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New content, new access puts games in front of viewers, YouTube data reveals

The company has released its top trending list for January, and while the list itself isn't particularly revealing, the reasons behind ghe games' popularity is.

YouTube Gaming has released its monthly chart of trending games for January 2015; at the top of the list ranks Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare 2, and the rest of the ranking just looks like a list of games you'd already know the names of -- no real surprises there. 

What is more interesting is YouTube's reasoning behind the popularity of each game on the site. 

New releases, DLC packs, and beta tests seem to jump games back up into the rankings. 

Take Dying Light, Goat Simulator, and Shovel Knight. Each rode their way into the top 10 on the back of DLC updates. Mobile game Boom Beach, meanwhile, shot into the top 10 thanks to a content-based in-game event.

Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare 2, Tom Clancy's The Division, and Subnautica all hopped up into the ranking thanks to beta activity. The first two games, which rank 1 and 2 on January's list, had console betas during January; Subnautica, in Early Access, was bolstered by a new content drop.

Rocket League and Smite, meanwhile, got into the charts because of eSports events, according to YouTube. Rocket League announced the end of its first season (and the rewards for competitive players that go along with that) while Smite held its world championship.

The only game to make the list based solely on the back of its initial release was Lego Marvel's Avengers, which slotted in at number 6.

YouTube's analysis makes it clear that doing something with your game boosts it back into the limelight. We've reproduced the company's list below. 

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