With the recent news that viewership in Apex Legends had dropped quite drastically, many have thrown around comments such as the usual “dead game.” With this article, I want to discuss how viewership can impact the lifeblood of a game.
First, I want to make it clear that there have been very successful games without streaming and there have been very unfruitful games that saw game time on popular streams aka viewership.
From yesterdays article for reference: “After breaking early records for players and revenue, Apex Legends faltered. Since then the game has dropped 75% in terms of viewership according to a quarterly report from StreamElements.” How did this happen? Well, the report goes on to state that while 10 top streamers were still active on the game in February, by mid-March this number had dropped to just two.
An important bit of information here is that we have no information as to how many players the game currently has. What we do know is that less big streamers are playing it. After all, over 50% of all viewership on Twitch is in the top 1,000 streamers. When you think about just how many viewers/streamers there are, this is pretty wild.
How may a large viewership benefit a game? It’s a basically constant advertisement. When Michael “shroud” Grzesiek or Tyler “Ninja” Blevins play a game in front of 30, 40, 50, 60 thousand people for hours on end, you can just about guarantee the game just gained some new players.
Another thing we don’t know is how beneficial this is after the initial hype and hours are poured in. If shroud goes hard and puts in a full month of Apex Legends, at that point most of his viewers have experienced the game from his point of view and have probably already made a decision on whether they want to play the game. If he stops playing it it’s highly unlikely that all of his viewers suddenly throw the game in the bin.
As long as streamers don’t use their influence to tear a game down and simply just walk away, how detrimental is their move if they’ve already caused 60% of their viewers (random number not based on anything) to download and play the game? My thoughts are probably not as much as people think.
Apex Legends has certainly seen a dip in viewership and I’m sure there has been somewhat of a drop in players as is expected with almost any game after it’s initial hype. However, the idea that because a Ninja, Summit1g, or others aren’t playing it on a regular basis makes it a dead game may not have as much ground as some give it.
Until we can really see the numbers and have some sort of comparisons to make, viewership is not a direct translation to players or even happy players.