It’s not ALL about Netflix – from the battle of the shooters to family vloggers, here are three hot topics influencing kids this year.
1. The FIFA 19 effect
Released in September 2018, FIFA 19 became a part of the leisure time of footie-loving kids, allowing them to step into the football boots of their heroes, and play with and against their favourite teams in iconic stadiums. The game is also driving interest to the sport, as kids mimic the moves of their idols offline.
'AA9skillz plays FIFA 19 – he’s the 10th best in the world. I’ve learned how to pass the ball a lot more and that I need to time my shots.’ Theo
FIFA 19 is a social experience enabling kids to play with friends on headsets. They can subscribe to models such as FIFA Ultimate team (FUT), earning and buying players to build a full team.
Will it stick around? Yes – not just because of features like its Active Touch System, allowing more natural gameplay. But the rise of mobile apps like Pacybits FUT (not part of the FIFA franchise) increase interest by helping kids build FUT squads and discover updates. Plus influencers such as AA9Skillz create a buzz around the game. Will FIFA 20, out this September, be an even bigger draw?
2. Fortnite Vs Apex Legends battle
It seemed like nothing could knock Fortnite off the top spot then along came Apex Legends, from EA’s Respawn Entertainment. Launched back in February, the free-to-play shooter was an instant hit with more than 25 million people playing it in the first week, a feat that took Fortnite over a month to achieve. Our kids quickly caught on to the game:
‘Fortnite is going down! There’s this new game, Apex Legends. It’s like Overwatch, Fortnite, PUBG and Call of Duty. Everyone’s playing it and it has more players worldwide than Fortnite. There’s a big map and lots of guns and you can play in 3 player squads with your friends. It’s more realistic, grown up, a bit older.’ Max
Apex, with its absence of the cartoon-like graphics of Fortnite and addition of high-powered shooters, felt more sophisticated and a natural progression for kids who had been playing Fortnite since 2017.
Will it stick around? It seems not. Three months in Apex appears to be losing momentum. Online viewing figure tracking found Apex had plummeted from 40 million hours watched on Twitch in a week at its peak to just above 10 million hours by mid March. Apex has been slow on new content and it’s not yet available on mobile phone. The game’s lack of challenges and limited time-release action can’t compete with the event-heavy Fortnite (whose Marvel crossover for the release of Avengers: Endgame introduced character skins such as Black Widow and battle against the evil Thanos). Fortnite has released Season 9, but Apex is reported not to be launching a new season until June – we can’t see it being a contender to Fortnite anytime soon.
3. Family vloggers get the views
YouTube may have taken a hit with other distractions grabbing our kids’ attention, but certain vloggers still pick up mentions on a regular basis.
They are the vlogger families, from The Ace Family to That Youtub3 Family and Sis vs Bro. These groups of relatives attract millions of YouTube views and have the cash to match.
‘I love family vloggers. When they have bigger families they do more exciting things. Of course, they make money on You Tube, which is not so good for us, but they do fun stuff like challenges and pranks and they make you feel like part of their family. The Ace Family are funny and have exciting adventures.’ Kamiyah
Kids place great importance on family. The videos reinforce the idea of a family unit, whether kids come from a home where parents are separated, or are perhaps missing family bonding that can get disrupted by work and school routines.
Will this stick around? Absolutely. Family vloggers are aspirational for kids, both in terms of their lifestyle but also the camaraderie and replay of happy family scenarios. Could policy changes spell the end of family vloggers? New rules to protect minors have meant closure of the comment section on certain channels, with some families threatening to abandon YouTube, claiming this hampers communication with viewers. But as long as families are creating content, our kids will be watching.
Get our full report on the 8 trends shaping kids’ lives right now, see below.
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