EA, Rockstar Best at Capturing Gamers’ Interest

Gamers are most interested in the makers of the FIFA and Grand Theft Auto franchises, with Ubisoft and Activision close behind
Sixty-four percent of avid gamers are interested in EA, according to a new Morning Consult poll. Rockstar ranked second at 61%. (Morning Consult artwork by Kelly Rice)
November 08, 2021 at 12:01 am UTC

The State of Gaming

In the State of Gaming series, Morning Consult takes a closer look at the $200 billion global video game industry, polling gamers in the United States on their playing and spending preferences. The stories provide a snapshot of the average U.S. gamer, revealing what type of games they like to play (and how they like to play them), as well as what they think of some of the industry's biggest brands. As gaming only grows bigger, understanding gamers' habits will be critical in determining where the industry might be headed.

Other stories in the State of Gaming: Console Is Still King: Most Young and Avid Gamers Use Consoles Despite Next-Gen Scarcity | Video Game Adaptations Have a Poor Track Record. Gamers Want More Anyway | The Subscription Economy Has Officially Infiltrated Gaming

Two legacy video game brands still stand out in an increasingly crowded gaming industry. Electronic Arts Inc. (EA), the company behind the wildly popular FIFA and Madden sports brands, and Rockstar Games, the maker of the open-world adventure franchises Grand Theft Auto and Red Dead Redemption, garnered the most interest from gamers among all major publishers, according to the latest Morning Consult poll.

Gamers were not as kind to CD Projekt Red, the once-revered Polish studio that was widely considered to have bungled the launch of its highly anticipated game Cyberpunk 2077 last year.

Gamers Are Most Interested in EA, Rockstar Among Major Publishers

Respondents were asked how interested they are in each of the following video game creators:
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“Avid gamers” are respondents who said they play at least seven hours of video games per week, while “gamers” said they play at some point in an average week. Companies that make consoles in addition to games, such as Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo, were not included in the results.
Poll conducted Oct. 12-15, 2021, among 1,604 gamers, with a margin of error of +/-2%. Figures may not add up to 100% due to rounding.

What the numbers say

  • EA ranked first in consumer interest with 64 percent of avid gamers and 53 percent of all gamers saying they are interested in the company. Best known for its myriad sports game franchises, EA also releases through its subsidiaries the Battlefield first-person shooter games and the battle royale title Apex Legends, which averaged 13 million weekly active players as of August and is popular with top streamers on Twitch and YouTube.
  • Rockstar, the Take-Two Interactive-owned studio long beloved by gamers for its attention to detail in open-world games, ranked second behind EA with 61 percent of avid gamers saying they’re interested. Grand Theft Auto V has sold more than 150 million copies, making it the second bestselling video game of all time behind only Minecraft.
  • Ubisoft Entertainment, the French company behind the Assassin’s Creed franchise, finished third among avid gamers at 57 percent, tied with Activision and slightly ahead of Blizzard Entertainment (each a major subsidiary of Activision Blizzard, Inc.). Both Ubisoft and Activision Blizzard have been embroiled in controversies surrounding allegations of workplace misconduct, but this doesn’t appear to have drastically impacted consumers’ interest in them.
  • Fifty-three percent of avid gamers and 46 percent of all gamers said they are interested in Amazon Games. After a smorgasbord of failed attempts at developing its own video games, the e-commerce giant finally found success this year with the multiplayer online role-playing game New World.
  • CD Projekt Red ranked near the bottom, likely due to last year’s botched rollout of Cyberpunk 2077. The futuristic first-person shooter game had numerous technical issues upon launch, forcing Sony to remove it from the PlayStation Store. The company is now facing several class-action lawsuits from shareholders who allege it misled them about the severity of the game’s technical problems. Before that, CD Projekt Red enjoyed a solid reputation among gamers thanks to its The Witcher game franchise.

The poll was conducted Oct. 12-15, 2021, among 1,604 U.S. adults who say they play video games, with margins of error of plus or minus 2 and plus or minus 4 percentage points, respectively.

A headshot photograph of Adam Epstein
Adam Epstein
Senior Editor

Adam Epstein previously worked at Morning Consult as a senior editor of brands, sports and entertainment.

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