Nielsen Survey Predicts Most Anticipated Games of Holiday 2016

By | 3 weeks ago 

Nielsen has published its annual ‘Most Anticipated Holiday Games’ survey, revealing that Battlefield 1 and Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare are the top of gamers’ wish lists.

Every year, research group Nielsen conducts a study using a variety of metrics to determine what the most anticipated holiday games are, and after surveying 6,000 people aged 7-54 over a one month period, the 2016 holiday season results are in. To gauge anticipation levels, the results are based on several key factors, such as awareness, purchase interest, and consumer interest, and were broken down into four percentage brackets:

  • 50% – Average anticipation
  • 70-79% — well above average anticipation
  • 80-89% — very strong anticipation
  • 90-100% — extremely high anticipation

Starting with multi-platform releases, sitting at the top on gamers’ wish lists with a 96% anticipation level are Battlefield 1 and rival shooter Call of Duty: Infinite WarfareThis isn’t too surprising, given that first-person-shooters have always been popular for many gamers, and the Battlefield and Call of Duty franchises are among the most popular in the genre.

Following closely with an equally impressive 95% score is Final Fantasy 15, which again is unsurprising given its well-documented decade-long production history. Continuing with the trend of long-awaited sequels, the rest of the top eight most anticipated multi-platform releases is rounded out by Batman: Return to Arkham (83%), Mafia 3 (83%), Dead Rising 4 (79%), Titanfall 2 (77%), and Watch Dogs 2 (75%).

Moving onto platform exclusive titles, Microsoft leveraged Halo 5: Guardians as an Xbox One exclusive last holidays, resulting in an incredible $400 million in first week sales, and it has tapped into another popular franchise for this year’s exclusive – Gears of War. Given the positive reviews that Gears of War 4 has received so far, it is perhaps unsurprising that it is sitting at an incredible 99% anticipation level, which puts it on par with Halo 5: Guardians.


For PlayStation 4 owners, it appears that people are already looking forward to what Sony’s PlayStation VR headset has to offer as the most sought-after title this holidays is Batman: Arkham VR with a 95% anticipation level. While Rise of the Tomb Raider is next on the list with a 91% anticipation level, the game isn’t strictly a platform exclusive since it was launched a year ago on Xbox One as a timed exclusive. Rounding out the top three is The Last Guardian with a very respectable 85% anticipation level, and it is notably one of the few new original properties among this year’s list of most sought-after games. Finishing off Sony’s consoles with the PS Vita, gamers are most looking forward to Criminal Girls 2: Party Favors, which has an impressive 89% score.

It appears that simulations are what PC owners have their eyes trained on for this holidays, with Civilization 6 (94%), Football Manager 2017 (86%), Motorsport Manager (83%), and Planet Coaster (81%) being on gamers’ wish lists. For Nintendo console owners, gamers only have eyes for one Wii U game, Paper Mario: Color Splash (92%), while those with a 3DS are (unsurprisingly) rubbing their hands in anticipation for Pokemon Moon (99%) and Pokemon Sun (98%).

While the list contains a number of titles that were long-predicted to do well these holidays, there were a few popular games that didn’t make the list but still had respectable scores, such as Dishonored 2 with a 78% anticipation level.

What do you think of Nielsen’s most anticipated holiday games of 2016? Is your most sought-after game on the list? Let us know in the comments below.

Source: Nielsen (via GameSpot)