The Horror Hype Train Returns – Alien Isolation Vs The Evil Within

Back in July we took a look at how these two horror blockbusters were shaping up using data from Google Trends as a means of comparison. Now with just a few weeks until release we return to see how they’ve performed and identify which title is set to make the bigger impact.



Both games have been on a major marketing offensive this past month with significant showings at EGX and a wide variety of promotional activities.


It should be noted all data was taken before review scores hit to maintain parity between each title.




Last time we looked The Evil Within was consistently tracking above Alien Isolation. This however was interspersed with rapid short term jumps from Alien that majorly usurped its horror counterpart. In fact at its peak, Alien had actually registered the highest rate of interest at any single point.


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At the time we also took the opportunity to compare the horror duo to the wider market using Sunset Overdrive and Dragon Age: Inquisition as benchmarks for comparison. This revealed that while Dragon Age was easily tracking above the competition, both Alien: Isolation and The Evil Within were significantly up on Sunset Overdrive.


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Face Off


Now we have the data to fill in the gaps up to the month of release. Here are the results from the start of August to the beginning of October.


While The Evil Within has been consistently tracking above Alien Isolation, in the last week search interest in Alien has rocketed to extreme levels. It’s clear Sega and Creative Assembly are doing something right. Although it also has to be noted The Evil Within has also experienced a boost, however it pales in comparison.


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To put that extraordinary growth into context the graph below shows data documenting each games hype level from November 2013 (the start date used in the original graphs).


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As we can see the growth experienced by Alien in the last 3-4 days is just under 3 times the size of the game’s previous peak interest.


Finally let’s take a look at how they’re performing against the wider market in October. Unsurprisingly Alien Isolation is significantly outpacing the competition.


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Typical Peak or Alien Anomaly?


Of course we must take into consideration the release dates of the comparable titles; Alien Isolation is the only game set for release within the next week and as such may be experiencing a typical peak in interest just before launch. To identify if this is in fact the case we need to take a look at other titles and their release date in comparison to their tracking position. Oddly enough 3 of the 4 titles have experienced increases at the same time as Alien, but on a much smaller scale, this suggests other external factors may be involved. Unfortunately we won’t know whether this massive increase is standard for video games as they approach release or whether Alien is actually the odd one out.


Game Title Date of Release (earliest date globally)
Alien Isolation October 7th 2014
The Evil Within October 14th 2014
Sunset Overdrive October 28th 2014
Dragon Age: Inquisition November 18th 2014


I’ll return with the final part of the ‘The Horror Hype Train’ in November to analyse the final results and identify whether Alien is setting the trend or merely creating the expected buzz of a standard blockbuster title.


*All data and graphs are taken from Google Trends.

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