Initially, video game players were only interested in gaming walkthroughs, where other players will make videos on a particular game and show how to progress inside that game, like killing a difficult boss or completing a difficult challenge. Gaming walkthroughs were simple gaming videos that had no comments from the streamers.
As time progressed, players started taking up an active interest in the personal lives of streamers and wanted more from the gaming videos. That’s when individuals started streaming videos by adding comments and started delivering a more personalized gaming experience for viewers.
This genre of gaming is called a ‘Let’s Play’ genre. Even before the advent of YouTube, Japanese streamers were at the forefront of video game streaming. People were interested in the reactions of streamers and their insightful comments after experiencing a game.
Felix Chelberg, a Swedish YouTuber who opened the PewDiePie channel on the YouTube platform in 2010, took the video game streaming into the mainstream fold and started making the ‘Let’s Play’ genre wildly popular, allowing thousands of streamers to take inspiration from his exploits. His contribution to the streaming industry later led to the massive development of this genre. Streaming began to take off once the Twitch platform was born.
Main Platforms of Streaming
The most popular video game streaming platform of the 21st century is Twitch. YouTube Gaming is also another popular streaming platform, although Twitch is solely dedicated to this genre. Among other video game streaming platforms, Bigo Live, HitBox and Beam are quite popular among streamers.
Twitch hosts most of the world’s biggest streamers such as Ninja and Shroud, who have gone on to accumulate massive success in the video gaming industry. Their streams are watched by millions of people from all over the world, and Ninja alone made more than £10 million in 2018. Twitch has a simple and attractive user interface, which lets users access some of its content for free.
Current State of the Streaming Industry
Twitch accounts for nearly around 2% of the peak internet traffic in the US. More than 10 million people watch video game streams in Twitch on a daily basis. Most of the popular streamers have a six-figure annual income, and 58% of the daily users of Twitch spend a whopping 20 hours watching streams every week.
All this data demonstrates that streaming has taken off in recent years, and the industry will keep growing from strength to strength in the near future. People love the social experience that streamers provide while playing games on live streams, and the skill and entertainment factor that video game streams provide is unmatched by any other activity.
As the e-sports segment continues to grow every year, streaming will become more popular in the coming days.