For better or worse? How has Twitch Influenced the Games Industry?

Industry News - Gaming
For better or worse? How has Twitch Influenced the Games Industry?

It’s safe to say if you work in the games industry, or have an interest in games, you’ll know about Twitch. Since its launch in 2011, and acquisition by Amazon in 2014, it’s gone from strength to strength and created quite a few ‘Celebrities’ on the way. 

Twitch has had its ups and downs (it’s been the fourth largest source of internet traffic at points, and has been at the forefront of many high-profile arguments!), but today we’re focusing on how the channel has influenced the games industry since its launch and if the positive impacts outweigh the bad!? 

Ten Staggering Twitch facts

But before we get into that, here are some numbers which *might* blow your mind.

What impact has Twitch had on the Games Industry?

So, numbers aside, has the platform affected the industry we work in, and how?

 

Socialising the games industry...

Platforms such as Twitch have allowed the gaming communities to grow and socialise in even more epic numbers than ever before. One of their most successful events saw 1 Million People tuning in to watch the ELEAGUE’s Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Major Grand Final back in 2017.

As well as this Twitch has brought out a “Community Room” which is an online stream chat, discussions of new games, a way to meet new players and a good chance to chat to your favourite streamer.

 

A powerful marketing tool...

In February 2019, EA released Apex Legends on Twitch without prior announcement or much traditional marketing. This led to the game gaining more than 2.5 million players within 24 hours of release and racked up 25 million players by the end of its first week.

The game also generated more hours watched than any other game on Twitch in its launch week.

 

Inspiring the next generation of game creators...

The games industry is growing and it’s a popular career choice for many. Between the time Twitch launched and 2014 when it was bought by Amazon, American Universities saw a 50% increase in Video game degrees. Similarly, in the UK, Gaming courses in Universities rose by 17% in the last 3 years

In the UK alone there were 60 universities or colleges providing 215 undergraduate and 40 master video game courses by the end of 2014. Whilst we can’t be sure this rise is down to Twitch and similar platforms; we can assume that it may have something to do with it!

So, as well as inspiring generations to pursue a career in games (potentially!) Twitch is also home to a number of channels which house tutorials, hints and tips, and career advice to those looking to get into games. Here’s just a few...

DevChatter: Learn to code—or, at least, watch a coder work his wizardry while you ponder how much money you’ll make as a software engineer someday.

PennyArcade: Watch the masters at work as they draw out the absurdly popular webcomic, watch said masters brew their own beer and get toe’ up, or watch the Friday show on the Twitch stream—Coding PA—that shows you the basics of how software and websites are built.

PiranhaGames: The BattleTech universe is known for its giant, detailed, weapon-strapped war machines. So, why not watch someone while they work to create these giant contraptions for the MechWarrior Online video game?

ZacFierceGuy: And if you’d rather see more of the nuts and bolts of video game creation, check out the self-titled “Bob Ross of Gamedev,” ZacFierceGuy.

So, has Twitch affected the games industry?

A big Yes! Ok, so there has been some negativity to come out of the channel, but with all new technology, like new communities come issues and people who have different boundaries shall we say!

But it's certainly not all negative. Not only has Twitch influenced players, gamers, and celebrities a like it’s helping studios get their games in front of more eyes than ever before, in a shorter time scale, Twitch has created a new community of game lovers and enthusiasts bigger than ever before. And most importantly it's inspiring a new generation of game industry workers!

We’d love to hear your thoughts on Twitch too!

And finally, we can’t talk about Twitch without mentioning some it’s ‘stars’! Love ‘em or hate ‘em these influencers have become celebrities in their own right and it doesn’t look like they are disappearing any time soon… apart from Ninja he defected to Mixer earlier this summer! :(

 

Shroud - Followers: 4.75M

Shroud

Michael Grzesiek (Shroud) is a professional Counter Strike Player for Cloud9. He is one of the most well-known players and most entertaining twitch streamers. He usually live streams whenever he is playing, which is almost 50 hours per week. Stroud streams competitive tournaments to a casual game of Counter Strike, he averages 25,000 viewers per stream, so you better have a strong internet connection to join!

 

Riot Games - Followers: 3.26M

Riot Games on Twitter

Riot Games is a popular Twitch streamer who has a channel dedicated specifically for live streaming of League of Legends game performances. It is the most watched League of Legends channel on Twitch and second most-watched overall.

He is one of the most active Twitch streamers and is sometimes live for as much as 22 hours on weekends. He often participates in tournaments at www.lolesports.com and promotes their page on his profile.

 

Tfue - Followers: 3.38M

TFUE Twitch

With the fourth-highest follower count, Tfue has the second most-watched Fortnite channel on Twitch.

This Twitch streamer also has the fastest-growing Twitch channel overall and for Fortnite and is one of the top Twitch streamers. He is also one of the most active Twitch streamers and spends ~70 hours live on Twitch every week.

 

TimTheTatman - Followers: 2.97M

TimTheTatman

Timothy (TimTheTatman) is a full-time streamer from the USA, he considers streaming the “Dream Job”. Tim is a family man; his twitch channel is family-friendly with his Wife occasionally joining in. TimTheTatman favourite video game is World of Warcraft and Counterstrike, you can usually see him live streaming these games along with Fortnite. Tim averages 30,000 viewers per stream! He is one to watch out for.

Happy streaming everyone!

 

About the author Harry Kwok

Working alongside Alex, Harry is dedicated to speaking to brilliant Games Artists across the globe. A County level Squash champion Harry also likes a sedate life and is more likely to be found at the weekend with a fishing rod in hand rather than a racquet.

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