Amiibo Festival, Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash, and The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes. Meanwhile, Activision Blizzard, Inc. (NASDAQ:ATVI)’s Starcraft II: Legacy of the Void was the most-anticipated PC-exclusive game.