04th Jun2020

Why Has Live-Stream Gaming Become So Popular?

by James Smith

Over the last few decades gaming has taken the world by storm. Xbox, Playstation, and Nintendo, have all celebrated wins with popular video games that have sold millions of copies around the world. Mobile gaming is another area that has seen significant growth recently, as powerful smartphones are able to deliver incredible graphics for on the go gaming to a wide audience.

There has also been an increase in the choice of options available when it comes to online play, with adults who grew up playing video games now able to participate in different types of entertainment experiences including everything from live casino gaming at sites like Slot Boss to augmented reality games played using phone apps.

With the rise in popularity in online gaming of all types, there have also been players forging careers out as they become a Youtuber, Twitch streamer, or eSports professional. According to The Verge, live-streaming statistics have increased dramatically during lockdown. While there has been gains across the board, Twitch remained the biggest large-streaming platform and saw the most growth in hours watched.

Data shows that hours watched on the platform jumped 50% between March and April in 2020, and now up to 1.645 billion hours are watched every month on Twitch. But why has live-stream gaming become so popular? And why do millions of viewers tune in to watch?

Watching & playing games is entertainment for people of all ages

Watching internet personalities play games is a form of entertainment on its own. Many online users enjoy watching playthroughs of their favourite games, regardless of whether they are going to play the game themselves at some point. Some might have a favourite Youtuber or Twitch streamer that they enjoy watching and who they find entertaining.

Those who enjoy video games are not just in one set target audience either. According to the Entertainment Software Association research on video gaming in 2019, 46% of gamers were female and 54% were male. They also found that the average age of a gamer was 33 years old, and that Millennials, Gen X, and Boomer generations all played video games.

Players might be looking for gaming tips

There are many different types of games that are live-streamed online from a variety of platforms. Some games might include tricky challenges or levels that can sometimes even cause a live-streamer to be stuck on for a while.

One of the reasons why users might tune into a live-stream is to gain some useful tips from these online players. They might have been stuck on a level themselves and tuned into an online playthrough to see how it is done. Players might even be tuning into videos on Twitch, Youtube, or other platforms to see which platforms work best, what games are popular to play, and what gear players use – perhaps if they run their own live-stream or are thinking of starting one.

Recently, Facebook even launched a Facebook Gaming mobile app for people to create and watch live gameplay. Players can see how this platform compares to others as it is in competition with Twitch and Youtube.

Players can tune into popular tournaments worldwide

Another reason why live-streaming has become popular is that online users can also see some of their favourite games played in worldwide tournaments. In the esports industry, there are many players that take part in popular tournaments to win prize money. Users might enjoy tuning in to see world tournaments take place, see their favourite games being played, and see something bigger than a small live-streaming channel.

In 2019, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and Dota 2 were just some of the biggest esports games that were being played. Last year the Fortnite World Cup tournament had over 2.3 million viewers tune in and had a total prize money of $64,338,000 (£49,883,000).

According to The Loadout, some of the most popular esports tournaments that took place in 2019 included games such as League of Legends, Fortnite, Dota 2, PUBG, Overwatch, and more. The League of Legends tournament, LoL Worlds 2019, was the most watched esports tournament last year with over 3.9 million viewers.

Players have the ability to interact with other players

Live streaming platforms are the foundation of both large and small gaming communities around the world. Players can exchange ideas, form competitions, share cheat sheets, and have fun together. Communicating with others online can help users form friendships, discover new players to play with, or find new contacts to network with.

If you are a dedicated gamer or a casual one, live-stream gaming offers the opportunity to see how other players are playing. If you are watching live-streams, many might include a chat feature where you can communicate with the streamer or with other viewers. If you are a live-streamer yourself, then headsets can help you communicate with other players you are playing with online or on multiplayer with.

According to data from the Entertainment Software Association, 63% of adult gamers play with others and an average adult player spends 4.8 hours a week playing with others online.

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