How do I pick which games to stream?
Streaming is a big industry in this day and age, with anyone and everyone being able to go live on a wide variety of platforms and devices. While you can livestream anything from gaming, lifestyle, travel and even cooking, gaming is by far the biggest category within the industry. My name is Gurjiv, and I am both a PR Manager at Jaleo as well as a Twitch partnered broadcaster for over 6 years, and in today’s post, we’ll take a look at livestreaming games, and how I pick what to stream on my channel.
Just pick a game!
There are different reasons and motivations to pick up a game to play on stream. Sometimes it’s from a business perspective- perhaps playing fortnight may bring more success to the channel. Other times it’s due to enjoying a certain genre of games such as factory building games and looter-shooters. The biggest step most people take when deciding which game to play is “What do I enjoy?”. The games that I enjoy will be different from what others may enjoy, which will result in different types of games being streamed.
A tale of two genres
The other deciding factor can be simply the aesthetics and sound design of a game. I know people who have avoided playing certain games just because they didn’t like the game’s visuals or the sound design (to be fair, I’m guilty of that myself). Let’s look at two vastly different examples- God of War: Ragnarok, and Stray. God of War: Ragnarok is a AAA title made by Santa Monica Studios with a big budget and team, and a clear objective in mind. It features solid story that concludes the events of the previous title, married to a well designed game and combat mechanics with a complement of an incredibly moving OST.
Stray is the complete opposite. It’s an Indie game made by Annapurna Interactive with a much smaller budget and team, but it has the same level of quality and polish (if not better than some AAA games to be quite honest!) as God of War. It even won an award for “Best Independent game of the Year” and “Best Debut Indie Game” at The Game Awards 2022. The biggest selling points of Stray include a very well crafted game with a heavy emphasis on exploration as a cat. It also has great lighting, sound design and clever use of game mechanics. Both games had great launches and reviews from content creators and general players alike due to the polish and quality of the games.
Having said that, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all type of format to having creators play games. There are niches where streamers enjoy playing low budget indie games, usually made by a single dev or a small team of 3-4 people, especially horror games for the month of October.
You can start anywhere
Since I started my Twitch channel, for a long time I was a dedicated Warframe streamer. Many in my community are big fans of looter-shooters, so that plays a big part in what I choose to play on stream. It just so happens that I enjoy the genre enough so it’s a win-win situation for me and the community. Having said that, sometimes when I’m in the mood for a different type of game, the community is also very open to watching those games. I never thought that I would enjoy playing the psychological horror “Layers of Fear” on stream, but it was a well received game by both the community who enjoyed the fact that I’m terrified of scary games and resulted in Many screams as well as myself.
Keep in mind, the viewership –which can include other streamers– use livestreams as both a form of entertainment, as well as being able to check out a game in advance to see if they’re interested in the game or not. I myself have watched some other streamers play games such as Phasmophobia and decided “You know what, this actually looks like a laugh to play with friends, I’m going to grab this and get a gaming session in with the lads”. We’ve had some incredibly hilarious and fun gaming sessions because of that.
While there is a wide variety of reasons a streamer can have to cover any particular game, these are just some of the more common motivations streamers have in how they choose what games they want to play.