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.
Increase Viewership: 1,015,675 Hours (621.22%)
Increase Total Streamers: 2799 Channels (284%)
The year-in-the-making survival adventure game from Humble Bundle and developer HopFrog already made our list last week as the number three new release, and this week exploded up the charts on the strength of big time streamers like GRONKH (100,531 viewer hours), LIRIK (92,413 hours), and sodapoppin (53,194 hours). Forager features a classic combination of resource management, exploration, and base-building that makes every player's experience of it unique, and streamers often gravitate to such titles. What we're seeing here, in its first full week on the platform, is that there's a broad array of influential creators playing the game in substantial numbers. When the community adopts a game like this, it's lifespan at the absolute top of the charts is often limited, but it can exist and sustain a community on the platform for years to come. Think of titles like Terraria and Don't Starve, games that variety streamers still dive in to now, years after their release. Forager might have that kind of potential.
2. Magic: The Gathering (Arena)
Increase Viewership: 1,146,063 Hours (104.91%)
Increase Total Streamers: 1916 Channels (50%)
On April 23rd, two days before its full release, Wizards of the Coast allowed select streamers access to stock accounts within Magic the Gathering: Arena, so they could get early access to the brand new cards within the game's latest expansion, War of the Spark. As you can see above, it was a successful event, with the game reaching a peak of nearly 300,000 viewers, and two days later, when the expansion itself was released, it led to even more massive numbers.
Magic the Gathering: Arena has absolutely rocketed up the charts, over the last year, to the point that, now, it's second only to Hearthstone in regards to Twitch viewership in the genre. It's worth noting that the Mythic Championship, which features the physical version of the card game, also drew significant viewership numbers over this time, and is included in the graph above, however it's undeniable that this latest expansion is another important moment in what could be the increasingly intense competition between Arena and Hearthstone. The latter is still pulling in gargantuan numbers, sure, but the former is growing fast, and this is just the latest example.
3. Lineage II
Increase Viewership: 575,903 Hours (535.55%)
Increase Total Streamers: 719 Channels (104%)
This week saw the 15th anniversary of NCSOFT's prolific MMORPG Lineage II, and the corresponding attention, celebration, events, promotions, and sweepstakes completely reinvigorated the title's streaming community, doubling its total number or channels while seeing its total viewership explode, as seen above. This just goes to show how powerfully a community can connect with a title and the atmosphere that builds around it. For a decade and a half, players have kept coming back, even as more advanced and novel games and genres rise. That's certainly something worth celebrating, and it's fun to see it manifesting so materially in its place on Twitch.
Increase Viewership: 493,604 Hours (32963.34%)
Increase Total Streamers: 174 Channels (174%)
This is what happens when summit1g picks up a title nobody else is playing. The popular creator was responsible for 459,603 hours, or 93.11% of the games total viewership for the week, which was, by itself, enough to shoot it up into our rankings. That, on its own, wouldn't typically have been enough, but it's interesting to note how many additional creators, even with smaller audiences, were drawn to the title. Does this translate into new sales, with even more non-Twitch oriented players picking up after having seen it played by Summit? We can't know, at this point, but even if this bump immediately disappears next week, it's likely that a fair number of new players were pulled in due to the extra attention. Looking forward, it will be interesting to see if it can leverage this moment into further success.
5. World of Warcraft
Increase Viewership: 2,183,968 Hours (63.96%)
Increase Total Streamers: 1236 (.06%)
Last week's rise, coinciding with the commencement of the game's "Mythic Dungeon International" competition, continued this week as even more viewers were drawn to the channels of the game's top players and the official channel itself. Interestingly, while last week saw a 13% rise in the total number of streamers broadcasting the game, there was no such increase this week, indicating that it's the competition itself, at this point, accounting for the entire increase in viewership.
Top New Releases
1. Mortal Kombat 11
Total Viewership: 5,259,767 Hours, 10th Overall
Total Streamers: 23,821 Channels, 12th Overall
Mortal Kombat 11 is a perfect game for streaming. It combines the world of competitive fighting games with the high-concept story and production value of a story-focused adventure title. There's really something for every kind of viewer, and every kind of creator. That, plus it's successful beta, and the inherent strength of the historic IP, all led us to believe it was going to be a great opening week for the latest entry in the series. It did not disappoint.
With only seven creators accruing more than 100,000 hours of viewership on their own, it doesn't appear that the most influential creators are having an outsized impact on the games overall trajectory, which means it's bigger than any one or group of creators. Its performance should, thus, remain more consistent. What the future holds for MK11 is still a mystery. There's the promise of more content in the months ahead, keeping players engaged, and the potential for a robust competitive space sustaining a stable and reliable audience. At the same time, the game's renewed focus on story could lead to more viewers leaving once they've seen the conclusion of the narrative. Still, we feel this strong start is just the beginning for the latest entry in this venerated franchise.
2. Days Gone
Total Viewership: 3,070,529 Hours (12th Overall)
Total Streamers: 14,805 Channels (21st Overall)
It's been a long time coming for Days Gone, first announced during Playstation's 2016 E3 presentation, but it finally hit the light of day this past Thursday and immediately established itself as a title to watch in the streaming space, reaching a peak of approximately 130,000 viewers in only its second day.
It's a bit of a strange bird, this game. Reviews are generally mixed, and there's, of course, no shortage of zombie games on the market. Still, it's clear that the game had been eagerly anticipated, as streamers are broadcasting it in massive numbers as they dive into the open world engaging with the zen of zombie destruction and motorcycle maintenance. There will be a natural fall once the burst the initial release provided wears off, and once the game settles we'll have a lot more insight as to whether it'll be a regular fixture on Twitch moving forward. For now, though, we can say that, particularly for a console exclusive, this game is off to a fantastic start.
3. Imperator: Rome
Total Viewership: 441,012 Hours, Approx. 175th Overall
Total Streamers: 1050 Channels, Approx. 175th Overall
The sequel to Europa Universalis: Rome was finally released out of its early beta period and did admirably well in its first few days as a complete title. Strategy war games tend to be more of a highly engaged niche on Twitch than something that pulls in top-of-the-charts numbers, but if you can establish yourself as a novel and exciting option in the space you can find your title living a long time in the rotations of variety streamers. It's far too early to tell if this will be the case, but the initial indications are that, at least the audience cultivated thus far via its early access releases, is engaged and excited about sharing the title with their audiences.
4. Pagan Online
Total Viewership: 334,340 Hours, Approx. 180th Overall
Total Streamers: 996 Channels, Approx. 180th Overall
We're going to stretch our rules a little bit here, as we don't tend to include titles still in Early Access on our list of new releases. But, frankly, the term means different things for different games, and in this case, Pagan Online looks to be the sort of title that remains in constant development while still maintaining a complete, playable build, and as such its release this week and the attention it thus received seemed worthy of its spot in our top new releases for the week. A hack-and-slash RPG, it achieved a lot in its first week, not necessarily in terms of viewership, but in how many streamers, and axiomatically players, it managed to accrue. Much of the game's total audience game from only a handful of streamers, and still the game saw nearly 1000 engaged creators, likely drawn to the title due to those more powerful influencers. As we always say, it takes a lot more than a hot release or a couple of hours from top flight streamers to succeed in the long term, so it will be interesting to see how the game continues to grow and see support moving forward. Still, it was a strong debut for this under-the-radar title from Madhead Games and WarGaming.net.
5. Cyber Hunter
Total Viewership: 4253 Hours, >800th
Total Streamers: 483 Channels, Appox. 300th
It was a pretty top-heavy week when it came to new releases, without many smaller titles achieving much in the shadow of the two AAA games at the top of this list. But, that's also when we're able to be surprised, and this week it allowed yet another mobile game to sneak into our top five.
Cyber Hunter is a mobile-only battle royale, released this week in both the Apple App store and via Google Play. While viewership numbers are unimpressive, the number of creators picking up this title and streaming within the first week is at the very least interesting. Streaming from a mobile device can be quite seamless when a developer takes the time to integrate that functionality into a game, and that might be the case here, with many players simply streaming because it's easy to do, but it's hard to know without having more time to dive into the title. The short of it, for now, is that there's a healthy number of people streaming this new mobile title, even though it's to a seemingly infinitesimal audience. That player base might be a much more important indicator of success. We'll have to watch and see.
(Graphs show previous two weeks of viewership, for context.)
1. World War Z
Decrease Viewership: 1,632,827 Hours (65.52%)
Decrease Streamers: 1170 Channels (6%)
Last week, the story was that World War Z did so well in its first two days on Twitch that it managed to make our top 5 list, in spite of how quickly that audience and playerbase seemed to fall away. With a significant increase in viewership on the final day of that week, the 20th, it looked like things could be turned around. Alas, it seems it was not to be, as, even though total broadcasts remained relatively consistent, the game suffered substantial losses in overall viewership.
It's worth pointing out that the game did sell well, even on PC where it was controversially an Epic Games Store exclusive, and all indications from the publisher are that the state of the game is healthy. Still, the drop in viewership seems to reflect a lack on sustainable interest, maybe not from players, but from viewers. For a game that so clearly wants to follow in the footsteps of titles like Left 4 Dead, it might not stand out enough, or compel enough, from a viewership standpoint, to be much more than a flavour of the week. That seems to be what the trends are indicating.
2. Anno 1800
Decrease Viewership: 988,711 Hours (38.30%)
Decrease Streamers: 1300 Channels (22.86%)
This is another example of a title that, while falling with enough speed to make our list, is in a really good position, overall. It was the fastest rising new release on the platform last week, and while that's, of course, a wonderful place to start, for a single player game like Anno 1800, that first week typically represents a title's highpoint. So, a decrease in viewership and total streamers was predictable. Were those losses reasonably substantial? Yes. But what remains could still represent a very strong base of streamers and viewers to keep the game's community alive moving forward. With quality ongoing support and updates, it seems likely that this title's numbers will stabilize at a level that can support it on the platform for a fair amount of time.
3. Tropico 6
Decrease Viewership: 54,565 Hours (64.66%)
Decrease Streamers: 213 Channels (31.64%)
While the losses in total broadcasts are somewhat more modest, there's no glossing over just how substantially Tropico 6 has fallen off since its release. Back then, in early March, the game was hitting peaks of 120 concurrent streams, but today that number's fallen to just 12.
The demand for this game, from a viewership perspective, seems to have all but dried up. It's a shame for a title in such a respected franchise, and we're hopeful it doesn't directly translate to poor sales numbers, but, until we hear otherwise, it's hard to be optimistic about this particular title's future on Twitch.
Decrease Viewership: 51,835 Hours (78.79%)
Decrease Streamers: 288 Channels (75.79%)
Pathway's fall, here, isn't so much a representation of how much it's lost, but how much it initially accomplished. This small title from Robotality and Chucklefish was picked up by influential creators like CohhCarnage and VineSauce when it was first released, bringing in enormous numbers of receptive players who might not have otherwise been aware of the game. That kind of attention, of course, resulted in fantastic viewership and streaming numbers.
Now, as is inevitable in cases like this, that initial burts of attention has worn off, and the title fas fallen down the Twitch ladder. But, like I said, the success it's already achieved undoubtedly resulted in largely increased visibility and sales numbers. For a smaller title, even brief success on Twitch can yield enormous dividends. We believe this is likely one such case.
Decrease Viewership: 50,569 Hours (40.75%)
Decrease Streamers: 574 Channels (32.47%)
Outward was also picked up by Cohhcarnage, along with other popular creators like DansGaming, LIRIK, and UberHaxorNova, when it was initially released. And, like Pathway, they eventually moved on to other newer exciting things. Really, you could take most of what we wrote above for the latter title and apply it here: there's no question that the attention brought by these creators led to a much more successful launch, and increased sales. Those sales don't have to lead to sustained Twitch success to prove valuable, or even vital. Just getting your game in front of so many potential players, even for a brief period of time, can be enough to make your title a success. It's the power of Twitch in microcosm, really, and it's always fun to see.
To compare to last week's rankings, click here, and be sure to check out our breakdown of the top ten collectible card games on Twitch. Follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn for all the latest blogs, announcements, and game marketing news from the team at GAMESIGHT!