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.
Graphs for Top Rising and Falling titles show previous two weeks for context.
Top 5 Rising
1. Fallout 76
Increase Viewership: 1,463,258 Hours (3rd Overall), 2109.01%
Increase Creators: 8212 Channels (4th Overall), 497.40%
E3 was held in Los Angeles this past week, with many publishers and developers focused on creating as much hype and excitement as possible for their upcoming and newly revealed titles. That typically means less games hitting the shelves, and less eyeballs on individual streamers. Indeed, the most watched category on Twitch this past week was "Special Events," with the many press conferences and analyses pulling attention away from typical play sessions. Still, there was an announcement made, from E3, that not only led to an immediate content release, but also rose a very unexpected title to the top of the Twitch charts: The new "Nuclear Winter" mode in Fallout 76.
The latest entry in the long-running post apocalyptic series, and the first MMO, Fallout 76 has had a notoriously rough go of it since its initial release back in November of last year. While it initially launched with over 4,000 creators streaming the title, that number fell to less than 100 by the end of January, and up until this past week had been averaging less than 50 creators at any given time. From the beginning of February through June 8th, the title averaged only 338 total viewers.
But, you know what they say: if at first you don't succeed, add a battle royale mode.
The revealed "Nuclear Winter" mode, which is indeed a battle royale, has announced and launched from the E3 Bethesda conference, and in its first day the game's total streamers jumped from the previous day's peak of 65 to 315, reaching over 400 engaged creators just the next day. Viewership also reached peaks of over 45,000. This is an incredible win for a game that has been really beaten up in the press during the preceding months. There were a lot of other announcements made about the game's future, and while many remain skeptical, there's clearly a community waiting for reason to jump back into West Virginia after the bombs. We definitely thought this title was dead, and it's really cool to be proven wrong. We look forward to seeing if they can harness this momentum moving forward.
2. Borderlands 2
Increase Viewership: 545,872 Hours (12th Overall), 235.74%
Increase Creators: 10,914 Channels (2nd Overall), 254.46%
The surprise release of a brand new DLC campaign, combined with massive price reductions in many major digital storefronts, led to enormous gains for Borderlands 2, first released in September of 2012. In many ways the progenitor of the now ubiquitous "looter shooter," the third main entry in this long running series was first announced this past March, and it's been a steady stream of hype ever since. To take advantage of that, Commander Lilith and the Fight for Sanctuary was added as a free expansion to its predecessor, a brand new story that acts as a transition into the next game. That, combined with The Handsome Collection, in which Borderlands 2 is included, being sold for as little as three dollars on certain websites, caused a huge influx of new players and streamers, resulting in the massive expansion you can see above.
This isn't going to last, of course; once everyone has had their fill of the DLC it won't prove nearly as attractive to Twitch viewers, as its mainly the novelty of it that drives its current success. Still, it's hard to think of a better way to pump up excitement for the upcoming third entry in the series, and this is absolutely a strong sign that, when it does come out, it will dominate the streaming space. We're very excited to see if it can return to dominate the genre it helped create.
3. Jump King
Increase Viewership: 997,630 Hours (7th Overall), 399.43%
Increase Creators: 943 Channels (31st Overall), 221.36%
It's another big week for the little game that could! Jump King made our list last week on the heels of only one day (June 8th) of increased viewership, when large-audience streamer xQcOWplayed the game for his average of 16,000 viewers. In the full week that's followed, other big-time creators have joined the fray, with forsen (17,000 avg. viewers), LIRIK (18,000), Yassuo (9,000), and MoonMoon (8,000) all adding their substantial weight to the category. It's clear that this game is striking a chord with players, particularly variety streamers, who enjoy the retro-style challenge and innovative side-scrolling. We're not sure how long it will last, but there's no doubt that Jump King is riding high on a real wave of success, and it's absolutely something the team at Nexile should be celebrating.
4. Octopath Traveler
Increase Viewership: 288,070 Hours (22nd Overall), 452.13%
Increase Creators: 533 Channels (43rd Overall), 127.20%
There's not a lot of love for turn-based RPGs any more, these days. Sure, classic titles from legacy systems are still beloved and remastered, but the genre has mostly fallen out of favor in modern gaming, with no better example than the completely revamped combat system to be included in the upcoming Final Fantasy VII Remake. Studios just don't release titles like the original in the West as often as they used to. But, the appetite is still there, and when something good does see release in the genre, there's still a large audience of hungry gamers ready to scoop it up. Such was the case for Octopath Traveler when it originally released as a Switch exclusive, and it remains true this week, as the unveiling of its PC version coincided with a large spike in Twitch viewership. It's time at the top will likely remain limited, as story-driven titles tend to fall off once said narrative has been completed by the majority of its players, but still, this is a great sign that the latest version of the title is selling well and finding an eager audience.
5. The Surge
Increase Viewership: 113,987 Hours (33rd Overall), 3392.19%
Increase Creators: 30 Channels (101st), 14.77%
The Surge 2 saw its first trailer and gameplay from the floor of this year's E3, and it appears to have been reason enough to pull a single large creator, CohhCarnage, into the original, his enormous audience serving as enough juice for the game to take the last spot in this week's top 5 rankings. In just one five-hour stream, he accrued over 65,000 of the game's total viewership hours, more than half of its total increase. With no other creator averaging over 1,000 viewers, and only two accruing an average of at least 100, it's hard to attribute this growth to anything else. Sure, there's still a remaining 50,000 hour increase for which the other 192 channels are responsible, and their increased play can likely be attributed to the hype generated by the sequel, but without Cohh, this game remains buried on Twitch. Flukey? Sure. Repeatable? Unlikely. But still, an interesting example of the power one creator can have.
Top 5 New Releases
Total Viewership: 1,401,741 Hours, 20th Overall
Total Streams: 2715 Channels, 79th Overall
This past April, we spent a month breaking down everything we could about Auto Chess and the world developing around it. Its players were coming from all over the world, from games of myriad genres, and it was obvious that we were at the start of something big. It was only a matter of time before Valve, creators of the DOTA 2 game in which the original Auto Chess mod was played, created their own official version of the game. This week, that title was released: Dota Underlords.
Live for only the final 36 hours of our rankings period, the game is technically in an open beta at this point, and is only accessible from within Dota 2. In spite of all that, it climbed as high as seven in Twitch's official rankings within five hours, and has not fallen below 23rd since. And all of this is while the original Auto Chess mod was still the 18th most watched game on Twitch. Underlords has a shot at taking all of those creators and viewers under its wing, and at the same time formalizing the community that has organically developed around the mod. The next week will mostly tell the story in regards to how successfully it can do that, but we're excited about the strong start, and anxious to see just where this leads.
Cadence of Hyrule
Total Viewership: 642,682 Hours, 40th Overall
Total Streams: 2134 Channels, 97th Overall
Cadence of Hyrule brings the majesty of the Zelda universe to the rhythmic world of Crypt of the Necrodancer, and it's pulled in impressive numbers during the two days following its release. In that time, it was picked up by creators like LIRIK, Giantwaffle, Northernlion, and others, with twenty streamers averaging more than 1,000 viewers at any given time. Though its reach is somewhat limited due to the fact that it's a Nintendo Switch exclusive, the combination of a classic, much-loved IP with the simple-but-thrilling combat and movement of Necrodancer's musical dungeon crawls is absolutely a recipe for success on Twitch. It's no surprise that it's been so successful in its first few days. The real question is how long this will last. Do players stick around to play this game for weeks? Does the charm of Zelda's world and the game's pronounced challenge lead to a stable online community? We'll be paying close attention as this plays out.
Collection of Mana (Trials of Mana streamers included)
Total Viewership: 17,395 Hours, 427th Overall
Total Streams: 136 Channels, 725th Overall
The Mana series is widely venerated amongst those who grew up with legacy systems or those who adore retro gaming, and this week brought an enormous gift to fans as Trials of Mana, an ARPG released in Japan in 1995, but never available in the West, was included in the Collection of Mana, which hit physical and digital stores on June 11th. As an old-school RPG, it isn't exactly the best for streaming, and that's reflected in the relatively muted overall numbers, but for the niche in which this title matters, this is a huge event, and they're having a blast sharing it with their audiences. It takes advantage of a somewhat slow week in regards to new releases and takes one of our top spots.
Contra Anniversary Collection
Total Viewership: 1876 Hours, 1000+ Overall
Total Streams: 149 Channels, 686th Overall
E3 makes for a lack of major new releases, as major publishers don't want to compete with all of the new announcements and surprises from the many, many press conferences that dominate the new cycle. That's the main reason why the Contra Anniversary Collection has a spot in this week's list of top new releases. Announced for the Nintendo Switch from the show floor, the game isn't really the sort of title that typically climbs very high on the Twitch charts. Retro titles just don't have the open-ended play or expansive multiplayer that makes for a long-term streaming success. Still, one could see big-time creators getting very popular streams out of co-op run-throughs with other large-audience streamers, so things like that could still happen. As it stands, the collection finds itself in our rankings on the back of its relatively impressive streamer-base during this slower week.
Total Viewership: 808 Hours, 1000+ Overall
Total Streams 101 Channels, 856th Overall
Again, its presence here is a testament to how publishers avoid releasing new titles during the course of E3, but it remains true that Riverbond takes the final spot in our list of new releases on the back of its over 100 participating streamers. Like PixArk, listed below, it features art heavily inspired by Minecraft, so if it wants to differentiate itself and carve out a more solid foundation of players and viewers, it's going to have to do some real work in terms of pulling in larger creators to show off just how different its actual gameplay is. Getting a handful of big variety streamers to play the game, and, importantly, actually enjoy it, could bring in some real viewership, and get a lot of players engaged.
Top 5 Falling
1. Void Bastards
Decrease Viewership: 343,070 Hours (8th Overall), 87.38%
Decrease Creators: 1725 Channels (8th Overall), 54.21%
Void Bastards was released on May 28th, and in the first week of June was played by large-audience creators like CohhCarnage, ADmiral Bahroo, and Vinesauce. Fifteen streamers averaged at least 1,000 viewers while playing the game. This week, those larger channels moved on, with the top two remaining creators averaging 271 and 183 viewers, the only two with such a metric over 100. Without them, the title lost nearly all of its viewership, and half of its total channels. Future sales or inclusion in charity or monthly bundles (it is published by Humble Bundle) could boost its numbers in the future, but it's more likely that it would take the release of additional content to bring streamers back. Without that, we don't expect to see it rise up the ranks again.
2. Outer Wilds
Decrease Viewership: 316,123 Hours (9th Overall), 90.29%
Decrease Creators: 719 Channels (17th Ovreall), 45.85%
It's interesting to observe the difference between the viewership graph for The Outer Wilds, above, and that of Void Bastards. While both are solo titles, the latter is a strategic shooter with rouge-like elements, the former is a slower experience, contemplative and thoughtful. The result, it seems, is that while both enjoyed a limited amount of time in the spotlight on Twitch, they experienced very different paths to that same endpoint. Outer Wilds got more and more attention as the weekend approached, as viewers got deeper and deeper into the individual narratives each creator was telling through the game. While the content is the same for every player, you can tackle the game, the different planets, puzzles, and mysteries, in any order you wish. The stories seem to be over now, which is why it finds itself on this list, but there's something to be explored in how different these two graphs look. Do genres peak at different times of the week? Do story-driven solo titles typically grow over time instead of peaking as they release? We'll potentially take a deeper dive at some point in the future.
3. Warhammer: Chaosbane
Decrease Viewership: 148,865 Hours (21st Overall), 83.73%
Decrease Creators: 2128 Channels (4th Overall), 61.33%
It's been two and a half weeks since the release of Warhammer: Chaosbane, a Diablo-style hack and slash set in the universe of the eponymous IP, and it seems to be nearing the end of its time in the Twitch spotlight. During the previous week, four of the nearly 14,000 streamers playing the game averaged more than 1,000 viewers, but this week, only seven reached even 100. You can see a large spike potentially extending into next week at the far right end of the graph, but this is just a two hour stream from larger creator Destiny, who has not since returned. It did well to reach our list of top new releases just a few weeks ago, but it's lifespan on Twitch appears to have reached its end.
Decrease Viewership: 95,521 Hours (30th Overall), 79.05%
Decrease Creators: 667 Channels (21st Overall), 48.40%
Last week, PixArk, the voxel building and exploration game set (kind of) in the universe of Ark: Survival Evolved, emerged from early access on May 31st, and while a steady stream of creators did pop into the game, culminating in a peak viewership just over 7,000 on June 7th, it has quickly lost that momentum. A quick look at its Steam page reveals a mixed-bag of user reviews, with many complaining that the 1.0 release is not stable or complete enough to warrant being called a "completed" game. The transition from early access is sending a message to its user-base that ongoing support might not be in the cards, and the reaction has been swift. Those losses land it on this week's falling list.
5.City of Brass
Decreases Viewership: 10,705 Hours (169th Overall), 91.98%
Decrease Channels: 850 Channels (16th Overall), 69.96%
This is an interesting place to end this week's list. City of Brass wasn't drawing in the sorts of viewership numbers that would normally allow it the space to fall and take a spot in this category. And yet, only fifteen titles lost more streamers over this past week. It's unusual for a title to accrue such impressive streamership numbers while not also building up a similarly impressive viewership. Many people were playing the game for very small audiences. Obviously, once they stopped, the title's presence on Twitch evaporated. We can't recall another title following a similar path, but we'll be sure to keep an eye out for others, now, to see if any lessons can be learned from patterns between them.
To compare to last week's rankings, click here. Also be sure to check out our discussion of how Doom Eternal and Wolfenstein Youngblood are creating more "streamworthy" sequels, and how Watch Dogs Legion represents a huge opportunity for streamers. Also follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn for all the latest blogs, announcements, and game marketing news from the team at GAMESIGHT!