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. To compare to last week's rankings, click here.
1. Battlefield V
The long awaited Battle Royale expansion for Battlefield V, 'Firestorm,' was finally released this week, and the resulting influx of streamers and viewers was enough to send the title flying up the charts, and to the top of our list of the fastest growing games on the platform. During the week prior to the latest update, the title was averaging 123 streamers and 780 viewers at any given time. In contrast, between Monday, March 25th and the following Friday, those numbers rose to averages of 665 streamers and 24,037 viewers, the latter an increase of over 3000%.
For the entire week, Battlefield V was streamed 78,299 times across 32,449 channels, accruing over 3.07 million hours of viewership. That's a 349% increase in total channels, and a ridiculous 2790% jump in total hours watched. If you're a member of the Battlefield team, it's hard not to feel good about those numbers. And yet, it's important to note the trends in total streamers and viewers over the whole week.
While the game reached a peak of 1986 streamers on the update's first day, that number fell to 704 by Friday, and it's seen an even steeper drop off in viewers. The launch of their own Battle Royale was absolutely enough to win them a solid week at the top of our charts, but the next month will be more informative regarding how it can sustain a player and streamer-base moving forward. If it holds current players' interest, it could carve out a solid niche for itself. If, however, it doesn't really grab their attention, it will soon lose much of its user-base other event releases or more popular games in the already crowded genre. As with all Battle Royales, iterating on player feedback and constant updates will be the key. We're excited to see how it goes.
2. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice
From Software clearly knows how to build an experience that is straight-up captivating on Twitch. It's almost cliche at this point to mention just how much of an impact this title's predecessors, the "Soulsborne" series, has had on streaming culture. The high level of difficulty keeps some players away, but those same people are often the most voracious viewers of these titles on Twitch, where they get to experience the thrill of combat, the intricate strategy, and the super-rich lore without having to depend on their own skills. Meanwhile, those that can and do play do so in vastly different ways, discovering different things, living through their own unique stories. It's a perfect series to experience together, with an audience. And that's not even getting in to the impact those titles have had on the speedrunning community; that could be a whole other article.
Suffice to say, Sekiro has managed to deliver another incredible experience, and the streaming community has quickly taken to it. For the second week in a row, the game saw the single largest increase in raw viewership, gaining 10.65 million additional total hours across 32396 channels new channels, increases of 159% and 98%, respectively. Its numbers were strongest, however, at the beginning of the week, and gradually fell as the days went on, indicating that it's likely passed the initial burst of the release date and finding a more stable equilibrium. Again, these games always manage to stick around, in some capacity, for a really long time, so we're confident that said equilibrium will sustain a healthy community of viewers and players, but, as growth seems to be coming to a close, it will be something we keep an eye on to see just how big the Sekiro community ends up being.
3. Magic: The Gathering
The 'Mythic Invitational,' which featured the largest prize pool ever for a Magic: The Gathering tournament was live streamed from Pax East towards the end of the week and through the weekend, bringing in enough fresh eyes to make it one of the fastest rising games on the platform.
The tournament, which featured some of the best Magic players in the world, made use of Magic: The Gathering Arena, the free-to-play digital version of the classic tabletop CCG title which has been in open beta since September, and is due to launch this Spring. This made for a very clean, crisp viewing experience that was both exciting and easy to follow, and pulled in massive numbers of new viewers.
For the week, Magic was viewed for a total of 1.93 million hours, an increase if 143%. Of those hours, 835,908 were from the official Magic: The Gathering channel's coverage of the tournament. The event-oriented nature of these increases, though, are reflected in the fact that the increase in total channels streaming was less robust, rising only 12% to 3540. It speaks to how important it is to a CCG's success that its team properly leverage tournaments, competitions, and updates to keep the competitive community, both those playing and those watching, engaged. Magic has been doing a masterful job of it for decades, and now that they're focusing on Arena, their opportunities on Twitch simply abound.
As Magic players from way back in the early days, when cards were banned from school lunchrooms for being too distracting, we're excited to watch their presence on the platform grow.
Also of note, Wizards of the Coast leveraged the event to reveal the trailer for the next expansion of the physical card game: War of the Spark. The video currently sits at more than 5.3 million views, as of this writing, and is in the top 10 trending on YouTube. All in all, it's a great time to be a Magic fan.
It's never a surprise to see Fortnite having a strong week on Twitch, but usually, given the already enormous size of its audience and player-base, those ups and occasional downs aren't strong enough to warrant them making our top rising or falling lists. This week, however, the number simply don't lie. On the heels of a new update this week, which introduced a new game mode, the current top-dog of the streaming world saw a 30% increase in viewership, which equates to nearly 5.4 million additional hours. At the same time, the game was streamed on an additional 81103 channels, by far the largest raw increase for of any game, though compared to its previous totals this amounts to a more modest rise of just 17%.
This all occurs at the same time that some of the game's top streamers have openly criticized and even temporarily left the game, upset over other changes made by the latest patch. Hiccups like this have long been standard in the space of "live-service" titles, and those developers and publishers that are quick to listen and respond tend to still do well. Epic, so far, has a reputation for doing just that, to a degree, and so we don't expect this to impact its Twitch audience long-term. Still, interesting to see if, next week, the numbers fall back down.
5. League of Legends
The flagship MOBA from Riot Games was the most watched title on Twitch last week, accruing just under 25.7 million hours of viewership across 255746 streams on 81563 channels. As one of, if not the, biggest games in esports, when a major tournament is held, it's going to capture the attention of a huge swath of the competitive gaming community. Such was the case this week, as this Friday saw the start of the Spring Playoffs, the first post-season tournament for Europe's re-branded professional League of Legends league, the LEC. The competition pits the top six teams from the league's spring season against each other for prize money and "Championship Points," which determine future tournament placement and seeding.
League is one of those games that's always at the top of the charts. It's typically strong and stable, a reliable community that's consistently engaged, but big events really rocket it to the number one spot. As previously stated above, events like this are pivotal for any title that has built its foundation around competitive gaming. As the world of traditional sports reporting continues to engage with the esports market, it's going to be the titles at the top that truly benefit, that start to reach potential players and viewers who would have never, otherwise, shown interest in gaming. This week was really just a taste. League of Legends remains one of the best positioned games for future growth; this tournament is just more evidence of that reality.
Top New Releases
In a big week for new releases, this is one of the games we didn't see coming, and shame on us. The largest release yet from lesser-known developer Nine Dots Studio, this open-world survival RPG published by Deep Silver smacks of ambition. In this title, many elements that make a game ideal for streaming come together. It features detailed resource management and crafting, providing the stress and variety of streaming classics like Don't Starve, a rich, deep fantastical world filled with challenging combat and hazardous environments a la Dark Souls, and a ripe landscape for collaborative content through its native co-op. Not many necessarily saw it coming, but these features have clearly struck a chord, as the game did very well in its first week.
Released on March 26th, Outward was streamed 6750 times across 3093 channels, accruing a total of 1.02 million views. There were only four days left in the week, but it's a positive sign that, after a peak of 217 streamers in its first day, it managed to maintain that number relatively well, remaining above 175 for the remainder of the week. Additionally, viewership was reasonably well distributed, with only thirteen creators accruing at least 10,000 hours, and only one gaining more than 60,000: CohhCarnage at 278,732 hours. All of this points to an audience of players and viewers that could provide a solid foundation for a community moving forward. What happens next is hard to predict. If the title continues to impress, more and more viewers might become players and streamers, and if more creators of Cohh's stature are drawn to the title in the coming weeks, it could really take off. Meanwhile, if this is really the peak of its performance on Twitch, we should see a pretty quick and steady decline. The next few weeks will reveal all.
2. MLB: The Show 19
The world of sports simulation gaming exists, a bit, as its own ecosystem in the streaming and esports landscapes. While, certainly, there are exceptions, many who play major sports titles on Twitch do so exclusively, without venturing over into more traditional gaming experiences. For the most part, a Fifa, Madden, NBA 2K, and NHL 2K streamers rotate between those titles, with the seasonality of sports and respective game releases dictating what's more popular at any given moment. The Show is currently the only major baseball series carrying the MLB license, and, as such, the release of the latest in the series, coinciding with the beginning of the Major League season, has seen a preexisting community of streamers and players pick up the title en masse.
Between its release on March 25 and the end of the day Friday, MLB: The Show 19 was streamed 11,513 times across 4634 channels, accruing 675,543 hours of total viewership in only four days. This is already a massive improvement over the previous year, where the game peaked with 150 streamers on its first day and quickly stabilized with a daily peak between 40-60. If the latest game can hold on to a similar percentage of its players, its current streamer-base of approximately 200 streamers might emerge as the baseline performance for a game sure to have a lifespan that extends well into the actual MLB season. The team at Sony Interactive and SIE San Diego have done an excellent job building a strong release plan and improving their reach on Twitch. It's already paying dividends.
3. Risk of Rain 2
Gearbox Software and Publishing continued their relatively new tradition of bringing the big game announcements to PAX East when they announced a veritable smorgasbord of Borderlands games, including the long awaited Borderlands 3, from the event's main stage. At the same time, though, they announced a few other exciting projects from partnered studios, including Risk of Rain 2, itself a highly anticipated sequel, which they promptly released into early access... just like that.
Capturing the same sense of adventure, variety, and cooperation as the previous entry in the series, only this time in 3D, it provides a rich canvas for talented creators to weave their own stories, with their audiences or with other fellow streamers. It shouldn't be a surprise, then, that over two days it did well enough to reach the third spot on our list of top rising new releases. During those two days, the game accrued 623,410 hours of total viewership across 10,962 streams on 7360 channels. With a full week ahead of it, we expect it to continue to improve and perhaps find itself in our Top-5 rising titles next week.
4. Generation Zero
An open world multiplayer survival simulator, Generation Zero presents a unique alternate 1980's version of Sweden, left almost barren due to the unexplained presence of hostile robots. The premise and quality graphics have proven intriguing enough to draw in a decent population of streamers since its release on the 26th.
Looking at its Steam reviews, there are apparently some technical issues preventing some from enjoying the title to its fullest, and it will be the openness and speed with which they tackle these issues, and add additional features and content, that will determine the game's future. In four days, the title accrued 267,732 hours of total viewership via 7039 streams across 2415 channels. The streamer-base, if it normalized now, would be in a healthy spot where it peaks between 100-200 each day. That would provide a strong foundation upon which the game could move forward. Hopefully the team provides the support and quality content necessary to keep these players engaged.
5. Yoshi’s Crafted World
Nintendo was long a difficult partner for streamers and gaming content creators. Monetization of content leveraging their games has long been a complicated affair, but recent changes, including the shuttering of their Nintendo Creators Program, have drastically changed the landscape for their titles on Twitch and YouTube. Their first-party titles only being available on their systems limits the former's ultimate reach, to a degree, but we still see new titles striking a cord and hitting our Top-5 lists from time to time. This week was one of those times, as Yoshi's Crafted World released to wide acclaim, and quickly carved out a respectable audience on Twitch.
In two days, the game was streamed 1231 times across 882 channels, reaching a total viewership of 127,763 hours. Given the amount of time it had on the market, it stands to reason those numbers will dramatically improve over the next week. Generally, platformers which aren't overwhelmingly difficult have short lifespans in the world of streaming; creators finish the game once, maybe they go back and try to get perfect scores on individual levels or courses, but once the novelty has worn off and the mystery of what lies ahead is gone, the energy tends to drain away. We expect its first full week to be a successful one, as its arrow is pointing up. It will be interesting to watch and see how much the title can carry this momentum forward, and whether it can manage to carve out some sort of permanent niche for itself in the speed-running community, or elsewhere.
1. The Division II
One of the consequences of being one of the fastest growing games on Twitch is that you, suddenly, have the most to lose. Such was the case this week for The Division 2, which by no means was unsuccessful over that period. Looking at the graph above, we can see there's still a healthy, sustainable base of viewers keeping this critically acclaimed game alive and kicking. There's a whole "roadmap" of content releases and updates planned, and you should expect to see this game near the tops of the charts for a while.
That being said, there were still some significant reductions this week from the week before, with total viewership dropping by 49.75% to just under 2 million hours over that period. Total channels, however, only dropped by 19%, so the community of streamers remains pretty much intact. There's always a natural drop off after the hype of a release wears away. There's still no reason to panic, because those that are left seem engaged, and ready for more content. Despite its place on this week's charts, its future remains bright.
2. Devil May Cry V
Here we just have the continuation, really, to what began in our previous rankings, as the natural decline of a popular single-player title with a finite amount of content progresses into its second week. The latest from Capcom saw a 78% reduction in total hours viewed from the previous seven days, along with a 36% decrease in total streamers. There's still a healthy number of people playing the game, but it appears that most of the viewership has moved on. Again, as we've previously stated, this isn't a failure, but the natural lifespan of a successful game of this type on the platform. For many titles, this is the ideal.
3. Metro: Exodus
Metro Exodus is another single player title that was always going to have a short lifespan on Twitch, but still, I think the speed with which it has fallen is somewhat of a surprise. The series has an enthusiastic preexisting fan base, and the claustrophobic environments and dangerous creatures the games are known for tend to make for quality viewing, even if the story structure lends itself to only a single play-through.
Still, this week saw a 84% reduction in overall viewership for the title, while the number of channels streaming actually only decreased by 9%. This means its the viewers themselves that are losing interest, and any streamers with sizable audiences that remained are finally moving on. It will be interesting to see if the game sees a sizable resurgence when its exclusivity with the Epic Game Store ends in February 2020, but, for now, it's momentum is steadily increasing downward.
4. Kageroh: Shadow Corridor
Some games require significant explanation as to their sudden rise and fall on Twitch, a nuanced discussion of the forces at play. This game, however, is no mystery. A small, low-budget horror exploration title, its time in the spotlight was always going to be short, once the mileage ran out on the jump scares and tricks you pulled on other players or creators. This week, it saw an 84% reduction in viewership while losing 10% of its players, which means that all of the streamers with sizable audiences that were still playing the game have finally moved on. And yet, there were 178 channels still playing the game this week, and in a world where micro and nano influencers are proving their worth, that's nothing to sneeze at. Its days of relevance in the grand scheme of Twitch, though, are clearly numbered. That such a small title managed to draw in a large enough audience to find itself in our top new release rankings was a real triumph, but this fall back down to earth was inevitable.
5. Pogostuck: Rage With Your Friends
Pogostuck was never going to last forever, but, oh man, when it was in the spotlight, how it shined.
There's really nothing better than watching your favorite streamer lose their mind in frustration, and the fact that I just typed that sentence makes me feel a little dirty. Still, it's undeniable, and that appeal lies at the heart of Pogostuck, which is why the game surprised so many by briefly climbing as high as number 6 on the overall Twitch charts and reaching a peak of nearly 50,000 concurrent viewers. Still, the streaming world seems to mostly have moved on, and this week the game saw its total viewership drop by nearly 90%, with only 268 channels still playing the game. A huge streamer could pick the game back up and dramatically impact these numbers, but it would appear that the days of Pogostuck are coming to a close.