It’s no surprise that the most talked-about video game on Twitter last year was Animal Crossing New Horizons, as most fans credit the life sim title for holding the gaming community together during the global coronavirus pandemic. However, the rest of Twitter’s top games of 2020 are ones players may not have seen coming, making for an interesting list heading into 2021.
Back in November, Screen Rant talked with Twitter’s head of Sports Canada, Conor Clarance, to review the way gamers have moved the landscape of Twitter. During that time, Clarance mentioned that Animal Crossing New Horizons was the most discussed title in Canada with more than 4 million tweets from the North American country alone. However, even with 4 million tweets, Canada wasn’t able to make it onto Twitter’s list of the Top Ten countries that tweeted about games in 2020.
Nonetheless, Canada’s 4 million tweets about Animal Crossing in November 2020 were indicating that the outcome of Twitter’s most talked about game of 2020. According to a post by Rishi Chadha, the Head of Gaming Content for Twitter, Animal Crossing New Horizons was the most tweeted about game worldwide in 2020.
Animal Crossing placed on top of other high-profile games such as six mobile games, Apex Legends, Final Fantasy, and Fortnite. Mobile games such as Knives Out, Disney: Twisted-Wonderland and Fate/Grand Order made it to the list as well, likely because of Japan’s impact on Twitter’s analytics.
In spite of mobile games encouraging Twitter usage and the colossal Japanese gaming landscape, Animal Crossing New Horizons was able to oust Fate/Grand Order as the most talked about game on Twitter last year.
Animal Crossing’s influence was notable to the point where United States President-elect Joe Biden utilized the game as a campaigning platform on more than one occurrence. It was also used as a form of advertising for Cartoon Network during Halloween. Global sales also reflect the extent of Animal Crossing New Horizons as it has managed a place on top of the sales charts since its launch in March 2020.
It is exciting to see how Twitter’s top charts don’t show what many fans would anticipate after all that the past year had to offer. Games like Fall Guys and Among Us, which apparently dominated Twitter’s trending page for several months, weren’t able to even get a spot in the top 10.
Even controversial games that caused a lot of discussion including Cyberpunk 2077 didn’t make a big enough impression to make the list – though that could at least partly be associated with the fact that the game’s launch came so late in the year, with the rush in mentions only starting in December. It raises the question of what it does take to make it into the top 10 list of Twitter – and, perhaps more essentially, what it takes to oust mobile games in mentions over the span of just a year.