Will Your Game “Survive Streaming”?
Will your game survive the onslaught of streaming and youtubers and less players we’re going to talk about why it might not coming up. What’s going on guys Tim Ruswick here from Game Dev Underground gdu.io helping you build finish and launch better games. Today we’re talking about streaming. Specifically streamers on Twitch or Let’s Players on YouTube or any one part of the influencer economy that kind of plays games online for other people to watch.
Now this was brought to my attention actually by a Reddit post it was an AMA on Reddit and I was reading through it by a game developer who was traveling the world making games which I think is awesome. And they were talking about they use the words Survive Streaming and that really really got me to think like of a story when my girlfriend and I we were we were hanging out we were watching Markiplier one day right-wing Resident Evil biohazard came out. He was doing a full playthrough of it. I don’t usually watch Markiplier I usually watch full games I like to watch people play games but not usually full games.
But you know that game is a very compelling story it’s really interesting it’s it’s really fun to watch. So we got into it we started watching it we ended up watching like I think eight or so episodes and then I had to come back so we I watched the rest of myself. And we were talking about it later I was talking about with my brother and I was telling him like yo dude because he’s always been a super fan of Resident Evil I haven’t been a real fan of Resident Evil but I was telling him about it I was like yo you got to get this new one it’s almost like the Tomb Raider reboot that they did for Tomb Raider like it’s completely different than other Resident Evil’s it’s like a fresh new take on it it’s awesome it’s great.
And he was like dude I didn’t know you play Resident Evil and I was like well I did I didn’t he’s like well how do you know all this about the game and I was like I watched somebody play through the entire game and that’s going to hit me I’m never going to buy Resident Evil biohazard. The only point that I would buy the only point of buying Resident Evil biohazard would be to play through the game and experience the story but I’ve already experienced the story. I’ve already done that I’ve already watched someone play through the game.
So in a sense if you think about it Resident Evil biohazard in my case did not survive streaming. It didn’t survive YouTube and Let’s Play because I will never buy the game. Now I don’t know if I ever would have bought in the game so I don’t know you know the actual data I guess this whole thing that companies go back and forth with on piracy like they say that you don’t actually lose money because pirates would have never bought the stuff in the first place I don’t know how all that works out I’m not I don’t have all the numbers a lot of stuff I don’t know if that works out.
But I was thinking like yeah I would be much more likely to buy the game if I hadn’t watched that. So that was interesting to me. And this is the first time that I really like had a lightbulb go off in my head a long time in in this industry like wow this could actually be disrupting stuff this could actually causing problems. And I think it’s important to understand that why people watch games what people watch them for.
And it’s also kinda important to understand what makes games fun after someone has played through the story after someone has experienced that. Or the initial you know walk through. And I was thinking about like FTL right which is a favorite game of mine. I can watch people play that like all day and I could still won’t play that game over and over again. I think there’s a lot to do with the randomized elements. But there are other games to that that I think are really interesting that have unique things that keep you playing and they survive the streaming experience.
Now streaming can also do a lot of good right like I’m sure there are plenty people that have watched someone play game but like wow that game is awesome I want to buy that too. But I think this particularly effects story based single-player games because if you’re playing a game for a story and you watch someone play through the whole story and that’s all there is that can be pretty damaging that can be pretty scary to your game because I mean back a day that used to be the only reason I play games.
I used to love to sit down and go through an interactive experience and experience the story and just be like wow that was an awesome story like almost like a movie. Games are evolving these days. And you better understand that. Like if you’re working on a single-player story experience you’ve got to understand that someone might play through it all the way do people have an incentive to play your game after that. Are there other things to do other things to collect other things to experience or there are secrets to find.
Are there things that you can do to play through the game after you’ve done that. I think Metal Gear was the first game—well I watched my brother played actually but when he was playing through it again I was asking him like why are you playing through it again he’s like well it’s a fun game but also like once you beat the game you can play through it differently. Like I don’t remember what exactly I think you get a different suit or something like you could play is like the ninja guy.
But I was like wow that’s really cool because now there’s extra stuff and it rewards you for like beating the game it rewards you for playing through it again. There’s something extra there that will keep you playing or it will help you along the path. So I wanted to bring this up because I see a lot of people especially indie games, there’s a lot of single-player story experiences right?
And I don’t want people to get discouraged when something like that happens with someone plays through the entire game out in the open for free for everybody to watch and they think their sales might be affected either way. Now I I don’t know again I don’t know the actual details on whether this would affect sales or how it affects sales I just know how I feel. And I feel a lot less inclined to purchase Resident Evil because I watched the walk through.
So just keep that in mind. Keep in mind that your game these days has to survive streaming it has to survive YouTube and those are great forms of marketing right? Those are great it’s a great way to get your game in front of a bunch of eyeballs but for certain types of games you might want to just become the fact that someone could play through the entire game in front of the audience and if there’s nothing else except the story the audience might not feel compelled to buy your game after that.
So it’s just point I wanted to bring up I want to help you guys out as always. If you have anything to add to this or you have an opinions or you have any data on how this affects the industry or any anecdotes or anything like that, please leave them below in the comments I love to start a discussion like this with you guys I’d be really interested to see what you have to say. But once again I’m Tim Ruswick and I will see you guys next time.