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Revealed: The public’s all-time favourite on-screen characters of film, TV and gaming

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  • If search volume equated to Instagram followers, the Joker could charge $102k (£74.5k) for a sponsored post 
  • Rachel Green has the most Instagram posts hashtagged with her name of all sitcom characters (1 million) 
  • Pennywise, Chucky and Jigsaw are the most searched-for horror characters 
  • Games featuring Pikachu rake in highest revenue ($90 billion/£65.9 billion) of all the top gaming characters 

There are hundreds of iconic characters from film, TV and gaming who will forever be household names. But which characters are the public’s all-time favourites? New research by Currys looked at online search volumes and social media posts that talked about some of the most famous personalities from various media genres. Below you can find out who topped each list as the most legendary icons of their genre.

The most iconic gaming characters

  • If search volume equated to Instagram followers, Sonic could charge $67k (£48.9k) for a sponsored post 
  • Pikachu has the most Instagram posts hashtagged with his name of all gaming characters (7.4 million) 
  • Mario has appeared in the most games of all characters (259) 
  • Total revenue for the Pokemon game series ($90 billion/£65.9 billion) is higher than any other game, with second-placed Mario Bros lagging far behind ($30.3 billion/£22.2 billion) 

The world of gaming has transformed over the decades, but is it the high-definition characters of today that are the fan favourites, or the iconic cartoons of decades gone by? The answer appears to be the latter. The ever-so-speedy Sonic the Hedgehog raced to the top of the search volume ranks, followed by Pikachu and Pac-Man. It’s a similar story on Instagram, with Pikachu, Mario and Sonic receiving the most posts.

Rank Character Global Monthly Search volume No. of Insta posts with name hashtagged
1 Sonic 6,700,000 3,273,487
2 Pikachu 3,700,000 7,430,874
3 Pac-man 3,000,000 1,642,920
4 Mario 2,100,000 5,559,810
5 Big Boss 712,500 2,800,000
6 Luigi 641,200 1,300,000
7 Lara Croft 607,700 735,000
8 Kratos 571,900 654,000
9 Yoshi 556,700 1,800,000
10 Diablo 490,900 1,100,000

The most terrifying horror characters

  • If search volume equated to Instagram followers, Pennywise could charge $15k (£10.9k) for a sponsored post 
  • Pennywise has the most Instagram posts hashtagged with his name of all horror characters (2 million) 
  • Hannibal Lecter has the highest average IMDb rating (rated 7.2) 

Although many of us would probably rather forget some of the most memorable horror characters, the fact that we can’t makes them all the more iconic. Taking first place for search volume and number of Instagram posts is killer clown Pennywise, who has really had a lasting impact on audiences. He’s followed by evil doll Chucky and Saw’s murderous mastermind Jigsaw in terms of search volume, and Dracula and Halloween’s Michael Myers in number of Instagram posts.

Rank Character Global monthly search volume No. of Insta posts with name hashtagged
1 Pennywise AKA IT 1,500,000 2,000,000
2 Chucky 1,400,000 1,100,000
3 Jigsaw 967,000 844,000
4 Freddy Krueger 943,000 991,000
5 Michael Myers 798,000 1,200,000
6 Frankenstein’s Monster 673,900 124,000
7 Hannibal Lecter 635,000 332,000
8 Dracula 632,000 1,500,000
9 Slenderman 579,500 517,000
10 Eli 324,100 1,000,000

The Best-loved sitcom characters

  • If search volume equated to Instagram followers, Mr Bean could charge $11k (£8k) for a sponsored post 
  • Rachel Green has the most Instagram posts hashtagged with her name of all sitcom characters (1 million) 
  • Rachel, Monica, Ross and Phoebe from Friends have the joint highest average IMDb rating (rated 8.9)

There have been plenty of memorable sitcoms over the decades, each attracting die-hard fan bases. So, it’s interesting to see that the data reveals a landslide victory for Friends, with the cast beaten only by Mr Bean in search volume. Not only does this suggest that Friends could be the most iconic sitcom of all time, but it also answers the question many Friends fans have been dying to know – who is the most popular ‘Friend’? It turns out the on-screen couple, Ross and Rachel both take the crowns.

Rank Character Global monthly search volume No. of Insta posts with name hashtagged
1 Mr Bean 1,100,000 568,000
2 Ross Geller 589,300 932,000
3 Rachel Green 509,400 1,000,000
4 Monica Geller 491,700 969,000
5 Joey Tribbiani 470,000 957,000
6 Will Smith 364,000 247,000
7 Phoebe Buffay 338,000 812,000
8 Bart Simpson 303,000 590,000
9 Jerry Seinfeld 273,000 125,000
10 Homer Simpson 266,000 688,000

The most legendary superheroes and villains

  • The Joker, Spider-Man and Black Panther are the most searched-for superheroes and villains in the world 
  • Batman has the most Instagram posts hashtagged with his name of all superheroes and villains (28.2 million) 
  • Black Panther has the highest average IMDb rating for all films he has featured in (rated 8.1) 

Who steals the title as the greatest superhero is a popular topic of debate. As is the Marvel vs. DC Comics rivalry. To settle these disputes once and for all, the data reveals that Batman, and his nemesis the Joker, take the victory as the most-searched-for and posted about characters. But if we’re basing the win on a majority vote, Marvel and DC Comics are neck and neck, with five characters each ranking in the top 10 – leaving the competition very much open between the two market leaders.

Rank Character Global monthly search volume No. of Insta posts with name hashtagged
1 Joker 10,200,000 13,700,000
2 Spider-Man 7,200,000 20,500,000
3 Black Panther 4,400,000 6,000,000
4 Wonder Woman 3,800,000 9,300,000
5 Iron Man 3,400,000 16,600,000
6 Batman 3,200,000 28,200,000
7 Harley Quinn 3,200,000 6,600,000
8 Thor 2,800,000 10,900,000
9 Deadpool 2,700,000 6,100,000
10 Aquaman 2,600,000 2,500,000

Methodology

The top characters were identified using Google searches for the “top sitcom characters”, etc. From this, a list of approximately 100 characters was curated for each category, which was narrowed down to 15 based on the highest search volumes (found using SEMRush). Instagram hashtag counts are based on the number of posts hashtagged with the characters’ names, e.g. #Sonic, etc. Potential Instagram earnings were calculated by using the search volume for each character as a hypothetical ‘follower count’. With these figures, we calculated an earning per post based on an unspoken industry standard rate of $100 per 10,000 followers. IMDb ratings were calculated by averaging the IMDb rating of all TV shows or films the character has featured in. For gaming, we identified the total number of games the characters have featured in.

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Making a Bang in Bulgaria! Hacksaw Gaming goes live with Alphawin

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Making a Bang in Bulgaria! Hacksaw Gaming goes live with Alphawin
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Hacksaw Gaming and the swiftly up and coming Alphawin solidify their new partnership with the launch of 12 of Hacksaw’s top picks on their site.

As of the 10th of April, Alphawin’s players will be able to enjoy the likes of Chaos Crew, Wanted Dead or a Wild, RIP City and many others. Set to be a hit amongst Alphawin users in Bulgaria, we are anticipating the launch of even more of our fan favourite games in the near future. In a market that has been dominated by local well-known brands for a while, we look forward to seeing how Hacksaw games make waves with Alphawin’s players.

Founded in 2007, Alphabet Gaming now has a sizable network of over 10 land-based casinos and has easily been named one of the region’s industry leaders with its growth. Moving and adapting with the evolution of online gaming, they established Alphawin in 2021. They currently boast one of the largest online casino portfolios in the region, featuring 27 slots and 6 live casino providers. With hopes to add more before the close of 2024, the future is looking like a bright one for Alphawin.

“We are very excited to start our partnership with Hacksaw Gaming.” Alphawin’s spokesperson stated that “the company offers an innovative and unique take on the concept of casino gaming and is an excellent fit for us!”

Set for star positioning, Hacksaw Gaming’s games will see the spotlight in the initial launch with banners, targeted ads and top lobby positions. CEO Marcus Cordes shares Alphawin’s positive outlook on the partnership – “Another strong collaboration under our belts! We’re absolutely sure that the avid Alphawin players will enjoy our artistic visuals and enticing bonus features of our most loved games. With of course plans to expand the Hacksaw portfolio in the future”

As both parties broaden their horizons and look onwards, what do we foresee? Well, we see Hacksaw Gaming and Alphawin, a truly prime pairing.

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Compliance Updates

IOC and UEFA host joint betting integrity workshop

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© IOC/Greg Martin
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Sports betting entities and international federations joined UEFA and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) on 11 April for a full-day workshop focused on how sport and the sports betting industry can work together to fight match-fixing. Co-organised by the IOC and UEFA, and held at Olympic House in Lausanne, the workshop explored opportunities for cross-sector collaboration with a focus on integrity exchange in support of the upcoming Olympic Games Paris 2024 and the UEFA Euro 2024.

The workshop kicked off with presentations by the Olympic Movement Unit on the Prevention of the Manipulation of Competitions (OM Unit PMC) and UEFA’s Anti-Match-Fixing Unit, exploring each team’s strategy for combatting match-fixing, engaging with the sports betting industry, and detecting and investigating potentially fraudulent betting activity.

UEFA promotes integrity through dedicated education, prevention, and awareness raising programmes and by detecting, investigating, and sanctioning match-fixing. Collaboration with stakeholders within football, particularly the network of integrity officers who work for UEFA’s 55 member associations, as well as the wider sports community is vital to this work.

UEFA upholds the integrity of all UEFA competitions via tailored, competition-specific integrity measures. Building on the integrity success of previous UEFA competitions, UEFA’s approach for EURO 2024 will feature close collaboration with host and participating nation stakeholders, public authorities, and sports betting entities as well as real-time betting market monitoring. Our secure UEFA integrity website will allow players, referees, officials, and members of the public to report suspected cases of match-fixing confidentially and anonymously. During the workshop, UEFA shared its competition risk assessment and mitigation strategy and explained the escalation, triage, and assessment approach for any potential integrity concerns.

“Sport alone cannot eradicate match-fixing. We must work together – raising awareness, sharing information, ensuring robust prevention and detection systems are in place – to protect sport and athletes. During the UEFA EURO 2024, our Germany-based staff (supported by the entire Anti-Match-Fixing Unit based in Nyon) will work hand-in-hand with betting integrity entities, betting operators and regulators, public authorities, and the national associations.” Vincent Ven, Head of Anti-Match-Fixing at UEFA

“The main objective is to ensure robust 24/7 monitoring of the competition in compliment to our dedicated prevention and education programme for all participating athletes and officials. UEFA’s multi-stakeholder Anti-Match-Fixing Assessment Group will manage pre and in-competition monitoring, ensuring that UEFA can immediately review and address any potential integrity threats to the tournament.”, Ven added.

“Collaboration is essential. During the upcoming Olympic Games in Paris, we will work together with a series of betting operators, associations and major betting regulatory authorities to exchange relevant information about irregular betting patterns or suspicious betting activities detected that might imply competition manipulation.” Friedrich Martens, Head of the OM Unit PMC

Panel discussions with several sport governing bodies and betting integrity entities provided insight into best practices, trends, and success stories from each sector’s perspective, whilst two betting operators took the floor to share examples of recent fruitful cooperation with UEFA and the IOC on prevention and investigations.

The afternoon featured frank discussion regarding how to enhance cooperation between sport and sports betting entities, recent trends in sports betting and their potential impact on sport integrity, and how to improve information sharing in support of match-fixing detection and investigation.

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Gaming

Sortium Revolutionizing Video Game Development with Groundbreaking AI Tools Launch and $4 Million+ Funding Round

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In a significant leap forward for the gaming and entertainment sectors, Sortium, a leader in the wave of generative AI within gaming, has launched innovative AI tools for artists and game developers, marking a new era of creativity and efficiency. These tools, leveraging the Polkadot infrastructure, are set to transform the gaming industry by enhancing the creative process, streamlining production workflows, and producing high-quality user-generated content.

This transformative step is supported by a successful funding round Sortium just closed, surpassing $4 million. The round was led by industry stalwarts such as Signum Growth, with significant contributions from a diverse array of investors, including Cathie Wood’s ARK Investment Management LLC, IDG Blockchain, IVC Fund, Polygon, and 1881 S Group AG. This wide-ranging support underscores the industry’s confidence in Sortium’s potential to revolutionize 3D video game design and entertainment production.

Sortium’s AI tools integrate seamlessly into existing game production ecosystems, automating challenging content creation tasks. This innovation enables studios to significantly speed up production times and reduce costs, allowing them to focus more on innovation and design while empowering users across any system to design their own characters, thereby opening new creative freedoms and revenue streams for developers and individual creators alike. Sortium’s team, with deep expertise in game development, AI, and IP rights management, ensures the smooth adoption of this technology.

According to Angela Dalton, CEO & Founder of Signum Growth, “The Sortium team’s technical capabilities are impressive. Perhaps even more importantly, they possess deep expertise, relationships and understanding across the traditional gaming industry. Generative AI is in its broader market experimentation phase, leading many to ignore IP rights in the spirit of progress and innovation. Sortium’s believes that IP rights will ultimately matter – baking them into the technology at the outset, and respecting artists’ work, are core tenets of the company that we fully support.”

Building on this foundation of technical excellence and ethical commitment, Sortium’s innovations also translate into tangible benefits for the gaming community.

“Sortium is leading the frontier of AI in gaming and creative applications. Sortium gives creatives unparalleled freedom in leading gaming environments like Unreal,” said Lex Avellino, Founder & CCO at Passage, one of Sortium’s partners. “The team is breaking technical barriers, and it adds a huge value for our consumer audiences who want to take advantage of the latest virtual tech but need to act with speed and simplicity.”

Sortium is actively forming partnerships with major intellectual properties and leading gaming platforms. A recent major collaboration with Bit Brawl, a game utilizing Sortium technology to deliver live content to over 5,000 users, showcases the versatile application of Sortium’s tools across various gaming environments. Its technology’s wide compatibility with leading development platforms ensures extensive adoption potential and effortless integration into professional industry practices. Sortium’s enterprise solutions, such as the LiveOps API, aim to enhance gaming experiences and enable continuous creativity through endless, tailored content generation.

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