DEVCOM 2018 RECAP: Twitch’s Ethan Evans

Kenneth Shinabery
Apr 18 · 4 min read

Every August, I dive deeper into the world of gaming by attending devcom and gamescom in Germany. On the final day of devcom, I was able to hear Twitch’s Ethan Evans give a lecture and it was brilliant. If you are interested in PR, Marketing, Social Media and Community Development then learning more about streaming portals like Twitch is very intriguing.

RECAP

So far this year on Twitch, 6 million hours have been watched! This number alone is important as that topples views of most traditional media networks.

With live streaming one can go beyond the classical audience by creating a cultural moment. A good example of this is when Ninja and Drake partnered up for a live stream of Epic Games’ Fortnite. This even lead one viewer to create a meme of Drake live during the stream that quickly went viral.

Streaming takes games beyond their core audience and brings them into mass media and pop culture. But not only games, but brands who sponsor the streams. Originally people only played games, however now people will watch live streams for numerous reasons. This ranges from viewing a the game play of a new title to learning tips & tricks! Thus, if your game is playable and fun to watch, it makes sense to get it in front of an audience!

Content creators on portals like Twitch reach their audience directly. YouTube is great, but how often do the big names on YouTube interact with their audiences? Not many. On portals like Twitch the individual streaming usually interacts with by responding to comments live. This lets the audience feel like they are part of the experience or like they have control over the content being produced. Being able to interact with the content creator creates a world of interactivity for the viewer.

Games are impacting our culture on daily basis. When you see a pro soccer player do a Fortnite dance after scoring, then you know that the gaming world is truly being embraced in our culture.

Ethan’s Recipe for Streamable Game

Developers who want to create games that are streambable should make them a canvas. Streaming allows for creative expression and they make the game their own.

One way is by creating games that are competitive as they have replayability. Let’s face it competition is inherently interesting. From the dawn of time, people have viewed competition, so it is not surprising that competitive games are very streamable.

Aspiration comes into play for viewers. They want to try what they see and prove that they can do it better. It is a new way of discovery.

Allowing the audience to actively participate in the game play can also make for a more streamable game. Case in point… Dead Cell has an active audience mode. This allows the audience to particpate and even help the streamer. This takes watching game play to a new level.

Twitch Extensions

Twitch has created an array of extensions that developers can utilize. These extensions can extend engagement and gamify the viewing experience. Just as I mentioned above.

One popular extension is sound alerts. People pay to play sounds during the live stream of a content creator. Part of the money goes to the developer and to the streamer. It also builds another level of interactivity.

Extensions can add to your canvas and allow for tech that your game may not have.

Spectator to Consumer

Spectators can be turned into purchasers. Example PUBG has allowed special items to be sold by streamers to their audience. Those who purchase items are therefore more invested into the game. This can be a fun way to montetize games, as these special items may only be bought during a specific live stream, which makes them more valuable to players who have them. It can even turn nonspenders into spenders.

WRAP…

What I learned from Ethan’s lecture…

  1. Individuals are now channels. Content creators, streamers and influencers are now a source of entertainment.
  2. Individuals can now reach an audience directly. Normal marketing and advertising will still exist, but being able to promote games or even brands through streamers is another outlet for sharing.
  3. The audience is part of the action. As mentioned, I believe that streaming portals like Twitch allow the audience to feel part of the game. Streamers connect with their community directly and even respond to their comments and/or actions during game play.
  4. Gaming is a community driven activity. Let’s face it, a community can make or break a game! So it is important ot keep them happy and invigorated.

If you ever have the chance to hear Ethan Evans speak, I highly suggest doing so! And if you have yet to discover Twitch, then you are missing out! In fact, it is not just about gaming…. artists and even other types of creative people stream on Twitch. You might be suprised what you discover there!

To learn more about devcom visit….. https://www.devcom.global/

Kenneth Shinabery

Written by

Marketing Director at Linearity GmbH https://vectornator.io https://www.linkedin.com/in/kshinabery/