Streamers Are Becoming Indispensable to Video Game Marketing
First Watch Games’ recent collaboration with Dr. Disrespect is an especially clear example
What outside influence do you trust when deciding whether or not to play a new game? Where do you go? Which filter do you rely on most heavily to give you relevant knowledge about upcoming titles?
Filters are people, companies, or news sources that we trust. Trust forms from one of two places. The relationship is either founded on authenticity or consistency, sometimes both. We use these sources to speed up our decision making about where to invest our time or what products to buy. The more the filter aligns itself with our values, the more we trust the source.
My favorite tangent to talk about is the use of filters in our society. I find the concept unendingly interesting. I love learning about what influences people and who people trust.
Streamers are the sieve we use to collect useful nuggets of gold that increasingly drive our purchasing and investment decisions. The low risks of watching someone else play a new game, mixed with streamers larger than life personalities, create the perfect filter to dissect gameplay from a distance.
I don’t think we have fully realized the importance of streamers. The concept of playing video games live is a relatively new career, and the full potential of these personalities has not evolved into its final form. As production value increases and streamers build their teams, you end up with a highly produced live show that we enjoy for 4–5 hours.
Many of us invest hundreds of hours into our favorite personalities and will gladly pay the $4.99 a month for unrelenting entertainment.
Now I must admit, I don’t watch many streamers. I enjoy entertainment, but I don’t have the time to dedicate my attention to them. I do, however, understand their importance. Streamers have a unique attachment to gaming. They decide what to put on their stream. You then watch that stream. If you make a personal investment in their character, what they play carries more weight.
Companies that adapt and learn to negotiate with streamers develop a considerable advantage. Hundreds of thousands watch streamers daily, creating the perfect opportunity to put products in front of eyes. Consider streamers the Nascar drivers of sports. Games, apparel, equipment, beverages, and any other product connected to the gaming industry can see massive overnight success when a deal gets made with the right streamer.
Rogue Company is a free-to-play multiplayer, tactical, third-person shooter video game developed by First Watch Games and published by Hi-Rez Studios.
First Watch Games took collaboration to a whole new level through their recent work with Dr. Disrespect. Not only did they work with him and his team on a project, but they also communicated directly through Twitter.
Dr. Disrespect is arguably the most talented streamers on the internet. His reach knows no bounds. For some, he is controversial. For others, he is the pinnacle of entertainment. We can hardly take our eyes off anything he produces. His intimate understanding of Streamlabs mixed with natural creativity has created a truly unique show. The doctor understands the value of entertainment, and since moving to YouTube, he averages no less than 40,000 viewers at one time.
To align yourself with such a force is the right tactic to get your product noticed.
Crossing the streams
We have seen many successful collaborations in the past, but Rogue Company’s “The Arena” is the most profound commitment to a single streamer we’ve seen to date.
Rogue Company recently created a map labeled “The Arena” named after the Doc’s famous stream location. I must say it’s beautifully done—the red and black up the intensity. There is even a shoutout to some of Doc’s most prominent supporters, a genuinely classy move. They also made a Doc skin, complete with animations and voice acting.
The entire execution played out over a month and fed the anticipation in real-time. The team put on a clinic for advertising, game marketing at it’s best.
Each streamer drops its apparel, and most streamers have multiple endorsements, but Rogue Company has set a new precedent. First Watch Games has shown a massive commitment to the Doc, and they’ve shown other developers what’s possible when you work directly with streamers.
The result is truly remarkable; many viewers downloaded Rogue Company to get access to the Arena. Seeing gameplay on the Doc’s stream was the only way I knew this game existed.
In the future, we will rely even more on streamers, reviews, personalities, and gaming websites to help guide us with our purchasing decisions. As our generation gets older, we will have to be more selective about our time. While I never fully decide whether to invest my time solely from one source, streamers bring new content to my attention; I would never have known before.
Games like Fall Guys and Among Us went straight to the top of the charts, mainly due to streamers bringing these titles to our attention.
Filters change over time. As gamers have access to new technology and new ways of connecting, so do the filters we use to make our purchasing decisions. Ten years ago, the most influential filter I used was Gameinformer Magazine. I waited every month in anticipation for my physical copy to arrive in the mail. I sat on my couch and read every review, and the written reviews heavily influenced my purchasing decisions.
I still love a good issue of Gameinformer, but I must admit, my filter has changed. The ability to evaluate a game in real-time, from a distance is unparalleled. I can now decide for myself, based on real gameplay, whether a game is in my wheelhouse.
Everything comes down to attention. Can you get a product in front of me? If you can, there is a strong chance I will bite. For that, you will need streamers now and in the future.