|The number of gamers in the world today has grown so much that it has led to the creation of not one but two industries centered around gaming / Photo by: amirraizat via Shutterstock|
The number of gamers in the world today has grown so much that it has led to the creation of not one but two industries centered around gaming. Video gaming itself is expected to grow to up to 6.4% CAGR by 2024, but the live streaming industry is set to surpass that by three-folds as forecasts show growth of 19% by 2025.
This is the perfect time for gamers to venture into video game streaming, in which they can get paid to do something they want and where they’re good at (that's the dream, really). For those who are looking to start their own streaming channel, this article can help aspiring streamers get started and familiarize them with the tools and how to's of live streaming.
Why Do People Live Stream Their Games?
Just like how sports fans like watching season games, gamers are also drawn to fellow gamers—extremely good ones—that broadcast their gaming sessions on sites like Twitch and YouTube. One must first understand live streaming before they begin to start their own, and for gamers, it's having a community they belong to while living a social experience as well.
"Watching other gamers play is fun and passive entertainment," writes James Good of Game Quitters, an online platform that aims to help people quit playing video games with resources to get the help they need and deserve.
Good says people have the desire to relax, and watching live streams is the same as watching the football game or tuning on the TV to catch the latest episode of their favorite series. "We each have our preference and for gamers, that’s streaming," he adds.
|Just like how sports fans like watching season games, gamers are also drawn to fellow gamers—extremely good ones—that broadcast their gaming sessions on sites like Twitch and YouTube / Photo by: Syda Productions via Shutterstock|
Broadcasters normally play the game while giving commentaries and interacting with their audience. According to Good, this is the same psychology that drove the social media era and why reality shows help people like the Kardashians rise to superstardom.
"Fans want to experience the behind-the-scenes, they want to engage and be a part of the experience. Live-streaming on Twitch does all of that… and more," the Game Quitters author explains.
He adds that a normal gamer watches live streams since the streamers are usually professional e-sports players. As they watch these players, they can learn of a new skill or discover new tactics that can help them in their own game and possibly become a pro-gamer as well.
There are many platforms for live streaming, but the most popular site today is Twitch. The biggest streamers can get up to tens of thousands of viewers in just one stream. Starting a live stream would require some knowledge about software and how to attract and keep an audience, but with the right tools, any gamer would be able to easily stream their sessions.
According to the PC Gamer, a magazine founded in the United Kingdom in 1993 devoted to PC gaming, the first step is to have a program to stream with. It recommends Streamlabs OBS, free software that allows users to save their graphics and layouts as well as customize and set up their streams. The gaming news site also advises using Twitch as the platform for the streams.
"If you don’t already have one, make an account with Twitch and then go into the settings menu of OBS. Adjusting the stream’s preferences to fit your rig and internet connection is important, but until you have more experience streaming, it can feel a bit like punching in the dark," the PC Gamer explains.
Getting a decent webcam and microphone is necessary for any live streaming. Having these pieces of equipment allows streamers to interact with their audience, given that personality is also a vital part of streaming. How one presents themselves through these tools can make or break their stream.
|There are many platforms for live streaming, but the most popular site today is Twitch. The biggest streamers can get up to tens of thousands of viewers in just one stream / Photo by: Jasni via Shutterstock|
Those are the basic tools needed to start streaming, and the only thing left now is the game. Make sure to pick a video game that you excel at and many people are interested in watching. As stated, viewers often watch streams that feature players who are very skilled to pick up new strategies and tactics that they could use in their own games.
It's not always easy to get viewers, so it's best to give them a heads up on when the streaming will be. Streamers usually make an announcement on their social media pages along with the link of their streaming channel to let their followers know when they will be live.
"You may not have many followers, but that’s because you just started and the only way to get support is to make your presence known," PC Gamer says. "Viewership can sometimes have a snowball effect, so even if your first five viewers are just your friends, the next five won’t be."
The future of live streaming is bright and as the industry becomes more competitive, innovations and developments will surely emerge to make streaming easier for both viewers and streamers. New platforms will rise and new streamers will be known—but that's merely scratching the surface of the potential of live streaming.