In the past decade, games streaming has become a popular activity. Online platforms offer a great variety with hundreds of slot games and other options for entertainment. Audiences have come to love platforms like YouTube Gaming and Twitch, which have mastered the technology of live streaming of games.
The innovations of game streaming platforms have attracted huge audiences because of the better quality of HD video and the capacity to share the experience of game playing with others.
Live streaming of video games is a process in which gamers broadcast themselves playing games to a live online audience. This practice gained traction in the mid- 2010s with Twitch, the US-based platform and grew further on YouTube, Facebook, and Chinese sites such as Bilibili, DouYu and Huya Live.
By 2014, there was more traffic on Twitch streams compared to HBO Go, the leading online streaming service of HBO. Twitch enjoys a reputation as the best streaming platform for gaming.
Professional streamers nowadays have the ability to mix a high level of play with entertaining commentary and are able to earn income from donations, ad revenue, subscriptions and sponsors.
Both Indie developers and AAA have dodged rising costs of development, making use of free advertisement provided by live streaming. Indie titles like Among Us, Rocket League and Fall Guys are some games that have enjoyed a huge, growing customer base thanks to streaming.
A game genre that has gained traction is E-sports because of the accessibility of live streaming. Another use of live streaming is to raise funds for charity.
Live streaming provides the attraction of transforming the hobby of playing video games into a complete career of streaming. However, it brings along the risks of this additional fame both within the game area like stream sniping or in real life like swatting and stalking. Also, the low barriers of technology in this arena permit the broadcast of a wide variety of games and streamers.
Live streaming platform has turned into a popular mode of advertising for developers of video games, traditional outmatching mediums such as traditional demos and online magazines. Potential customers can enjoy video games that are released newly, without needing to buy them.
The majority of multiplayer titles benefit from such free advertising. However, some point-and-click, linear titles such as the currently defunct Telltale Games may suffer a blow when people watching gameplays are satiated without completing a purchase.
The increase in big scale, AAA video games have led to rising prices for customers and the proliferation of free-to-play titles featuring microtransactions. Small developers have made use of crowdsourcing platforms like GoFundMe and streaming platforms such as Twitch for advertising their products since the latter are regarded as the best streaming platform for gaming.
Also, e-commerce storefronts like Steam have become highly popular with features like integration of built-in streaming and early access, enabling growth in the number of users. Through the development of games with a focus on live streaming, developers can exploit such features and allocate their budgets in the innovative play of games instead of traditional advertising.
Streaming has prevailed and grown since the last few decades. But the game-changer was the founding of Netflix in 2007. The process of live streaming of video games first happened in 2011 with the launch of WSBN, the shout casting station. However, it was not till the mid-2010 that the practice caught on. This was partly because of the progress of technology and partly thanks to the invention of platforms of live streaming of video games like Twitch.
Thereafter the scene of video game live streaming has really taken off. In 2015, YouTube gaming was launched along with other popular streaming services of online games such as Caffeine, Facebook gaming and the now-defunct Microsoft Mixer.
The rise of live streaming in the video game industry has firstly led to the progress of E-sports. Huge competitions for multiplayer games are organized every year, and massive prize money is up for grabs. This has, in turn, caused heightened popularity of video games and additionally attracted even casual gamers to streaming platforms of video games.
The online casino industry is another arena where the live streaming of games has gained traction. The early market leader on platforms like Twitch was Poker, but after a few years, casino game streamers usurped this position with tuning in of several persons to watch every year via live games.
Live streaming video games are amazingly popular, with several gamers opting to stream games online. This is because of several reasons. For one, video games have become much popular in the last decade. Earlier, they were regarded as the preserve of nerds, but currently, they are widely popular with those under the age of 40.
Partly, this is because of the enhanced availability of video games currently; more games and consoles are accessible than ever, and that too, at highly affordable prices. Video games have soared into the public consciousness and are now regarded as a valuable component of modern culture, with enhanced status in society.
Video games are accessible to more people than ever because of the advent of the internet and digital technology. Most people own computers and mobile phones, implying that more people, especially in the developed and developing world, can play video games than ever.
The popularity of video games has risen across the board, thanks to the rising popularity of mobile games. They attract more casual gamers with apps and games available typically on mobile phones.
Online streaming is now much easier with the dawn of the digital age; long gone are the days when online streaming and multiplayer gaming needed a complicated set-up, with several consoles currently becoming automatically available with built-in features for streaming games while one plays.
With the passage of time, particularly in the last decade, there was a high spike of live streams of video games worldwide on streaming platforms. As per Statista, there were more than 8.8 billion live-streamed video games watched globally in the first quarter of 2021.
One other interesting point is that the rise in streaming of video games has in fact, led to a rise in advertising for some games which would otherwise be undetected. For instance, the game Rocket League sold over 5 million copies after becoming one of the most popular live-streamed video games on Twitch, which is the most trending live streaming platform.
Gone are the days of coding game development by candlelight. The line between blockbuster studio creation and innovative indie development blurs continually. Yet most people expect that developers wish to create fun games. But the meaning of the term ‘fun’ is subject to debate.
Arguably, live streaming is the biggest platform for exposing a game to the gaming community. It generates response like- ‘I want to have fun like they are having fun’. Thus, it is the best advertisement for the game.
Also, developers like to enjoy growing exposure to the target audience. More and more people wish to play games, and this bodes much potential for advertisement in this arena. Mostly, recent years have witnessed the rise of the Indie Game industry. As per many experts, the success of Indie games is connected to the increase in live streaming gaming in pop culture of the mainstream.
In sum, these are some of the top facts about the growing popularity of game streaming platforms.