GAME OVER

YouPorn’s viewers tanked during the Nintendo Switch launch

Porn companies know their audience well. So they were braced when, on Friday 3rd March 2017, their traffic began to nosedive.

That weekend, Nintendo released its new Switch console, a highly-anticipated event in the gaming world. Hundreds of thousands of people worldwide had pre-ordered the Switch to arrive that day, and by the end of the weekend 1.5 million consoles had reportedly been sold.

YouPorn, a pornography site, segments its users by interest, and says that a significant chunk of its porn-watching population is also into gaming, often surfing porn from their consoles. Over the weekend of the Switch launch, gamers turned their attention swiftly towards the new console, and YouPorn saw a 17% drop in traffic compared to an average of the previous 30 days:

Chart showing a dip in porn watching during the Nintendo Switch launch.
Bye bye porn, hello Zelda. (YouPorn)

The drop was “significant,” according to a spokesman for YouPorn, but it’s not the first time the company has connected tech events to fluctuations in porn consumption.

When Fallout 4, a post-apocalyptic game from Bethesda Game Studios, was released in November 2015, YouPorn said it saw as much as a 14% dip in some traffic segments of “gamers” to Pornhub, another site from which it pulled data. At its peak, the Apple iPhone 7 live event in September 2016 caused about 10% fewer people to browse porn from their iPhones.

Upwards of 90% of YouPorn’s gaming community is male, the company said. In breaking down the Nintendo-related searches on its site, the company found that people were seeking out porn featuring Link and Zelda, characters in the Switch game Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Searches for Link, who is male, were up 164%, and those for the female character Zelda up 102% on the average.

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