Live streaming games is still relatively a new thing, when older platforms like own3d.tv and justin.tv first emerged, it was quite ground-breaking in terms of what was on offer and the gaming section of both sites grew extremely quickly as it filled a niche that many had been hoping to see filled for quite some time – in 2011, Justin.tv split the gaming side of the platform in to Twitch and the rest as they say is history, as the platform now leads the way for all things esports and video game streaming in general. But what did it exactly do to change gaming?
The first big thing that changed was simply the coverage – when newer games were released many relied-on reviews from the big publications or prints in magazines to show a little look into what the game could offer, whether from more casual genres like online casinos with a list here of the best, right through to the big AAA games, content creators can livestream a first look at the game and show real time expectations of what would-be players can get. In some way they have removed the need for the bigger publications that still post game reviews as they can often be biased or play games in a way that may not be intended with reviewer focussed difficulty levels or access at a time where changes are yet to be made, and it’s something that has really set streaming apart.
Twitch has also enabled the ability for streamers to give out unique content, mostly through the ‘drops’ system – this has been seen with an upcoming release of Amazon Game Studios title of ‘New World’ which is set to release at the end of August, with the current beta being played as a sort of stress test, players who’d like something extra can tune in to popular streamers playing and will earn a cosmetic item after some time viewing – it gives fans an additional reason to tune in and stick around viewing for a longer period of time. This was extremely successful for the launch of Riot Games now huge esports title of Valorant, beta keys were given out as part of the drop promotion just before the game released and it saw hundreds of thousands of viewers tune in to streams just to get their hands on a beta key, with many successfully doing so to.
As the platform is still relatively young, it isn’t free from criticism as it doesn’t always make the right decisions, despite that it continues to find enormous success and likely will continue to do so unless a big competitor comes long to unseat it, and will continue to change the way gaming is viewed by the rapidly growing audience.