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Wednesday, September 25, 2019

How Is Twitch Transforming Gaming


Wazzup Pilipinas!

It's no surprise that the content sharing platform, Twitch has become a big part of video gaming. With millions of eSports lovers streaming almost every day, Twitch has made some significant contributions when it comes to the growth of the viewership of eSports and online gaming.

Before we dive into the ways Twitch has transformed gaming, let's look at Twitch's history. Twitch was initially the gaming section of a larger livestreaming website, which broadcast live videos in realtime to users across the globe. This platform's utility coincided with the rise of traditional and new types of online multimedia games. In turn, this led to the streaming platform gaining millions of new viewers and streamers, and becoming the premier online community for fans of video games. In 2014, Amazon recognized Twitch's potential and acquired the platform for a whopping $970 million (USD).

But how does the platform work? Any individual can sign up and broadcast themselves playing video games in realtime to the avid community of viewers looking to watch live gaming. Viewers can also interact with the streamer in realtime by using the chatbar. The platform monetizes this massive user base with both subscription models and external advertising, and its network of "paid" streamers need to have an average concurrent viewership of 500+ and broadcast regularly at least 3 times a week to qualify.

With 15 million daily active users who watch video game streaming each day, let's take a deeper look at Twitch's influence on video gaming and eSports.


Regular gamers to internet celebrities

We are living in the age of social media influencers and internet celebrities. When it comes to the world of gaming, Twitch has enabled regular gamers to achieve international fame and stardom. These superstar gamers do much more than just play games skillfully; the top Twitch streamers also provide a social commentary and other engaging content that keeps the gaming community entertained.

As a platform, Twitch has supported many streamers as they turn their video gaming passions into revenue-generating careers. Some streamers have reportedly earned up to fifty thousand dollars an hour from promoting a specific publisher's games, and the global online community is full of loyal fans who will happily make donations to their favourite players.


Sharing techniques and strategy

Long gone are the days when there was only one way to successfully play and complete a video game. As games have become more interactive and immersive, so too have the possibilities for multiple playthroughs with alternative outcomes. Therefore, many viewers stream to share alternative gaming styles, delivering tips and tricks to uncover hidden bonuses and easer eggs, along with improving their overall gaming strategy.

The formula for running a successful Twitch channel is simple: either broadcast yourself as the best in your field (a professional online gamer) and share elements of your strategy, or share your personal journey as you learn a game and its rules. Naturally, this can be applied to all manner of games played online and has consequently led to a significant change in the experience of playing traditional strategy games, like poker. Twitch has made gaming more serious and concise. Gaming is more professional than ever and playing video games has become a genuine sport that requires skill and strategy.


A Hub for eSports

Twitch is truly a YouTube meets ESPN platform for video game streaming. Twitch has been largely attributed to the success of eSports going mainstream. With it's huge platform of both gamers and audience members, Twitch has enabled the execution of many eSports gaming tournaments including ESL, The International, and the League of Legends World Championship.

These tournaments now draw in millions of viewers, offering professional teams a change to establish a presence and promote themselves. Moreover, the overall prize pool per tournament series can easily go up to thirty million dollars. Twitch has opened up a brand new space for eSports that is attractive to third party advertisers and brands, who are ready to jump into this social gaming platform.


Twitch and physical sports

The “always on” nature of the internet and the sheer volume of Twitch livestreams of physical games and sports, like baseball, is also hugely influencing the way that fans interact with them. In this digital era, fans don't need to watch television broadcasts, listen to radio updates or even find screenings of upcoming games; they can simply turn in to their favourite livestreamer and watch things unfold play by play online. Naturally, this has also created a demand for things like up to the minute odds online, which is becoming a necessity for fans who like to place wagers on their favourite players and teams.


Introduction of new (and better) games

Another way in which Twitch is transforming the gaming industry is by acting as a launchpad for new games, especially indie titles that can often be overlooked. It's also become a sort of digital archive that enables users to discover games new to them, whether they are new releases or not - interest has surged in a number of older games as a consequence of them being played by high profile streamers.

Since Twitch is also a social media network, it's a place for users to discuss many aspects of video gaming and can provide game developers with insights into their needs and requirement, leading to the development of better games. Twitch helps gamers make better choices - watching a professional streamer play and review a game helps other gamers make informed purchases.


Gaming as a Social Activity

Up until recently, gaming was considered a solo activity. With the introduction of multi-player gaming and a social gaming platform in the form of Twitch, gaming has become much more of a social activity, where like-minded people build friendships and collaborate on a regular basis. Just like the community that builds up around physical sports, there are strong social connections being formed around a shared love of video games and eSports.

In the past few years, Twitch has revolutionized gaming, helping countless gamers turn professional and even giving them the platform to develop into gaming superstars. Twitch's success in setting up a massive gaming community that enjoys live tournaments is nothing short of historical, and its impact on the development of the video gaming industry as a whole - and the new public perception of gaming as a positive activity - is quite evident.


Photo captions:

Photo 1: A professional video gamer in action
https://live.staticflickr.com/1825/29447967578_2d330c6a34_z.jpg
Photo by Lyncconf Games / CC BY-SA 2.0


Photo 2: League of Legends players at Meltdown Paris
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/5/5d/Meltdown_Paris_Competition_League_of_Legends.jpg/800px-Meltdown_Paris_Competition_League_of_Legends.jpg
Photo by Clement Grandjean / CC BY-SA 4.0


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