Challenging video games are very fashionable these days. Elden Ring, a game with brutal difficulty, sold 20 million copies worldwide and was named the 2022 Game of the Year. But the dungeons weren’t for everyone.
Not only was Elden Ring the most completed game of 2022, it also ranked as the game most abandoned mid-play by players before they finished. While not every player departed the challenging game in anger, there were more than a few destroyed video game controllers in its wake.
And sure, there’s no proof that Texas, Nevada and Illinois are searching to replace destroyed controllers – but they probably are.
A study performed by Datslots examined Google searches for Nintendo, PlayStation, and Xbox controllers in each state. After crunching the numbers, they compiled a list of the states most interested in game controllers.
The Top Ten States Most Likely To Look for a Controller
Topping the list is the Lone Star State. Texas, and its population of over 30 million people, has 181,090 searches for gaming controllers. That averages to a total of 603 searches per 100,000 people. The most common searches in Texas are ‘PS5 controller,’ ‘PS4 controller,’ and ‘Xbox Controller.’
In second place is Nevada, recently revealed to be the state most obsessed with gaming. It has a total of 586.57 searches per 100,000 residents. In third place is Illinois, with 582.50 searches per 100,000 people. Georgia is in fourth place with 549.41 controller searches per resident. California, the most populated state in the country, is in fifth with 576.98 searches per 100,000 people.
The top ten is rounded out, with Utah with 572.22 searches per 100,000 people. In seventh place is Colorado, with 559.60 searches. Ohio is in eighth place with 554.27 searches. In ninth place is Arizona, with 551.69 searches per 100,000 people. Finally, in tenth place is Michigan, with 541.35 searches.
The Ten States Least Likely To Look for a Controller
On the opposite end of the spectrum, Hawaii is the state least likely to search for a controller. They only had 330.51 searches per 100,000 people. From there, Alaska is next with 353.06 searches. In 48th place, Vermont only has 357 searches per 100,000 residents. Next is Montana, with 369.59 searches. Wyoming is in 46th place with 402.49 searches. Maine has 406.40 searches per 100,000 people, putting it in 45th place.
South Dakota is in 44th with 412.17 searches per 100,000 people. Next is New Hampshire, with 423.59 searches. Iowa only has 427.43 searches. In 41st place is Mississippi, with 429.92 searches. Finally, in 40th place is Idaho, with 430.11 searches.
Analyzing The Results
“It’s so easy to become immersed with a game and obsessed with winning,” said a spokesperson on behalf of the study, “and when that doesn’t go to plan, it can be incredibly frustrating. Plenty of people rage quit from time to time, and there are lots of different ways to do so, from immediately switching the console off to throwing a controller in anger.
“This data shows that some states are considerably more in need of newer controllers than others, indicating where the nation’s rage quit capitals might be.”
It’s no surprise to see Texas and Nevada, two states in the top five when it comes to being the most obsessed with gaming, top the list of interest in controllers.
Texas, in particular, stands out for two reasons. First, it’s a hub for major game studios and developers, such as id Software and BioWare. Second, a large number of Twitch streamers are located in Texas. Streaming and rage quitting tend to go hand and hand.
The Rise of Difficult Games
The concept of brutally challenging games designed to make you rage quit isn’t anything new. Arcade games were designed to drain your pockets of precious quarters. That philosophy carried over to games such as the Mega Man franchise on the Nintendo Entertainment System.
As modern gaming grew, however, video games became more approachable. Developers added accessibility to keep players interested throughout the entire experience. One developer, however, focused on pushing the player to their limits. FromSoftware’s breakthrough game Dark Souls proved a market for challenging games exists.
Its PC port was subtitled the “Prepare to Die” edition for a good reason: the game’s notorious difficulty led to countless deaths by the plans. Flash forward to their latest game; the critically acclaimed Elden Ring has an average rating of 96 on Metacritic. Players have died an estimated 9 billion times throughout their experience.
Other developers have followed suit. Team Ninja has released multiple games in the Nioh franchise and Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty. Independent games such as Enter the Gungeon and Cuphead also offer a challenge that will push fans to their limits.
The popularity of difficult games has led to more people experiencing a challenge like never before. As a result, many more controllers are being broken as more and more players rage quit.