Gaming & esports – trends and insights roundup for 2023
January 15th, 2024, Christien Pheby

Gaming & esports – trends and insights roundup for 2023

After a host of delays and cancellations thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, 2023 was a year where the dam burst for video games and esports – one that saw several major events and releases. We used YouGov data to explore many of these key topics: here are just a few highlights.

2023 was, in some respects, the year of the blockbuster exclusive. For Nintendo, we charted general enthusiasm for The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, finding that the game generated significant gains in YouGov BrandIndex’s Buzz, Quality, Impression, and Consideration scores for the franchise.

Xbox also saw arguably its first major exclusive since the release of Halo Infinite in December 2021: Starfield. The spacefaring RPG enjoyed a largely favorable response from critics, and the public were similarly enthused ahead of its release in September.

And PlayStation’s Spider-Man 2, which saw OG webhead Peter Parker and new-generation hero Miles Morales team up to fight Venom, aroused such excitement that even people who didn’t own a PS5 said they were interested in playing the game.

Towards the end of the year, however, one of the biggest topics in gaming was a title that isn’t expected to come out until 2025: Grand Theft Auto VI. The announcement of the trailer alone generated significant buzz, and upon the release of the 90-second spot we asked American and British gamers if they planned to purchase the game. Some 46% of the former and 41% of the latter said they were likely to do so.

Outside of specific games, we explored topics such as global esports in a broad sense – looking at the global landscape of esports viewership – and a slightly narrower sense, with a profile of the South Korean team T1. We also asked consumers whether they wanted bug-free video games or games that came out sooner (the majority wanted games without glitches, even if it meant waiting a little longer) and their motivations behind preordering video games.

If 2023 was busy, 2024 looks to be similarly stacked: Final Fantasy VII Rebirth, Destiny: The Final Shape, Star Wars Outlaws, Skull & Bones, Microsoft Flight Simulator 2024 and more are all coming out – and that’s just a sample of the games set to arrive this year. Whatever happens, we’ll be asking the gaming public in the US, the UK, and across several other markets what they think.