Last week, on June 24th, Square Enix and Twitch announced a new campaign in which participants receive exclusive in-game items for FINAL FANTASY XIV Online (which we'll abbreviate to FFXIV in this post). The event will run until August 24th, so for a whole two months. For most Twitch/Game Dev collaborations, users simply have to click on the Twitch Prime Loot button located on the top right of any page on Twitch. From there they can choose to redeem whatever promotion they want. This collaboration, however, is slightly different.
In order to claim the event items, viewers need to gift up to 4 subscriptions within the channels of participating creators while they're streaming FFXIV. For the first gifted subscription, users get 100 Deluxe Heavenscracker Fireworks. Each additional gifted sub results in different rewards. The 4th gifted sub culminates with the exclusive Fat Black Chocobo, an in-game mount. Square Enix is marketing this event as a way to give back to the community, in particular, content creators, after FFXIV's critically acclaimed 2021 Fan Fest. The event drew in over 400,000 viewers and perfectly encapsulated the extremely symbiotic relationship between FFXIV's developers and their community. This endeavor is a markedly different approach to Twitch partnerships to be sure, but what effect will it have on FFXIV viewership?
Upon writing this article it's been nearly a week since the event began. The left side of the black bar on the graph above showcases user viewership for FFXIV the week prior to the announcement. The area to the right of the bar shows user viewership for the week after. As we can see, there has been a noticeable bump in activity, peaking at 37k viewers shortly after the start of the event. Right after the promotion started, many major FFXIV streamers took advantage of the opportunity to grow their subscription base. As an example, the top FFXIV streamer in total viewer hours, AnnieFuchsia, named all her FFXIV streams "get your fat black chocobo here!".
- FFXIV ranked as the 16th most watched category on Twitch during June 24th.
- FFXIV as a whole has increased it's average Twitch most watched category rank from 58th to 39th since June 24th.
- The total amount of hours viewed increased 47% (after the promotion started).
- The average number of streams increased 7% (after the promotion started).
- The total amount of hours streamed increased 9% (after the promotion started).
When determining the success of this promotion, time will be the most important factor to differentiate outliers from a stable increase in views. This event requires little work from the developers and doesn't seem to require any sort of heavy handed approach from Square Enix's end aside from providing Twitch with the redemption codes. So far it seems like the event is working as intended, which is to promote FFXIV content creators, and increase the overall Twitch presence of the game. It will be interesting to see if the fervor dies off as more regular players obtain the in-game mount, or if there will be enough new players to maintain the current increase in viewership. Part 2 of this analysis will be written soon after August 24th, when the event ends, in which there will be a much larger dataset to extrapolate from.
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