Which games are rising on the Twitch charts? Which titles are sliding? We bring you the hard numbers and reaction, every week, in the GAMESIGHT power rankings!
Note: The following rankings are based on a combination of both gross and percentage change to viewership and total streams. As such, dominant and stable titles near the top of the charts will not always, or often, appear.
This Epic Games Store exclusive from the creators of Goat Simulator emerged from its closed test into Early Access on March 19th, and, aside from the top new release mentioned below, was the fastest growing game on the platform for the week by percentage. Between its release and the end of Friday, March 22, the “FPS open-world factory building sim” was viewed for over 1.3 million hours across 38,769 streams on 6990 channels. Its success was also spread across those channels well, with 24 channels accruing at least 10,000 hours of viewership, and 187 channels gaining at least 1000 hours. That speaks to a quickly growing and engaged community of viewers and streamers, a very solid foundation to build upon moving forward.
This is a strong showing for the Epic Game Store, a demonstration that their exclusive titles, even those that come from smaller developers, can draw in enough players and streamers to develop what could be a strong, long-term online community. Valve demonstrated it might finally be feeling the heat of its new competitors by finally revealing an update to their Steam library system, so it might be that the world of game distribution has a much more level playing field than ever before. Satisfactory will be an important title to keep an eye on moving forward.
2. Grand Theft Auto V (Online)
The single most profitable piece of media, ever, is constantly bringing players back with events, promotions, new vehicles, and all sorts of other updates, and it would be easy to assume that the most recent big event, Speed Week, which featured discounts and special competitions centered around crazy stunt races, was the reason for its 80% total increase in viewership and its 37% increase in total channels. But, this is not the case.
Instead, looking at the streams of the game's top performers, Twitch super-stars like summit1g, LIRIK, sodapoppin, forsen, and others, you’ll find it’s not the promotions that are pulling them back to GTA, but rather the return of the multiplayer mod “Grand Theft Auto Roleplay.” Leveraging private servers, this modification turns the experience of GTA Online into more of a, you guessed it, “role-playing” experience, with players taking on the forms of normal NPCs and filling rolls like cops, robbers, and everything in between. It relies on the earnest participation of its players, which is why invitation-only servers are the norm.
This mod, by itself, has exploded the popularity of GTA on Twitch. Last week, it was viewed for a total of 21.3 million hours and streamed 113,136 times across 29,698 channels. This is an incredible example of how an invested mod community can continue to invigorate a title and its audience. GTA, in particular, has thrived because it's such an open playground with so many things to do. Letting creators bring even more possibilities to the table is always a good idea.
3. Auto Chess
The phenomenon that is Auto Chess is no secret, by this point. Like many custom maps and mods before it, this example from the world of DOTA 2 has captured the attention of an enormous swath of streamers and players, providing them with a brand new experience they never knew they wanted.
Since it saw itself break off from the main game a week and a half ago, providing players on Twitch with a new classification so viewers can better find what is, really, a new and different game, it has allowed us to get a better idea of just how big it’s become. Surely, not all of the game mode’s streamers are marking their content with this new label, but enough did to draw in over 2.9 million hours of viewership across 21,762 streams on 4233 channels. It will be fascinating to watch how this “title” grows on the platform; we still can’t know for sure what its real viewership and streaming numbers are, but the slice we can see is impressive, and should continue to draw more and more invisible players away from DOTA 2.
Stage 1 of the Overwatch League playoffs began nearly 6 weeks ago, with the finals beginning on March 21 and continuing through the end of the weekend. This resulted in a nearly 58% increase in viewership over the previous week, accruing 6.27 million hours of viewership, more than half of which game form official O.W.L. channels, across 139,663 streams on 41,164 channels.
In a landscape where juggernauts like Apex Legends emerge out of nowhere, where everyone is focused on the competitions between battle royale titles, between different looter shooters, it’s important to remember just how powerful a strong esports community can be in keeping a title evergreen. Overwatch isn’t pulling in the same regular numbers as the largest titles on the platform, but it’s competitive scene is so solidly built into the world of esports that its tournaments still drawn in major numbers, and myriad monetization opportunities. If you can become a hit in the competitive gaming marketplace, your title can remain a fixture for years and years. Overwatch remains a classic example of just that.
5. Baba Is You
And now for something completely different: Baba Is You! This quirky puzzler was released across multiple systems, including the pivotal Nintendo Switch, on March 13th, and last week saw an increase in viewership of 63% for a total of 207,187 hours, and was streamed by 691 additional channels, an increase of 147%. While that average viewership per channel is relatively small, the incredible increase in attention from smaller creators is noteworthy.
Many in the world of influencer marketing are beginning to focus on the power of “nano influencers,” mostly on Instagram, though the idea permeates the entire sector. For a long time, only the biggest channels with the biggest audiences interested marketers, but now they’re realizing that the close relationship smaller audiences have with creators they respect can be just as valuable. This title could be a strong example of just that. We’ll have to wait to see real sales numbers, but a game like this being featured on over 1000 channels in its second week is a real accomplishment.
1. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice
This wasn’t just the biggest new release on Twitch last week; it was the fastest rising title by total hours gained, full stop. In just three days, this follow up to the Dark Souls series and Bloodborne was viewed for over 7.4 million hours across 104,084 streams on 32,524 channels.
This isn’t a surprise at all. Firstly, the games on whose shoulders this new title stands were all time classics in the realm of streaming, so much so that still occasionally rise up the charts to this day. They’re incredibly challenging, packed to the brim with deep, mysterious lore, can be played in countless ways, and is constantly surprising you, both as a player and a viewer. In the speed-running community, they’re some of the most contested, constantly attacked records in existence, and it could be argued that the community that built up around the original Dark Souls was the first real speed-running niche of the modern age. For these reasons, already, the interest in this game was through the roof. Add on top of that anticipation a well executed sponsorship campaign, giving early access to creators like forsen and CohhCarnage, and you have a wildly successful first few days for what will undoubtedly be another fixture in the streaming space for years to come.
Many have tried to copy their success, but none can quite nail it like the genre’s original creators: From Software. They’ve done it again, and nobody should be the least bit shocked.
2. Super Robot Taisen T
This title only released this week in Asia, hitting the Japanese and Korean markets on March 20th. Over the three days that followed, it was watched for 109,869 total hours across 2340 streams on 222 channels. This is a pretty substantial success on the platform for a single player game in the region, particularly as its exclusive to the Playstation 4 and Nintendo Switch consoles, so far eschewing the PC.
Success doesn’t always, of even often, translate when a title enters the Western market, but in an increasingly international marketplace, it’s important to keep an eye out for games that quickly build an engaged audience in other regions. Will this tactical RPG see continued success next week? Just how big does a title like this need to get before demand develops in other countries? Given its spot as our second fastest rising new release of the week, it’s worth watching.
3. Workers & Resources: Soviet Republic
The history of city-building simulators on Twitch is long and storied. From massive era-spanning titles like the Civilization series to your more traditional, less conflict-driven games like Cities: Skylines and Sim City, the opportunity to build a custom world with your audience, being able to include them in decisions and take them on a unique journey, telling a communal story, together, has always been fertile ground for rich content. The latest example is Workers & Resources: Soviet Republic, an obviously Russian themed take on the genre which was released into early access on March 15. By the end of the week, it had been viewed for a total of 59,421 hours across 945 streams and 194 channels. Games like this pop up often, and they usually grab a fair bit of attention early, but quickly fall away as other titles take their place. They’ll have to keep pushing out constant updates and improvements to keep their players engaged if they want to stay in the conversation.
4. We. The Revolution
Following in the footsteps of games like Papers, Please which bring strategy and management to the realm of big, existential discussion of society and history, this, for lack of a better term, revolutionary court simulator was released on Thursday, and by the end of the day Friday had been viewed for a total of 70,636 hours via 226 streams across 103 channels. For a slow, methodical, single-player experience filled with nuanced decision making, that’s an impressive debut, but, in a sign of a potential quick decline, the majority of its viewership was highly concentrated, with only two creators accruing over 10,000 hours, and only 5 gaining at least 1000. All of these larger creators only played the game the one time, as well. Granted, it didn’t have many days for them to return, but it’s not a good sign that these creators didn’t return to the title the next day. It was an interesting debut, but outside of promotions or specials getting the game into more hands in the future, I don’t think we’ll be seeing it on this list again.
5. Chocobo Mystery Dungeon: Every Buddy!
Rounding out our new releases is this adorable roguelike featuring one of Final Fantasy’s cuddliest creatures, which was released onto the PS4 and Nintendo Switch on March 20th, and over the next three days was viewed for 16,222 hours across 833 streams on 197 channels. Not an enormous showing, by any means, but good enough to take the last spot in our top new releases for the week.
1. Devil May Cry 5
This week, the single player title that achieved massive success but faces the always inevitable fall from its debut numbers is Devil May Cry 5, which saw its viewership drop by 68% and the number of streamers playing cut nearly in half. Though, given where it was, that still means it was viewed for 574,316 total hours across 12,098 channels. This drop off should continue, though, as we move forward, as interest dies down and only the die-hard speed-runners and high-score hunters remain. We’ve already seen reports that this success on Twitch has been reflected in the game’s sales numbers, so while its time near the top of the platform is drawing to a close, it’s made the most of its time in the spotlight.
2. Pogostuck: Rage With Your Friends
This title saw way more attention than I think even its creators expected, with many variety streamers struggling through the hilariously difficult process of pogo-sticking your way through this obstacle course, either with strangers or with friends. Still, that success was never going to last forever, and this week it fell back down to earth, losing 68% of its viewership and dropping from 890 channels to 554. This game could rise back up, still, if other larger streamers pick it up, but even then it would only be temporary. We expect to see it trend downward, in the weeks ahead, though we’d be thrilled to be surprised. It’s too much fun watching streamers rage...
It seems like we say it every week: Anthem isn’t doing so hot. After losing 38% of its viewership the week before, this past week, the game saw an additional 42% drop in viewership and 40% drop in total channels. As other games in the genre, be they the new release of The Division II or the continued lifespan of the now eighteen-month-old Destiny 2, pull in stronger numbers, it’s becoming harder and harder to see the teams at EA and Bioware being able to turn this ship around.
4. Slime Rancher
In another example of the growing power of the Epic Games Store, Slime Rancher saw its Twitch number explode when it was given away for free during the week of March 7th. This drew loads of new players and streamers to the life simulation game, but, once the promotion ended, it was inevitable that those gains would fall off. This week they did, with it bringing a 66% reduction in viewership and a 27% reduction in total channels. It’ll be interesting, in the future, to see how similar free releases rejuvenate other titles, and how it reflects the increasingly powerful position of the Epic Game Store.
5. Z1 Battle Royale
A name change and an update brought fresh eyes and players to what used to be called H1Z1 two weeks ago, but those gains didn’t sustain into the week that followed. Instead, the title was viewed for 30% fewer total hours across 31% fewer channels. That still leaves over 3000 streamers playing the game, but one imagines that the team would have hoped the arrow could point up for at least another week. Should it stabilize next week, this new update could still be called a success, but if it continues to slide, it might have done little to help the game’s long term viability.