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Twitch streaming is a double-edged sword for game dev in certain cases and mostly single-edged for buyer (Forums : Development Banter : Twitch streaming is a double-edged sword for game dev in certain cases and mostly single-edged for buyer) Post Reply
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Aug 6 2018 Anchor

Hi there, just a 2 cents. I was researching about Videogame streaming (Twitch mostly/but Youtube Let's Play, though the effect is not equal/Twitch has stronger 'streaming' connotation vibe to it, Youtube is just emulating the Twitch game streaming mindset via Let's Plays(Youtube is not specifically about game streaming, Twitch is) having good and bad points, but I could not reach a concensus as to its worth or unworth. I am mostly talking as game developer side of things but also on the game buyer side of things. I am just giving a personal opinion (hoping this might enlighten the subject and give insights to anyone (who may not know this (I apologize if this is nothing new or redundant (I am mostly trying to open up this sensitive subject)).

TL DR: video game streaming has its ups and downs, marketing this way creates certain new challenges for devs while openinhg doors for buyers.

- The major up-point for buyer in this streaming of video games is becoming a 'better' consumer/buyer by knowing exactly what he/she is buying. In other words, making a more careful, weighted, aware, personal judgement of the game's quality/value/(re)playability/(un)worth/convinced ($ sold) or not/perceived value vs asking price. The 'possible' buyer (at this early before-purchase stage, still a 'viewer' not buyer yet) gets to see more of the actual content of the game itself (more than in the trailer, the question that begs is 'how much showing is too much showing, or inversely, too little ... To the point it negatively affects game sales?'. It is hard to quantify really.

- Some games may be affected in this 'show enough but don't show too much' (kind of like preview trailers of certain movies, some seem to last 5+ minutes long and condense the entire film in those 5 minutes : once you saw that trailer you saw the entire film/spoiled viewing/you don't feel so compelled anymore to see it - you've Already seen it (albeit in a super condensed 5-min form) - the trailer Spoiled the 'surprise' of wanting to see it in anticipation by you the whole thing. You have less incentive to go see it because you feel as though you've seen it already, thus you may Not buy it. Yet, at the same time, you wish to judge/scrutinize/discriminate/select in your choice of 'said product' thus you need to see 'something' to better make that 'selective power-buyer' decision. I think that is where the contention lies. It's tricky, especially for the game developer. I also believe the strongest games affected by that are the 'story-driven' games, single player games that are meant to be played once/once you complete the story the game itself is finished and there is no reason to replay it besides wanting to 'relive' that story again by playing it all over again: thus, replayability is minimal/nill vs games that are FPS/sandbox or multiplayer MMOs where the game itself has no real 'end' per say (no story, no start no end) and immense replayability via updates and a neverending supply of fun. You can comeback to play the game years later and feel like it was released yesterday - still fresh, fun, uptodate and replayable after all these years (''The Gift that Keeps on Giving''/ '' The Game that Keeps on Giving (Decades Later)'').

- The game developer is faced with the question of 'do more Twitch streaming views' of my game translate as better sales of it (just by more 'views')?" or does it negate sales. What could determine this?

For the buyer's side, he/she will probably say that if the actual quality and gameplay of the game itself are good then it should translate as higher sales. Generally speaking, that seems true and sensical that a Good product sells well, when it is combined with strong marketing visibility of the product. It rarely does Not sell in that instance, More eyeballs See that it is Indeed a Genuine Fun Great Game, thus it deserves their money/time. Twitch increases Eyeballs count/marketing visibility just like other social media platforms used for the game's marketing. Thus, what is the problem?

- I believe 'the problem' is more a genuine fear that the game does not hold up, to scrutiny when potential 'possible' buyers 'still viewers' View the game via streaming/Watching someone playing the game Openly - Openly Scrutinizing, showing the possible flaws/fully viewing the game content to make their decision to buy it or not. The game dev may fear that 'they will Only Watch the game being played by someone else via streaming - they will be content enough with that/No Need or Desire to buy it because it Sucks or a Viewing of it Was More Than Sufficient and, as said, No Need to Buy It/Play it Themselves,

but Only, Watch it. Who would be most affected by that : indie devs, solo indie devs, where people may think the game is shovelware. Even if it is Good shovelware, they may make a decision that it is just not worth buying when there are thousands of shovelware games. "Not Sold', AAA games though too can be bad can survive this much better because of their financial status, AAA games that fail hard can be devastating but Most AAA games don't fail that's why they keep making them - there are more financial AAA success (AAA failures are extremely costly investors, that is why they invest only in 'repeatable' AAA successes (like COD, God of War, etc) . Indies run often on borrowed time/money, micro hobbyist indies made on a 0$ budget don't lose much if there is no budget to begin with/to lose. But, many professional indies Do have a budget going on, and debts, the game dev hopes to recuperate it through the game's sales/financial return that would allow it survive as game dev and sustain their business/Make Another game later to make the studio strive. That, is where the crux lies.

Game buyers have 100% the right to decide what is good or not as a game, and Twitch streaming empowers them to make that decision by evaluating it/kind of like doing a Test drive of a car before purchasing it (in the 90s, they were game 'demos' that allowed to 'test drive' the game before purchasing it Or not.. (in my case, demos generally sufficed me and unless it was spectacular or something I really wanted/the demo sufficed and thus I had not bought it in some instances))

- Back then, it seems the concensus was that game 'demos' Really helped More than be a negative marketing tool that reduced game sales (more eyeballs and test drives of game). People Wanted to play 'the rest' of the game once the demo was finished - it worked akin to film Teaser, not a full trailer, but a Teaser - it Teased the player's curiosity and 'wanting' to see more of the game (see 'the rest') thus, the player was 'sold' and converted into a later 'Buyer' = game sale. Twitch streaming is equal to yesterday's 'demos', people want to test drive but demos tradition is gone; thus, Twitch streaming is born - you watch Someone Else play the game 'playing Their Own Copy' 'test drive' it - same thing as demos, but only difference it's someone else playing..

- Nobody forced anyone to make a game in the first place, thus dev can't ask pity if struggling to sell his/her game. Game Devs assume the Risks and Peril of creating a product in a Hyper Competitive market oversaturated in shovelware games.

Because game devs assume these responsabilities, they must assume the buyer judgementability of a product they 'put out there' for everyone to Evaluate and Consume (as Product Consumers, and consumers want to select the best merchandise - Smart Consumers). If they feel your game is crap it is very hard to convince them otherwise, especially if they made that decision via Twitch playing it streaming of your entire game. Games take years to make and why the aversion to Show Too Much Too Soon and Ruin your game's potential. In cinema, they call it 'unveiling', slowly unwrapping and unveiling 'teases', while shoving it all in your face can frag your neurons from overexcitatory stimuli - you might be convinced, but there is something as 'showing too much' and can backfire. But, today the public has never been so unforgiving at any time point of the gaming history - Thanks to an Overglut of games available - Too many games Too little time Too little money. Only the Best of the Best cream crop 'make it' (1%), the rest (99%) don't. That 99% is largely represented by the thousands of solo/2-man team indie games. There are exceptions, indie game hits like Cuphead, Star Dew Valley or Nidhogg. Games that may not have te polish/quality of the indie hits may feel more reservation towards Twitch streaming becuause double-edge sword, Twitch streaming can backfire and make people decide your low indie solo game is crap and this will Influence Negatively many other people into this 'negative buy', streaming 'exposes' but but people can be easily influenced by 'one influencer' that the game is bad 'because he/she said so and thus it must be true since you saw a streaming of the game',

Let me give you an example, Assassin's Creed Unity, it had face bugs, Fps issues etc.. me I didn't care Game was great but the whole streaming thing put it down and tried 'to find flaws'._. That is the problem with streaming and 'influencing' buyer decision , it is Very Personal, not with social Twitch streaming it's the affair of everyone. Had I seen these negative streaming of Assassin's Creed Unity I would not have bought the game, thankfully I didn't. Pro-crticizing a game is normal and expected but now it's overcriticizing, overscrutnizing, etc, finding 'bobos'.. Some may say we might be professional Selective in deciding best game worth your money but also become overjudgmental. We want perfection or nothing, it seems. The oversaturation of games is the main culprit, we Have to be ultra selective, by the sheer numbers of them; but that's where I think we must not forget to Not Overjudge/just Find Faults either..

It will be interesting how this streaming culture pans out (buyers are advantaged, game devs disadvantaged and need make better game no solution/better product wins consumers ). Thanks for reading. Just a 2 cents.

Jan 11 2019 Anchor

Just saw a girl masturbating the other day on twitch cause she forgott to turn off her livestream playing some stupid game.

There you have a two edged sword.

Looks like this time the paypigs realy got their moneys worth.

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