Current viewership on Twitch has provided even more evidence that gamers prefer to relive the past than look to the future.
Nostalgia is very much the order of the day in all walks of entertainment, gaming included. The original Crash Bandicoot and Spyro trilogies have both been remastered and re-released and shifted massive amounts of copies across all platforms. Final Fantasy VII Remake is scheduled for release in 2020, and Mario Kart is once again at the top of the charts in Europe.
Turns out not only do we love playing games from the past, we also enjoy watching others do so. World of Warcraft Classic finally went live this week. If you have tried to play the game yourself, chances are you haven't had much luck. Those who haven't been able to play yet have taken to Twitch instead to watch the action unfold, and they have done so in large numbers.
At one point this week, WOW Classic was being watched by more than 1 million concurrent viewers, according to Kotaku. For comparison, Fortnite is normally being watched by between 100,000 and 200,000 fans at its busier times on the platform. Upon further inspection, it became clear that older titles are some of the most popular on Twitch. Not to the level that WOW Classic currently is, but it was still surprising.
You would think that games such as Fortnite and League of Legends would be the standard-bearers for Twitch viewership, and for the most part, they are. However, as 1 million people watched WoW Classic, Grand Theft Auto V and Minecraft each had 100k viewers as well. In fact, both titles feature in Twitch's top ten most-watched games so far this August according to Twitch Metrics.
We think there are a couple of reasons for fans sticking to these titles rather than moving forward. For starters, developers continue to update and upgrade them. In turn, that will keep fans interested, and the updates will keep coming. That might mean we never get a GTA VI. We also think that to an extent, gamers love simplicity, especially the casual audience. As our attention spans become shorter, we have less patience to learn a whole new game. Hence, many of us sticking to what we know, especially if it's as good as some of the titles above.