Who doesn’t love a good video game? The feeling of sitting down with a controller in your hand and booting up your favorite gaming system is something that has been a favorite pastime for generations. People who love video games often form lasting memories of their greatest digital triumphs, the toughest levels they had to struggle through, and all the good times they had playing together with friends and family.
With COVID-19 quarantines resulting in people around the country spending much more time indoors than usual, video games have become a crucial part of daily lives and routines. With that in mind, we wanted to take a look at which games are the most popular and beloved across the country, both during this current pandemic and beyond.
Before we get to the results of our research, you may be wondering what video games have to do with pest control. Well, just like homes and businesses can be infested with bothersome pests, video games have their own “bugs” that can negatively impact a player’s experience. And just like a home with a quality pest control system in place is a more enjoyable and bug-free environment, the best video games are quality tested and largely bug-free themselves. Plus, our pest control experts are people too, and many love playing video games just as much as everyone else!
To find out which games are the most popular in different states around the country, we turned to Google Trends, adjusting the specific search terms and timeframes based on the different categories of games we wanted to look at.
Given the current state of the world, one of the time frames we were most interested in was the time since self-quarantine and stay-at-home orders forced people to stay indoors with their video game consoles. To help us determine which games have been the most popular in every state during the coronavirus pandemic, we pulled Google Trends data on over 25 of the most popular games released in the last few years, focusing on the six week period from February 23 to April 8.
Unsurprisingly, two of the most popular games from the last few years, Fortnite and Overwatch, took the top spots in the most states (10 and 9 states, respectively.) Both of these games are high-level esports and feature multiplayer game modes that allow people to interact and socialize digitally while playing with and against one another, which may add to their appeal in the era of social distancing. The newest versions of the highly-popular FIFA and MLB: The Show sports franchises joined the stalwart Grand Theft Auto V as the only other games outside of Fortnite and Overwatch that were most popular in five or more states.
We know that not everyone is a console gamer, but just about everyone has a smartphone these days. With that in mind, we also collected data on over 50 of the most downloaded smartphone game applications during the same time period. This produced more variety in the results, with Clash Royale, Garena Free Fire, and Sonic Dash earning the most search volume in four states each during the pandemic.
Of course, we recognize that there was life before the quarantine, and there will be a return to normal life after. To get a better view of which video games are the most beloved, we conducted a series of Google Trends searches focusing on different time ranges and different criteria for which games to include.
One timeframe of interest is this past year, which would tell us which games have truly been the most popular in the country recently. We searched 30 games that have topped various charts and ‘Best Of’ lists from January 1, 2019 to now. FIFA 20 proved the most popular in the most number of states (6). That allowed the soccer game to just edge out Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and Roblox, who each took the top spot in five different states.
We also wanted to see what games were most popular over the last decade of gaming. We set search parameters to cover January 1, 2010 through December 31, 2019, and then searched over 70 games that were named some of the best of the decade in articles published at the end of 2019.
There were two clear winners when using those parameters. 2012’s third-person shooter Spec Ops: The Line was at the top of our list of the most popular game with 12 states in all. The only other game to finish first in more than five states was 2018’s God of War, which took the top spot in 11 states.
We also wanted to know which video game is the most popular of all time. Unfortunately, Google Trends data only goes back to 2004, so we set our research to capture all search volume from 2004 to the present and consulted multiple lists of the top 100 games of all-time from game-centric sources such as IGN.com to pull nearly 140 games.
The Original Sonic The Hedgehog game absolutely ran away from the competition in this regard, capturing the number one spot in nine different states, three times more than any other game. Only seven games finished first in more than one state in this evaluation, making the utter dominance of Sonic’s performance even more impressive.
We also used the same search settings to take a look at the most popular mobile app games of all time, again utilizing a list of over 50 games to evaluate. There was another huge winner on that front, as one of the original viral mobile games, Angry Birds, was most popular in 13 different states, more than triple the second-place finisher, Fruit Ninja.
Finally, we wanted to see which beloved video game franchises are the most popular in every state all-time. Once again using the 2004-present time frame, we collected data on the search volume for nearly 70 different video game franchises stretching all the way back to true classics such as Pac-Man and Tetris. For this search, we included both mobile and console franchises.
Angry Birds again reigned supreme here, once again finishing first in 13 different states, with Sonic coming in second with five. Only seven other video game franchises were tops in multiple states, each taking that honor in two each.
Hopefully, this look at some of the most popular and beloved video games across America has been an interesting and fun diversion, and that any games it may have inspired you to play are just as fun and bug-free as you remember. We also know that with everyone spending all their time indoors, it is more important than ever for your home to be free of literal bugs and pests, and if you need help achieving that, pest control is an essential service and Insight Pest is ready to help here and now!