June 7, 2023

The Rise of Video Game Streaming: How It’s Changing The Gaming Industry


Video game streaming has rapidly become one of the most popular forms of entertainment in recent years. With millions of people around the world tuning in to watch their favorite gamers, it has become a staple in the culture that is rapidly changing the gaming industry as we know it. In this article, we will explore the rise of video game streaming, how it is changing the gaming industry, and what the future of video game streaming might look like.

What Is Video Game Streaming?

LAS VEGAS, NV – APRIL 21: Twitch streamer and professional gamer Tyler “Ninja” Blevins streams during Ninja Vegas ’18 at Esports Arena Las Vegas at Luxor Hotel and Casino on April 21, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Blevins is playing against more than 230 challengers in front of 700 fans in 10 live “Fortnite” games with up to USD 50,000 in cash prizes on the line. He is donating all his winnings to the Alzheimer’s Association. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Video game streaming is the act of broadcasting oneself playing a video game to an audience in real time. Streamers use Twitch, YouTube, and Facebook Gaming to showcase their gameplay to millions of viewers around the world. Online gaming and the growth of social media in the past decade have driven the growing popularity of online gaming.

The Impact Of Video Game Streaming On The Gaming Industry

LOS ANGELES, CA – AUGUST 16: 100 Theives celebrates after they came from behind and eliminated Faze Clan during the Call of Duty World League Championship 2019 at Pauley Pavilion on August 16, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images)

The rise of video game streaming has had a profound impact on the gaming industry. One of the most significant changes has been the way that developers market and sell games. In the past, gamers would typically buy games based on reviews, word-of-mouth recommendations, and marketing materials such as trailers and advertisements. Today, however, many gamers are discovering games through video game streaming. Watching someone else play provides a much better idea of the gameplay, more so than any trailer or advertisement. In that sense, streaming benefited the rise of indie games. The developers behind indie games typically have little marketing leeway. However, streaming turned into the best option to get the word out there.

The rise of esports has also played a role in video game streaming. Esports transformed gaming into a competitive sport, in a sense, often in organized tournaments with cash prizes. The popularity of esports has led to an increase in the number of professional gamers, as well as the development of dedicated leagues and tournaments. Today, many professional gamers earn a living through a combination of prize money, sponsorships, and streaming revenue.

The Future Of Video Game Streaming

Visitors play a virtual reality video game, wearing a VR headset while holding mock rifles, during the opening day of the “Paris Games Week” video-game fair, after the cancellation of two editions due to the pandemic, in Paris on November 2, 2022. – The largest French video game fair, Paris Games Week, is open on November 2 to 6. If video games remain the preferred digital leisure activity of young people, with 95% of 10-17 year olds playing them, the practice concerns more than 37 million French people, 53% even declaring that they play them “at least once a week”, according to the Syndicat des editeurs de logiciels de loisirs (Leisure software editors union)(Sell). (Photo by Emmanuel DUNAND / AFP) (Photo by EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP via Getty Images)

So, what does the future of video game streaming look like? There are several trends that are likely to shape the future of this industry. One trend is the continued growth of mobile gaming. More people are playing games on their phones as they’re not only accessible but also, a great way to kill time. Much like Twitch, mobile-specific streaming platforms, such as Omlet Arcade and Loco, allow gamers to stream their mobile gameplay to a global audience.

The rise of virtual reality (VR) gaming is another trend to look out for. VR gaming allows players to immerse themselves in a virtual world in what feels like the next step in the evolution of gaming. Streaming could play a significant role in the growth of VR gaming, especially as gamers showcase their gameplay to a wider audience.

New Revenue Streams

Streaming has opened up new revenue streams for the gaming industry. Game sales are still a major source of income. However, the average gamer is now turning to platforms like Twitch and YouTube to explore their favorite video games. As a result, game developers and publishers are now more interested in collaborating with popular streamers to promote their games. This has led to a new type of partnership between streamers and game companies. Some streamers receive early access to games or exclusive in-game items in exchange for promotional purposes.

Increased Competition

Streamers are now able to build their own communities and followings, which has given them more power and influence in the industry. However, streamers often become authoritative voices. Not due to their knowledge, necessarily but because they are the most watched. This has led to a shift in the balance of power, especially since streamers sometimes have more influence over game sales than traditional advertising methods.

Changes In The Video Game Industry

Developers now tend to design games with streaming in mind. Features like spectator modes and easy-to-use streaming tools have grown in prominence. Even software and hardware for streaming are heavily on the rise. Developers are also paying more attention to how their games will look and play on stream. There’s no doubt that this can have a big impact on how popular a game becomes.

Video Game Marketing

While traditional marketing methods like television ads and billboards are still important, there’s a major focus on social media and streaming platforms. New ventures and initiatives have launched as gaming companies collaborate with popular streamers to introduce their product to a wider audience.

User-generated content is also impacting the industry in a major way. Popular streamers and influencers are gaining significant traction through streaming and YouTube gaming channels which allow them to create and share their own gameplay videos and content. It’s not uncommon for companies to encourage their customers to use hashtag-driven gameplay clips on social media, which, in turn, creates a sense of community among fans. Ultimately, this helps build loyal following and generate organic buzz.

Why Is Understanding The Video Game Industry So Important?

Gamers take part in the “Z Event”, a 54-hour charity video game marathon of live gaming with 55 streamers in Montpellier on September 9, 2022. – Harnessed helmets and reserves of energy drinks to last two days and three nights, 55 French stars, from eSports or Twitch streamers, have launched the “Z Event” marathon in Montpellier, to raise funds for the benefit of 4 associations for the protection of the environment. (Photo by Pascal GUYOT / AFP) (Photo by PASCAL GUYOT/AFP via Getty Images)

As streaming continues to grow in popularity, it’s clear that it will continue to shape the industry. From new revenue streams to changes in game design, streaming is changing the way we think about gaming. While it’s impossible to predict where this trend will take us, one thing is clear: video game streaming is here to stay.

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