Has Twitch Streaming Changed the Way We Play Games?
To call Twitch a tour de force would be an understatement. The live-streaming platform, which was acquired by Amazon for almost $1 billion back in 2014, has completely changed the games industry. The platform has 15 million daily visitors, who flock to the site to watch streamers broadcast their lives, play music, create art and, predominantly, play video games.
Twitch and its game streaming capabilities aren’t just another form of entertainment, like watching TV or a movie. It has actually and tangibly changed the games industry and the way that people play, interact with, and purchase games. Let’s explore the many ways that it has shaped gaming.
How People Use Twitch for Recommendations
The most obvious way that Twitch has shaped the games industry is in the way that people now choose the games they want to play. When the most-watched streamers play a game or even recommend a title verbally, their viewers take notice. It is through the support of streamers that the multiplayer battle royale phenomena Fortnite and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds were able to make billions of dollars between them. And statistics from Twitch confirm this, as a report stated that 25% of the sales for the games The Culling and Punch Club and just under 20% of sales for The Division were because of Twitch.
People Want More Interaction from Their Games
A massive draw to Twitch is the interactive aspect. It’s one thing to play a multiplayer mode of a game or watch someone play a game, but it’s another to talk, theorize, and make jokes about that game with them as they play. As watching games on Twitch becomes the norm, players have been craving greater interaction whenever they play games, not just when they watch them being played by someone else. This is why other game genres, including live casino games like live roulette and live blackjack has begun to embrace the interactive element. These games use live dealers in the absence of Twitch streamers, interacting with the audience to make for a fun, laidback atmosphere.
Gaming Has Become Even More Social
It’s not just the streamers on Twitch who’ve made a difference, even the chat window of Twitch has helped to shake things up. When fans discuss games in the Twitch chat, they leave those chats craving more of those experiences, hoping to make more friends and enjoy experiences together when they play on their own time. Social features are about much more than just playing alongside someone and it’s why BioWare has made such a big deal about the “disruptive social features” in its upcoming sci-fi RPG, Anthem. Other games have allowed players to use emotes to communicate with each other, share loot, use specific voice lines and more as they engage with one another – which is just like Twitch.
Because of the (growing) popularity of Twitch, developers are continuing to think about how to integrate Twitch and appeal to the platform’s users. So while Twitch has already changed the games industry, expect it to change things even more.