YouTube's Trending Games of August

YouTube's Top Trending Games of July

It’s relatively straight-forward to look up what games are selling, but how do you compare the popularity of something like the free-to-play World of Warships with the episodic adventure Life is Strange? To answer this and life’s other difficult questions, we turn to YouTube’s Trending Games Chart which measures games that are growing in 1) watch time and 2) creators making content about that game. The top 10 trending games for July are …

  1. Rocket League - Rocket League is like the song of the summer, but for gaming.
  2. Life Is Strange - Episode 4 was released at the end of July.
  3. Terraria - A major update added new items, characters, bosses, and events.
  4. Godzilla - The newest Godzilla game arrived in the U.S. this fall.
  5. NBA 2K16 - Details and footage building hype for this game's September release.
  6. God of War III - A new remaster hit the PS4 this month.
  7. World of Warships - Just launched in open beta.
  8. Rory McIlroy PGA Tour - The July release coincided with the 2015 Open Championship.
  9. Path of Exile - The Awakening, Path of Exile's third expansion, was just released.
  10. J-Stars Victory VS - The manga all-stars fighting game is now available in the U.S.

Not only are Rocket League and Life Is Strange the #1 and #2 games of July, they are also the only games on the chart that aren’t established franchises that have been around for years. For Rocket League, more highlights of insane goals, last-second saves, and just plain luck are going up every hour. Life Is Strange has shown up on this list every time a new episode comes out, but episode 4 has been a real breakout and prompted about twice as many YouTube searches as any previous episode.

Life Is Strange seems to trend every time a new episode is released, but will Rocket League continue to grow? Check back in next month, and we’ll all find out together. Until then, Rocket League?

--Jeff Rubin

YouTube’s Top Trending Games of June

YouTube’s trending games list looks at games that are growing in both watchtime and uploads. Here’s what was trending in the U.S. this June:

  1. Batman: Arkham Knight
  2. Lego Jurassic World
  3. Fallout 4
  4. Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare
  5. Lego Worlds
  6. The Elder Scrolls Online
  7. Skylanders: SuperChargers
  8. Star Wars Battlefront
  9. Final Fantasy VII
  10. Heroes of the Storm

Let’s take a deeper dive into what’s trending and why:

Batman: Arkham Knight - The highly anticipated Batman simulator was a huge hit on YouTube. There are lots of angles to enjoy - YouTubers were interested in searching for easter eggs, learning how to pull of impressive combos and, of course, trying out the game with Adam West.
Don’t miss - Batmobile Wants to Help Too

Lego: Jurassic World - Lego video games are becoming as reliably popular as the toy they are based on (more on that a little later in the list). In June, the film "Jurassic World" broke several box office world records including the biggest North American weekend of all time. Put it all together and you’ve got the second fastest growing game on YouTube in June.
Don’t miss - Lego Jurassic World: Creating My Own Dinosaurs!

Fallout 4 - Fallout 4 won YouTube’s E3 trailer battle with 14 million views, the most votes, and the most comments. But remember, to be a trending game it’s not enough to just have a popular trailer - you need to have lots of YouTube creators uploading video about your game. Thankfully just a brief glimpse of Fallout 4 provided more than enough grist for commentators to start analyzing the game, its plot, and potential connections to the rest of the series.
Don’t miss - Fallout 4 -- E3 Showcase World Premiere

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare - If you look at a calendar, we’re actually closer to the release of November’s Call of Duty: Black Ops III than 2014’s Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare. But Advanced Warfare demonstrated it still has some life in it, growing since last month alongside the premiere of the Supremacy DLC.
Don’t miss - Exo Zombies “Carrier” Easter Egg Guide

Lego Worlds - Our second Lego game of the month, and with Lego Dimensions coming out in September you can probably expect to see more plastic bricks on the trending game list before 2015 is over. YouTube loves games that lets players show off their creativity, so this construction-themed Lego game has the potential to grow for some time.
Don’t miss - LEGO Worlds - Epic Vehicle Stunts! Building The Biggest LEGO Jump!

The Elder Scrolls Online - This massively multiplayer extension of the Elder Scrolls universe has been open since 2014, but its June release on consoles lead to a surge in uploaders creating content from Tamriel.
Don’t miss - Mother of God

SkyLanders: SuperChargers - The newest entry in the franchise is named after the “SuperCharger” vehicles the SkyLanders get to drive this time around but, based on the news that got the biggest reaction at E3, a better title might be “SkyLanders: Bowser & Donkey Kong Are In This One.”
Don’t miss - Sky Kids Surprised w/ Skylanders Superchargers @ E3 2015

Star Wars Battlefront - This game trended in April when it was announced, and it’s trending in June now that we’re actually seeing gameplay footage. Call me crazy, but I think we’ll talk about this game again in November when it finally comes out.
Don’t miss - Star Wars Battlefront: Multiplayer Gameplay | E3 2015 “Walker Assault” on Hoth

Final Fantasy VII - 1997’s Final Fantasy VII is one of gaming’s all-time classics and is always in the conversation, but Square-Enix’s E3 announcement of a proper remake and HD update pushed the game to officially reach trending status.
Don’t miss - Live Reaction Final Fantasy VII Remake Trailer

Heroes of the Storm - Heroes of the Storm has been a game that’s knocked on the trending games list for a few months now, but leaving beta on June 3 seems to have resulted in enough watchtime and uploads for the game to officially chart. If this game continues to grow like other free-to-play MOBAs, it could be on the trending list for months to come.
Don’t miss - HeroStorm Episode 1: Aspire to Inspire

--Jeff Rubin

Trending This Week: #LoveWins All, Kittens Fly High, and Michael Jackson Dance Parties!

Love Wins the Supreme Court and YouTube

In case you spent your entire Friday stuck inside the black hole of the DMV or you chose today to “unplug,” I’m excited to tell you the Supreme Court announced this morning that same-sex marriage will be legal in all 50 states effective immediately! Within minutes of the decision, YouTube released the video “#ProudtoLove” that is being described by AdWeek as “the perfect video on the historic day of gay rights.” The video is not only a celebration of marriage equality but pays homage to the countless LGBT creators and YouTube users who have influenced the course of this monumental decision. Our team has continued to celebrate this ruling with playlists highlighting influential LGBT creators, emotional same-sex proposals, inspiring coming out videos, advice on how to be an effective LGBT ally, and a music list all about dancing to the beat of your own drum.

The Evolution of Michael Jackson

Just when we thought Pentatonix had abandoned the YouTube airwaves for a Europe, then Asia, then the United States tour, the a cappella group surprised fans with an “Evolution of Michael Jackson” video that hit 1.8M views in the first 24 hours. The video follows in the footsteps of Pentatonix’s past hits “Evolution of Beyonce” and “Evolution of Music,” which was the video that began PTX’s rise to fame over two years ago. In other PTX news--to keep you in the know with the hip, “Pitch Perfect 2” obsessed kids--the group is at work on their first all-original album, gearing up to tour with Kelly Clarkson, and recently released their first documentary “On My Way Home” on Vimeo.

Stowaway Kitten Gets the Ride of a Lifetime

In under a week, this video of a cat surprising a pilot mid-flight has received over 14M views, driven mostly my viewers curiosity over how the story of this acrobatic kitten will end. While this whiskered hero is certainly the biggest animal video of this week, close contenders in the cuteness category go to these goats and these dachshunds who swallowed their pride, threw on a Minion costume, and danced around for your entertainment. All I can say is, bless them and their thumbless, Minion-like ways.

Does Race Affect Your Dating Life?

Vlogger Franchesca Ramsey nails it once again in her popular MTV series “Decoded,” where this week she examines how race plays a huge role in every person’s dating life. While people often see their dating preferences as a personal choice, Ramsey explains in her signature comedic and thought-provoking way all the ways racial bias and stereotypes are subconsciously molding the chemistry we feel for another person. Ramsey has long been known on YouTube for her honest, complex discussions about race. Though she started her YouTube channel Chescaleigh in 2006, it wasn’t until six years later, after the viral upload of her video “Sh*t White Girls Say to Black Girls,” that she began to gain notice in the larger YouTube community. Her candid conversations about race, the LGBT community, self confidence, beauty, and relationships have made her a role model to young girls-- especially young black girls--who see her as not only someone who resembles them but understands the issues they face on a daily basis.

--Carly Lanning