Streamers Drive Explosive Demand for Social Multiplayer Games
Read time: 3mins
Do you know what is the most played and watched gaming category? This is a category we define as Social multiplayer casual games, which fall under the “Just chatting” group at Twitch.
How do we define social multiplayer casual games: A group of friends or community playing fun and lighthearted casual games for 2-4 hours. Social - People getting together, Multiplayer - Ability to support a group of people in a game, Casual - fun and lighthearted game experience targeted to a mass audience.
Last year alone, a staggering 1.5 billion Twitch hours were dedicated to playing these social multiplayer casual games. Covid actually kicked off this new trend with Among us, Fall guys, Jackbox and since then it has skyrocketed in demand. We are now seeing games like Mario party played again, Gartic, Goose Goose Duck, Pico Park and many others.
Reference Twitch Tracker:
However, while the demand for such games soared, the supply struggled to keep up. Building multiplayer games is a complex and time-consuming process, often taking months or even years to perfect. One of the game studios we talked to even reported spending up to 16 months on an app, and yet, it remains unfinished.
There are a few companies including Playroom trying to solve this for the overall game market, as the pain point has grown. Hathora, Rivet, Rune are all doing massive leg work to help developers get more accustomed to building multiplayer games. So game developers can focus on building games while the infra becomes painless through these services.
At Playroom, we are focussed specifically on empowering the creation of Social multiplayer casual games because we believe these games have massive replayability across all age groups. We care about the experience we can create across any multiplayer scenario, hence providing more components, libraries, and tools that make the multiplayer games.
This trend is particularly evident among popular game streams. Streamers enjoy playing these games because they can invite other streamers to play with them, and potentially all of them can tap into each other's audience. As a result, this yields massive watch time and audience growth for all the streamers involved!
Here is a quick video showcasing the trend and more links below:
In March 2023, Just Chatting was the top category, generating over 275 million Hours Watched in March. North American streamers HasanAbi, xQc, and KaiCenat were the leaders in the category among channels (reference (opens in a new tab))
Unity even posted a report on Multiplayer demand but covering more broadly for all game categories. There has been a rise in multiplayer development by 40% which we believe can be attributed to the demand discussed above. (reference (opens in a new tab))