It seems as everyone with enough ambition is a streamer these days. It used to be that you required exceptional skill or something out of the ordinary you could offer your viewers, but today we see more and more streamers which are simple, moderate players, which are not even putting on a show of some sort. People are simply joining in on the big streaming, your-personal-television-channel wagon, and we are even losing the initial motivation people had to do this, which is to make money streaming.
Okay, probably everyone who is streaming hopes to earn at least some income by doing so, but I’ve seen channels and people making highly professional content about their favorite games, simply out of love and their own enthusiasm, because their viewership is so low they can’t be making any money off of it. Others, on the other hand, are just procrastinating and playing crappy and are making thousands, or even tens of thousands of dollars, just by being wacky and fun….so what’s the catch?
When checking out some of the most popular streamers, I’ve noticed several things they have in common…
Firstly, not one of them became popular overnight. For every popular streamer today, I bet you can find their earliest clips and streams, where you’ll see that they’ve started out amateur, just like anyone would. They were mostly MMO gamers, who were a part of their respective gaming communities for at least some time, enough to know how things work. Or, in some cases, the player has already gotten a prestigious achievement in his or her respective game, and thus had success which could draw attention to his or hers streaming channel.
Secondly, the most successful streamers today do not focus on their gaming skill at all. As I mentioned earlier, they are usually moderately skilled players, but with one important attribute – they are putting on a show.
Some of them are good some are perhaps boring to some, but these big streamers with viewer counts through the roof are all doing something wacky, which makes them at least memorable, but often even interesting. A good example is Sodapoppin, who is probably known to everybody by his wacky behavior, loud screams, and drinking sodas during his streaming.
Thirdly, this one is not a general rule, but the most successful streamers usually play games which are popular at the time. So, being a part of an online trend is important, like the streamer called Ninja demonstrated. He is mostly streaming Fortnite, which is one of the most popular games in the past couple of months, if not the most popular. But, I should note that he is also one hell of a Fortnite player, so there’s that aspect to it as well.
Fourthly, there are streamers which are focused on instructional videos and streams. They have channels filled with tutorials and videos explaining how to achieve success in a particular game, or how their own play style functions. They also then organize a streaming of a demonstration of the things they teach in their videos, so they manage to gather a high number of viewers and even substantial donations from people who are grateful for improving their skills, for instance.
And, finally, some of the most successful streams are official streams, like from a certain gaming competition, or a brand, or a developer. For instance, the LOL (League of Legends) tournament at one point peaked at around 2 million viewers…
These figures are staggering and they present ample opportunities for advertising and the spread of information and it is because of this that this streaming trend continues to spread.
But, is it the future of gaming in the literal sense of the word?
I think it will continue to spread and live, if only to help keep the gaming communities together, because people need something like that to bring them together and to keep them interested in a certain game, by nature. People are social beings, and have been gathering in groups ever since the beginnings of our civilization, so is it really that surprising that we do so now, in the computer age?
Streaming is not the future of gaming in the sense that that future is already here, so it is our present. The best way to demonstrate how serious things already are in this area is to realize that today being a streamer, a Youtuber, a cosplayer is being stated and considered as a legit profession. People are actually putting it in their resumes and stating it in their portfolios.
So, in this day and age, the future is already here and it is only up to us where we want to go from here. I think we cannot go to the point where we will all be streamers, because there cannot be streamers without viewers. But, as I said earlier, it is not an easy task to be a streamer either. Nobody became popular overnight, and it is a time-consuming profession. You can dedicate lots and lots of your time to it, and still fail to achieve success or profit from it, so it is as risky and as serious as any other profession, possibly even more so.
The future perhaps holds something else for us, but the streaming game has already integrated itself within our society, and it was true what many great minds of the 20th century said – in the future, everyone will have their own personal television program, and that future is now.