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Nintendo Continues Focus on Group Play at E3 2018

E3 is one of the biggest days of the year for gaming companies like Nintendo. And to little surprise, the industry giant once again held court during the event in Los Angeles, sharing some big news around future releases — headlined by Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.

The latest installment in the mascot-laden fighting franchise will arrive on the Nintendo Switch console on December 7. Along with that release, Nintendo fans will also be getting a new entry into the Mario Party series of games (Super Mario Party arrives on October 5), and popular co-op survival game Fortnite comes to Switch as well.

The emphasis, not surprisingly, was on group play — something Nintendo has been stressing all year with its advertising spots.

After staying largely silent with TV ads through early February of 2018, Nintendo spots have aired over 11,000 times, according to TV advertising attention analytics company iSpot.tv. The creative has been heavily focused on the collaborative gaming capabilities of Switch and its roster of titles.

iSpot measures attention scores as the percentage of an ad played across a TV device, and those attention scores were high for Nintendo’s group play-focused spots. Ads like “Make, Play & Discover,” “Nintendo Labo Variety Kit,” “Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze: Play Together” and “Get Together With Great Games” also scored above 90. “Play Great Games Together” and “Anytime, Anywhere” were just short at 88.99 and 87.61, respectively (still pretty high marks).

Nintendo released numerous teasers during Tuesday’s session, but it’s unlikely we see those on television just yet. When they do arrive, though, expect the final spots to be just as heavily focused on group play as the ones before it. With its ability to be played at home or on the go, Switch has a unique value proposition its competitors can’t currently match, and their ads fall in line accordingly. While the most attention was paid to news around Nintendo original titles like Super Smash Bros. and Mario Party at E3, the latest sign that they’re all-in on collaborative gaming is probably the news around Fortnite — a phenomenon TV[R]EV’s Esports Snapshot looked at extensively — which attracts a whole different type of group approach to gaming.