The Art Of Game Selection

Before we get into this I want to be clear, some of you are niche streamers and are growing from that. If that’s what you want to be and are growing, wonderful. This will be something you want to consider at some point when you venture out of your niche. We are developing effective ways to help you as well. This is to help those who are having trouble with growth resulting from poor game selection.

Mindfully Choose Your Game

As I’ve worked with several of our IQ members I have noticed a theme: Many people embrace change to their stream format but haven’t slowed down to question their game selection. We can change our graphics, practices, and be the most amazing streamer in the world but if we aren’t discoverable we will never grow our streams. 

In the Infinite Quality Streamer 101 post we discussed game selection and what follows here is a better explanation of why our practice works, how to do it, and an example list from the morning of writing this to ground it in reality.

We all have games we love.

The love of gaming is what brought us to Twitch. But we have to make a distinction between playing games on stream and Streaming To Grow. We have to be thoughtful in our choices to be discovered. No matter how much you love Fortnite, if that is your main game you will grow much slower and it will take longer to grow in a way that will bring income and stream-joy. You will get 3 follows a week and that will be through you posting on Insta, Facebook, Twitter, and putting up posters around town begging people to check you out. If you are playing ONLY what you love you may not be as serious about growing as you think. You may just be serious about video games. The question you have to ask yourself is “Do I want to grow?” And if the answer is yes then you have to use your head. If the answer is “yes, BUT I can do it best playing the games the big boys play”, for most of us that means we are lying to ourselves. Your answer is actually “no, I don’t want to grow.”

Minimum Average Viewership

If you are ready to grow you need to know what your minimum average viewership is. Within 30 minutes of stream how many viewers do you have? Sometimes a random game is a good test of this. Pick something no one plays but may be fun for your community to watch. If it’s 1 viewer who shows up because you have your phone watching the stream, that’s important to know. If it’s 5 because you have a group of friends who always hang, perfect. You run 20? new games begin to open up. You have to know this bit of info. It changes everything.

The real goal is that you choose a game that people can scroll down and find you on the browse page without going far from the top. But in order for that to happen it has to be a game that at least some people still search. I do not believe most people need to buy new games to do this. You likely own several that are perfect for growth. 

The general rules are as follows:

  1. It needs to have at least 15-20 streamers. Any less and you should assume there is no interest in it from the search bar.
  2. It should have at least 2 streamers with more than a 20 viewers up top. This is flexible up or down a few but the idea is that most small streams cannot get 20 people together to follow them to a random game. Ideally you have someone in the top position with 40-100 viewers, then the next with 30-40, and the third with 20 or less. It is very likely some of these viewers are from the search page. This is a living game.
  3. Game population changes. Different months, days, even hours will reveal to you secret gems. Look at your game library and check your scheduled stream time to see what is available. Recheck every 2 weeks.
  4. If you cannot hit the top 10-15 spots, assume it’s a waste of your time. Check it again later. You’re real goal is to naturally fall into the top five with your minimum viewership. You have to break the visibility line. For some games that is Five viewers, for others its Twenty. If you can’t breach it you might as well not be streaming, because you won’t be found. If it’s a very number to get above, there is no shame is sending off a social media blurb to your friends, or even texting and getting them to lurk. Log your phone in, watch your own stream. Just don’t be at zero viewers. Get past that line.

Be Purposeful

In our group we have a lot of people who LOVE to stream popular games. I want to be clear: they are ok to play and even stream sometimes. But if you want to grow and earn the right to stream that game AND grow fast at the same time you have to make purposeful decisions. I even know some of you actually grow under some pretty popular titles. My point is this: if you can grow 3 viewers in an 8 hour stream of Rainbow Six from the 30th position you can grow a lot faster from the top 5 of another title. There is something about you people want to watch and you need to put yourself in a better place to be found. We have tested this and every single time if you combine this with a professional title, good looking preview, and proper stream practices you will get more follows. Even as I write this I have seen one of our members who streamed PUBG for a year with a couple follows a week get 2 follows in the last 15 minutes playing Deadcells.

I understand follows don’t always equal retention, but it’s the first step. That stuff is handled by other quality improvements, graphical and practical. So before I end this quick blurb I will ask one more time,”Do you want to play games on stream or do you want to Stream To Grow?”

As promised here is a games list and example from one of your libraries. It’s October so I chose to use just spooky games. Limited time on these bad boys so if you own them, check the population for your stream hours and meet some new people!

7 Days to Die
Top Streamer – 49 viewers
Drop off – 4th streamer – 10 viewers
Ideal minimum for growth – 20 viewers

Dying Light
Top Streamer – 18
Drop off – 3rd streamer – 7 viewers
Ideal minimum for growth – 10 viewers

Dead Space
Top Streamer – 39 viewers
Drop off – 5th streamer – 10 viewers
Ideal minimum for growth – 15 viewers

The Evil Within
Top Streamer – 32 viewers
Drop off – 2nd streamer – 3 viewers
Ideal minimum for growth – Check this later. Could be dead.
That’s a sharp drop off and could mean one person brought the viewers

Top Streamer – 23 viewers
Drop off – 2nd streamer – 5 viewers
Ideal minimum for growth – 5-10 viewers
Lots of 4 to 5 viewer streams. Get a few friends together, take slot 2, and meet some new people.
Don’t Starve Together
Top Streamer – 568 viewers
Drop off – 7th streamer – 10 viewers
Ideal minimum for growth – 30 viewers

Darkest Dungeon
Top Streamer – 111 viewers
Drop off – 5th streamer – 15 viewers
Ideal minimum for growth – 20 viewers

Layers of Fear
Top Streamer – 843 viewers
Drop off – 4th streamer – 10 viewers
Ideal minimum for growth – 15 viewers
Large population, popular game, if you are there when someone big leaves you can pickup their viewers

Left 4 Dead 2
Top Streamer – 18 viewers
Drop off – 3th streamer – 5 viewers
Ideal minimum for growth – 5-10 viewers

Silent Hill
Top Streamer – 605 viewers
Drop off – 2nd streamer – 9 viewers
Ideal minimum for growth – 5-10 viewers
Alien: Isolation
Top Streamer – 60 viewers
Drop off – 4th streamer – 15 viewers
Ideal minimum for growth – 20 viewers

Top Streamer – 257 viewers
Drop off – 2nd streamer – 10 viewers
Ideal minimum for growth – 10 viewers

Top Streamer – 35 viewers
Drop off – 5th streamer – 5 viewers
Ideal minimum for growth – 6 viewers

Top Streamer – 10 viewers
Drop off – 4th streamer – 4 viewers
Ideal minimum for growth – 5 viewers

State of Decay 2
Top Streamer – 172 viewers
Drop off – 8th streamer – 5 viewers
Ideal minimum for growth – 10 viewers

S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Shadow of Chernobyl
Top Streamer – 10 viewers
Drop off – 4th streamer – 1 viewers
Ideal minimum for growth – 5 viewers

Written by DaBesJared – Edited by Fecklessman & TheSunnyMachine – Posted by TheSunnyMachine

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