Watching others stream gameplay of the latest release is pretty much a given for anyone born after year 2000 (and probably most of the game-playing demographic born before that, too). It has become as ubiquitous as pre-teen and adolescents watching Saturday morning TV was for millenials. The fact that watching live streamed games can make players better is at the heart of the popularity of live stream. But so, too, is taking pleasure in watching someone else complete a level, which they thought was too difficult, look easy.
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Live-streaming the Clancy universe
For Ghost Recon Wildlands, Ubisoft spent over 4,000 hours photographing hundreds of thousands images and recording video from all over Bolivia in order to make the gameplay as realistic as possible. In all, they covered every possible land type and terrain, from mountain to salt flats, to recreate the fictional narco-state. This made it one of the biggest open-world adventure games on the market and meant a huge opportunity for both developer and streamer.
If they wanted to, they could legally ban anyone from streaming their games, as is their right. The fact that they don’t, and nor do any of the other games developers, is revealing. Increasingly, most developers, Nintendo, Ubisoft and EA invite streamers with established followers to play and review their games, often in beta, to generate interest or iron out kinks. What it actually does is secure free advertising. When popular Twitch stars play the Ghost Recon series, it follows that YouTubers and Twitchers will want to do the same; they buy the title and they emulate what they see on Twitch.
Call the medic
What Ghost Recon boils down to is with 20 provinces, comes 20 potential walkthroughs and a lot of of the Twitch viewers seeking some kind of assistance in a hands-raised ‘call the medic’ pose. Big fish are dipping into Clancy’s Ghost Recon series, like KittyPlays (1 million+), LIRIK (2.2 million), and TimTheTatMan (2.7 million) while live streamer @forsen’s streams, which often peak at 9 hours, regularly tip the 20,000 live viewer mark. That enormous gameplay opportunity makes streaming opportunities and walkthroughs in Wildlands a valuable audience-source for Twitch streaming.
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Twitch has over two million unique monthly broadcasts and has become one of the leading streaming platforms catering for almost any different gaming or interest. That it has easily become the top gaming social platform for the top gamers in the world, isn’t in question.
That Ubisoft (who produce the Ghost Recon series) is one of the most popular streamers and can offer a weekly Ghost Recon Wildlands Hangout (their latest one has already been viewed over 10 million times), demonstrates the unending appetite for audience interaction in game streaming.
Streaming esports to slots
And it isn’t just shoot ‘em ups battling for attention on Twitch, live streaming has also gained traction with casino games, too. Just like gamers who can learn new tactics from YouTube videos and live Twitch feeds, this platform is where you can see streamers showcase some of the best online slots. The casino games section is packed full of people trying to learn new strategies for their casino gaming in exactly the same way as gamers do for Ghost Recon, but for the most popular online slots instead.
Elsewhere, esports gaming has huge audiences and has already crossed over to cable viewing with the League of Legends World Championships and the Esports World Championships, which joins FIFA, Motor Racing, Call of Duty, and EVO in mass participation events.
The range of live streaming opportunity is as broad as the Bolivian Altiplano and as crimson as the Laguna Colorada within it. While the blood flows in Ghost Recon, esports and live streaming casino games mean audience appetite for Twitch’s live feeds looks like going from strength to strength, moving into multiple disciplines and engaging a wider demographic.