Escape From Tarkov is Twitch's Hottest Game, and It's Here to Stay

One month into 2020, it's clear that Tarkov has become one of the most popular games in streaming. Here's how we know it can stand the test of time.

Escape From Tarkov is Twitch's Hottest Game, and It's Here to Stay

One month into 2020, it's clear that Tarkov has become one of the most popular games in streaming. Here's how we know it can stand the test of time.

This past December, right after Christmas, Battlestate Games’s Escape From Tarkov exploded to the top of the Twitch charts thanks to the introduction of a brand new promotion, wherein watching the game on Twitch could yield in-game rewards for the viewers. The results were more than most could have imagined, with the title rising from peak concurrent audiences of approximately 50,000 in the days leading up to the event increasing to 170,000, then 190,000, and ultimately a peak of over 280,000 simultaneous viewers. The event made it the biggest game on Twitch in the first week of the new year.

But, that event did eventually come to a close, and it wouldn’t have been unreasonable to assume the game’s time at the very top of the Twitch charts would draw to a conclusion as well. And yet that hasn’t been the case. In fact, all signs point to Escape From Tarkov having the staying power to remain a top game in streaming for some time.

Twitch Numbers Show Tarkov Is a Hit

In the 30 days leading up to the aforementioned event in Escape From Tarkov, the game was the 14th ranked game on Twitch in terms of viewership, a respectable showing for a title that had established a strong community of players and creators, but didn’t approach the platforms of the biggest games in streaming. Then, during the promotion itself, it shot up to the top of the charts, ranking second overall in the same metric. The really interesting developments, though, came once this event came to a close.

From January 6th through the date of this blog’s publication, Tarkov remains the fourth ranked title on all of Twitch in terms of viewership, and it’s not because of additional events or singularly popular streams. Above, you can see that viewership has remained incredibly consistent in the over three weeks since the end of the in-game promotion, and that pattern is mirrored in the game’s participating streamers, visible below.

Over the same time, the title has been one of our top five most watched titles on Twitch each and every week, hitting the number one spot in Twitch’s official rankings seven times, most recently on the 28th of January. Meanwhile, the game’s viewership increased from an average of just under 19,000 prior to the promotional event to nearly 77,000 after, and active streamers increased from an average of 524 to 1438, with daily peaks often over 2000.

It’s important to note that, while the title’s viewership numbers put it alongside some of the biggest games in streaming, its corresponding total of active creators remains impressive, but not as much as those same titles. This would seem to indicate that these large viewership numbers are somewhat concentrated among its streamers, and that losing a few of these larger creators could have an outsized impact on the game’s overall streaming footprint. This is one of the reasons we would have expected the game to recede, and for its viewership to fluctuate, but we’ve found that neither have so far been the case. So, while there are indeed large-audience creators, the game seems to be holding their attention for quite some time.

Tarkov Is Attracting Big Names, and Creating New Ones

Three of the game’s top five creators since the conclusion of New Year’s promotion are new to the title, and are absolutely responsible for helping to raise the game’s profile, drawing in new players and streamers while also pulling in enormous viewership totals for their own broadcasts. Creator summit1g, one of the biggest names in the space, hadn’t played the game in all of December, but hasn’t hosted any other titles on his stream since January 7th, logging 289 hours of broadcasts and a whopping 7.8 million hours or viewership, by far the most of any player. He’s joined by DrDisrepect (1.9 Million Hours) and LIRIK (1.4 Million Hours) as the other new broadcasters to help raise the game to the top of the charts, but they’re far from alone.  

DrLupo, currently the title’s second most watched streamer, played the game quite a bit towards the end of last year, but since the promotional event he’s increased his average viewership from 4547 to 11.818 viewers. He is followed by creator Sacriel, whose average viewership increased from just over 2200 to 8800, while also dramatically increasing the frequency and length of their streams. The same can be said for several other big-name streamers who had played the game previously, but now that it’s trending so strongly are dedicating themselves to the title like never before, creators like CohhCarnage, who jumped from the sixteenth most watched creator to the seventh, and Veritas, who jumped from nineteen to eight.

All of this means that, yes, while it’s true that much of the game’s viewership is somewhat concentrated amongst its largest creators, many of those biggest streamers were already playing the game, as opposed to having just picked it up now that it’s gaining steam. In addition to those new arrivals, returning players have been playing the game, more often, and for longer periods of time, because audiences want it. Yes, the biggest names have helped to push it over the top, but no single or handful of creators leaving now would automatically return the game to its previous position. Meanwhile, the increased attention is actually turning some retuning Tarkov players into streaming stars. All of this comes together to demonstrate a title that’s popular regardless of who’s playing it, and that makes it capable to sticking around for the long haul.

What do you think? Is Escape From Tarkov officially one of the biggest games in streaming? Hit us up on Twitter and LinkedIn to let us know what you think! And also be sure to check out our weekly rankings of the hottest games in Twitch, and stay tuned for more blogs, announcements, and game news from the team here at Gamesight!