Based on a recent Nielsen survey of nearly 6000 people, Black Ops 4 and Red Dead Redemption 2 are the 2018 holiday season’s most anticipated multi-platform releases.
As the end of 2018 approaches, so does the release of several high profile games just in time for the season of giving. And with some of gaming’s most iconic franchises dropping major titles in the coming months, this year feels particularly crowded. That being said, these are the games currently tipping the scale on the hype meter, ranked by findings from a survey conducted by Nielsen Holdings.
In the multi-platform category, two upcoming triple-A titles reign supreme. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 and Red Dead Redemption 2 took first and second place, respectively. The latest Call of Duty installment received a score of 99/100, while the sequel to 2010’s Red Dead Redemption earned 97/100. The metrics by which Nielsen ranks its top performers are based on a survey of nearly 6,000 participants, conducted between August 18 and September 22,2018.
A score between 80 and 89 reflects “very strong anticipation from gamers,” while a score from 90 to 100 reflects “extremely high anticipation from gamers.” The list of over 80 games surveyed included titles releasing from September to December 2018.
As for platform exclusives, Spider-Man is unrivaled in the PlayStation 4 category. Considering the Xbox One isn’t typically recognized for its wide selection of console exclusives, it’s no surprise that Forza Horizon ranked highest for that platform with a score of 84. The Nintendo Switch, on the other hand, has Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and Super Mario Party in a tie for first, each scoring at 98/100.
Red Dead Redemption 2 has garnered widespread attention leading up to its release this October 26. Factoring in the series’ eight-year gap between the original release and its sequel, RDR2‘s ranking just two points below a major release from the prolific Call of Duty franchise is remarkable.
To its credit, Black Ops 4 isn’t riding solely on the momentum of the Call of Duty name. By resurrecting the fan-favorite Zombies mode as well as throwing a battle royale mode into the mix, Black Ops 4 may have what it takes to sate devoted fans while expanding its reach to a new demographic.

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