How Many Games to Stream?Is it worth streaming two or more games? Does it mean “more games - more viewers”? Or, maybe, streaming several games can badly affect your channel’s performance? Today, we are going to shed some light on the issue.
Games’ Diversity: Is It Always Good?Imagine that you have been streaming The League of Legends for several years. Some day you decided to сatch a break and switched to Hearthstone, and suddenly your audience started to flee. You were trying to add a variety to your stream, played different games of the same genre, but viewers didn’t respond to your efforts. Why did this happen? The answer is simple: you had a conservative audience that wasn’t ready for changes.
When you decide to diversify your content, always remember that streaming is not about the games you want to play, but about the games your audience wants to watch.First of all, you need to be clear about the primary goal of your channel. Ask yourself the following questions: “Do you really want to play several games in the long run or is it just for fun? When you play your main game, what type of content do you provide: information, contests, pure entertainment, etc.? And what type of content do you want to offer when playing secondary games?” Decide, if it is really worth changing your channel’s concept and adding new games to your schedule. To understand how the audience reacts to the changes, communicate with people in chat, try to find out their interests and sentiments.
If You Decide to Play Two Games, Your Audience Will Be Split Into Two PartsThis cannot be avoided. If you decide to play two games on your stream, you will face the crisis of self-determination: it’s difficult to pay the same attention to both games. The same will happen to your viewers: they will choose the favorite game to watch. For example, fans of The World of Tanks rarely watch Dota 2 and vise versa. An exceptional situation is when people come to the channel to watch the streamer himself but it’s a rarity for MOBA / FPS genre. There is also a bunch of people that visit streams to chat with soulmates. But, even such viewers pay attention to what game is broadcast in the background. One of the possible ways out is creating a separate channel for each game. However, working in two or more directions is a challenge. One of your projects will receive less attention and resources. Even when you focus on one game, but have accounts on Twitch, YouTube, Smashcast, in the end you will choose the favorite platform. Choosing two or more games to play will make you feel that you miss something with no directing all efforts to one major goal. Before switching to two or more games, make sure that you have enough time to be a full-fledged part of the communities of both games.
And What About Branding?If you dare to play two or more games during your streams, you will have to put more efforts in brand promotion. Pay special attention on your graphic design, invent a distinct theme for each game you play. Take some time to get out a message to your audience explaining why you choose these games or genre. It’s also essential to stick to the schedule. This will help avoid situations when viewers come and expect to watch one game, but receive another instead. Justifying the expectations of your fans won’t let them get bored and upset. If you always play a specific game on Fridays, then viewers will come with understanding of what to await. Always use a broadcast title to indicate the time of the next stream with the name of the game and its duration, as one of the most popular Twitch variety streamers Lirik does. The double-dealing promotion is a fairly lengthy path, but once you create a strong content base for your stream, your efforts will pay off. If you aren’t ready to give equal attention to both games, you will likely have to quit one of them or reconsider your expectations. Useful Tips To Help You Distinguish the Optimal Amount of Games to Stream:
Choosing One Game to Stream Is the Best Option for Beginning StreamersIf you are absolutely new to streaming, we recommend starting with one game to stream. The majority of viewers come to your stream to watch you play a particular game, and even though they like your content they may not enjoy the other game. A lot of big variety streamers started with streaming one game, focusing on growing one stable community. For example, SodaPoppin, a famous American Twitch streamer, was originally known as a WOW PVP streamer before he came a variety streamer. Most gamers turn on the heat when a new grandiose game releases. They immediately want to play and stream it. However, such broadcasts are usually popular for several weeks after release, then, the audience attention fades over time. Treat your stream as business. For an analogy, imagine that you own a candy shop. Customers stop by your shop and you sell them sets of candies. They love your product and ask for your advertising card or address. Days go by and once you suddenly decide to sell electronic devices instead of candies. The same customers will come to your candy-shop, but all you have to offer will be electronics. Guess, what will be their reaction? The same happens when you radically change the game to stream. Thus, if you love your game and can stick with it for a long time, it is a beneficial path to start your streaming career with.
Stick Within the Same GenreIf you are bored with playing one game, choose games of the same genre. Thus, you will increase your chances to retain the majority of the existing audience. There are a lot of successful examples when streamers play games of one spectrum and manage to grow their brand. For instance, NESMania started with playing one game, then broadened the concept to one console. Now, he is streaming only NES games and focusing on one community. So, you can choose your favorite genre and play classic PS1/PS2 era games, survival horror games, RPG games - whatever is your interest.
Choose One Day A Week When You Play Other GamesTo attract new viewers, not get burnt out with the same game, let yourself enjoy different games, for example, 1 day a week. This way you continue focusing on one community while opening possibilities for discovering new games. It is important to notice the reaction of your audience when you play other games and have a strict schedule so that your dedicated fans know when you broadcast another game.
Change The Game If You Already Have A Stable Audience and ExperienceIf you focus on one-game audience, this doesn’t give you much wiggle room to move to another game. But, there are a lot of examples when streamers managed to achieve success with new audience after switching the game. Lassiz has been a professional streamer in the Smite community that gathered thousands of Smite fans during his streames. But, people love Lassiz not only for his gameplay: they are attracted by his extraordinary personality and charisma. When Lassiz quit Smite and moved to Overwatch as his main game, that made a large hit to his viewerbase. However, he managed to gain growth in OW because some of his dedicated viewers followed him and, what is more essential, due to his efforts and continued hard work. So, if you grow a viewership of 1000+ viewers, you can expect approximately 300-400 viewers stay with you after changing the games. It’s not that much, but still it's a large chunk of viewers to start with.
TakeawayIf you feel bored with streaming the same game for a long time, don’t hurry for changing your channel’s concept. Think about your goals. What’s it all for: to have fun or gain a million? Your answer determines the approach of how to develop your stream and communicate with community. If when you play World of Tanks, you have 10 times more views than with any other game, then you should play it if you are interested in viewership. If you are playing for fun, then choose any game you like, even though there will be fewer views. The main point is playing what you and your audience enjoy most. Play one game of one hundred as long as you’re having fun - that’s what’s important and what will ultimately bring people.