TheGamingEconomy Daily Digest brings you the trending business stories in gaming. In today’s edition: Twitch growth slows in 2019; Stadia to debut 120 titles; and Microsoft pledges carbon neutrality by 2030.
Twitch growth slows in 2019
Twitch growth has slowed in 2019, with hours watched, hours streamed, number of unique channels and average concurrent viewership (CCV) all decreasing from Q1 to Q4, according to the Year in Review Live Streaming industry report released by Streamlabs and Newzoo. While Q4 results for the platform were disappointing, both hours watched and hours streamed increased overall from 2018, increasing by 12% and 16.1% year-on-year respectively. Meanwhile Mixer realised more rapid growth, with gaming video content streamed through the platform proliferating to 80.3 million hours in 2019, up from 35.2 million hours in 2018. YouTube Gaming Live was the only platform in the analysis to see growth in the final quarter of the year, with hours watched increasing by 34.5% to 909 million hours.
In terms of content watched, Riot Games was the most popular publisher across the surveyed platforms during 2020, with viewers watching 1.089 billion hours of League of Legends content. The number of hours watched for Epic Games’ Fortnite decreased markedly through the year, falling by 29% from Q1 to Q4.
While Twitch remains the dominant platform, with total hours watched through 2019 standing at 9.769 billion compared to 2.885 billion (YouTube Gaming Live) and 357.1 million (Mixer), notable streamers leaving the platform for rivals has had a tangible effect on its growth. Coupled with the platform’s ad revenue falling below expected levels, it will interesting to note whether further investment towards influencer talent and technological innovations are mooted by parent company Amazon in 2020.
Stadia to debut 120 titles
Google executives are planning on releasing 120 titles on its Stadia cloud gaming service in 2020, with over ten of these stated to be exclusive to the platform and due to debut in the first half of the year, as announced in a community blog post. It is unclear at this point whether this will include IP from Typhoon Studios, which was recently acquired and absorbed under the Stadia Games and Entertainment banner.
The platform has received a somewhat lukewarm response since launch, with criticism over input lag and the number of titles available at launch, with the number of downloads for the Stadia mobile app falling by 56.4% from November to January.
A statement on the Stadia community site reads, “When Stadia launched in November, we delivered a great gaming experience for players, and we continue to work toward our long-term vision for the future of gaming. Stadia is an evolving platform, and we’ve been busy in the two months since launch adding great content, features and ways to play.”
Microsoft pledges carbon neutrality by 2030
Microsoft executives have pledged for the Redmond, Washington-based company to become carbon neutral by 2030, and aims to remove all emitted carbon since its launch in 1975 by 2050. The firm aims to facilitate this by shifting to a fully renewable energy supply by 2025, charging each of its respective divisions an internal carbon tax, investing in carbon reduction technology, and altering supplier procurement processes. For its Xbox console division, pollution arising from production, shipping, operations, and consumers playing on the device are all thought to be included in this initiative.
The announcement follows Microsoft signing up a voluntary United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) programme along with 20 other video game companies to reduce industry carbon dioxide emissions by 30 tonnes by 2030. However, just six days prior, Microsoft announced a partnership with petrochemical giants Schlumberger and Chevron for the development of technologies aimed at generating new oil “exploration opportunities” and prospect development.