Now that billions of people play video games, gaming as a hobby is becoming far more accepted. But things have come a long way since Pac-Man and Donkey Kong.
Games like Call of Duty and Destiny are far more complicated than their predecessors. And yet many gamers prefer to watch someone else play a game rather than play it themselves.
An estimated 90% of gamers reportedly tuned into a YouTube or Twitch stream at least once a week. In fact, one YouTuber, Markiplier, is so popular that he’s getting his own tour!
What’s the deal with these gamers and how do you find them anyway? Read on for all of the details on the weird, wonderful world of video game influencers.
What Exactly Are Video Game Influencers?
If you’re scratching your head trying to figure out the world of influencers, you’re not alone. Most businesses can’t figure it out either.
But there’s something about it that resonates with audiences. So what’s an influencer anyway?
A video game influencer is someone who makes sponsored content by streaming games. They use the power of social media and streaming to get their content directly to their audience. These streamers form unique bonds with their audiences and in turn, influence their purchasing choices.
Let’s take the Five Nights at Freddy’s series for instance. Initially, Scott Cawthorn’s game was released to little to no fanfare. In fact, most people didn’t even know it existed. That is until some YouTubers got their hands on it.
Suddenly, millions were tuning in to see what the jumpscare riddled game was about. And just like that, FNaF became a multi-million dollar hit.
How Does it Work?
This is where things get really interesting. How does becoming a video game influencer work, anyway? Well, it largely depends.
In some cases, like the CBS-owned Giant Bomb, there’s a combination of corporate sponsorship mixed with creative freedom. The company is under the CBS Interactive umbrella but only employs around a dozen employees.
In other cases, such as Jim Sterling or TotalBiscuit, the influencer gets paid from their audience via crowdsourcing.
Of course, there are also streamers who take sponsorships directly from corporations. Turn on Twitch at any given moment and you’re likely to discover a streamer with a company’s watermark in the corner or a chair with a logo.
If you’re interested in finding streamers for your business, all you have to do is use social media. Tools like Grin find influencers on Instagram and make it easy to connect with them.
Why Would Anyone Want to Watch Someone Play Video Games?
All of this begs the question: why are people watching game streaming? Why not play games yourself?
Well, it’s a bit more complicated than that. First of all, streamers and their audience have a unique relationship. The audience forms a bond with the influencer and views them as more friend than an entertainer.
Of course, others don’t have the time to play these games themselves.
Video games are getting increasingly complex and time-consuming. Watching someone else play lets you experience the game without having to buy it.
Last Thoughts on Video Game Influencers
If you’re still confused by the world of video game influencers, that’s okay. It’s a bit of an odd phenomenon. But it likely isn’t going anywhere, and having the right influencer on your side can be beneficial.
Looking to learn more about the world of video games? Be sure to check out our software downloads or ebook selection.