Which factors make Twitch streamers successful?

Video Games: Streamers don't guarantee higher sales

Streamers can drive sales of video games. However, this connection is neither clearly pronounced nor can it always be clearly established. A whole range of factors can also have an impact. There is no automatic guarantee of success.

This is suggested by the statements of the communication director of the indie studio Kitfox Games, which has taken a closer look at the effects of Twitch on the sales of their game. The constant data collection on the Internet, which allows conclusions to be drawn through permanent tracing, provides the opportunity for analysis.

Framework data

The subject of the considerations was the picture-book strategy game Six Ages, which was played publicly on the channel of the streamer Bikeman. Bikeman are followed by around 262,000 people, but the three-hour stream was only attended by 1,200 people at the same time. The entertainment offer was not remunerated, so it was not used to advertise the game.

Since Six Ages had already been available for sale for a few months at that time, any hype had subsided due to the release. The developers were therefore no longer able to record access from Twitch, which simplifies the assignment. On the day of the stream as well as the day after - presumably a problem with time zones and the collection of statistics - the number of hits increased.


18 and 40 percent of the views could be traced back to Twitch. In addition, a link was made to the game's product page in the chat. The link achieved 117 views and thus a click rate of 9.7 percent. This is twice as high as the rates from social networks.

The number of copies sold and reserved on wish lists rose slightly, the studio wrote, without adding any numbers to this information. The increase is not attributed to the stream alone, as the title was also offered at a discount and the developers drew attention to themselves with a fundraising campaign for COVID-19 projects. A clear assignment is therefore difficult to achieve.

Success is not guaranteed

The developers say that the financial impact of a stream on the sale of a game can vary greatly. It was heard from industry colleagues that the presentation of the product through even larger channels had no impact whatsoever. It cannot therefore be regarded as guaranteed.

How the result turns out depends, among other things, on how committed the audience is, whether the streamer shows the genre regularly and it suits his target group, and whether his viewers are also watching to get recommendations or see what is offered as pure entertainment. It is also relevant whether the game is fun for viewers. Replayability can also increase the purchase rate.

That makes sense, because with a linear “walking simulator” it doesn't matter whether you play yourself or just watch. The equation of active gaming and passive consumption then makes a purchase unnecessary. Such considerations substantiate the announcement of a referral program for streamers that Epic Games would like to launch: Streamers can influence the sales figures, at Epic they get a reason to actively do so.

  • Max DollEmail
    ... writes tests and reports with a focus on input devices, PC games and next-gen consoles on ComputerBase.