Ten years ago, and perhaps even more recently, the idea of watching others play video games was an odd concept unless it was for guidance within a game, such as with a particularly difficult level or to find a secret location. But now, watching others play video games has become a popular form of entertainment. In turn, it has spawned a new sport and changed the face of the industry, and yet it is still on course to influence the world of gaming even further.
Views through streaming are now the currency of the sporting industry
Revenue in traditional sports and the ever-growing world of eSports is centric to spectators. Traditional sports try to acquire viewers and then keep them engaged enough to become fans and attend live games, creating the team’s main source of revenue through tickets and merchandise.
In eSports, as you can see here, 77 percent of revenue comes from sponsorships and advertising as opposed to 40 percent in traditional sports, which means that the best way to generate revenue is to have more viewers, as more viewers lead to more sponsorships. If it weren’t for the use of live streaming, eSports would not have taken off in the way that it has, with streaming remaining a core piece of the young industry’s revenue.
Watching others is a primary form of gaming interaction
Companies are always seeking new ways for potential customers to interact with their brand, and for gaming, it used to be that people would perhaps read a magazine to see if they like the look of a game, try a demo, or just buy it outright. Now, potential players go much further, watching gameplay footage through streams, but also interacting and engaging with the game through watching the reactions of streamers while they play, as well as using chat functions to discuss the game with fellow viewers.
The numbers recorded here show that by 2015, popular streaming platform Twitch had 100 million unique monthly viewers. This has happened across all forms of gaming. The major eSports competitions, naturally, get a huge audience, but so do those playing games casually such as those in the theme of the battle royale concept, like Fortnite.
But the entertainment factor extends far beyond competitive multiplayer games, with casino game streamers connecting to a huge audience through the use of streaming platforms. On Twitch, the casino gaming section boasts two huge names in this newly coined genre of ‘moneytainment’ with NickSlots (UK) and LetsGiveItASpin (SWE) garnering thousands of views on each of their streams. People tune in to see how much these casino streamers will stake and potentially win, helping to show potential players which games are both fun and potentially rewarding.
Live streaming to become even more alluring
As it stands, there is still somewhat of a barrier between the games being played and streamed and those watching the stream. While the games themselves likely won’t adjust to enhance the live streaming experience just yet, live streaming platforms are expected to evolve to create a more immersive and entertaining experience.
It has been found that creators in the live streaming industry are working on a way to revolutionize the viewing experience through the use of an interactive overlay, which you can see here. Through the implementation of a HUD, players will be able to customize their viewing experience to get statistics of the players that they want to watch, information about their loadout, or even live voting with fellow players through UI controls to alter the game and make it more interesting.
The streaming of games has become a core element of the industry. As it continues to evolve and grow in popularity as a form of entertainment, developers will design and implement ways for the experience to be even more engaging.