World of Warcraft dominates Twitch because Fortnite streamers are desperate for change

Fortnite fans who read Twitch to watch their favorite streamers have had a problem in recent weeks: almost all the big names in the community play a different game.

It is not a Battle Royale title or even a competitive multiplayer game; it is a largely cooperative fantasy RPG that came out 15 years ago. You may have heard the name before: World of Warcraft, the massive multiplayer online game produced by Blizzard, released in its classic, pre-expansion form on August 26, but originally released in November 2004.

According to streaming analysis company StreamElements, viewer audience of World of Warcraft on Twitch jumped 83 percent in August alone, largely thanks to Wow Classic and streamer Asmongold, who did not take a seat Fortnite star Turner "Tfue" Tenney as the most streamed channel on Twitch last month. The game did not come out Fortnite viewed for most hours in the month, but it came in fourth Fortnite, League of Legendsand Dota 2. That's not bad for a 15-year-old game.

Image: StreamElements

Asmongold, who streams Wow for years to largely little fanfare and is typical only known as Zack, is now by far the most popular streamer on Twitch, and has since collected around 75,000 simultaneous viewers ClassicIs released and occasionally break into the triple digits. He is currently leading Twitch from this moment Wow does it better Fortnite, League of Legends, Counter-Strike: GO, Minecraftand Grand Theft Auto V in total viewers.

Image: StreamElements


"While the top 10 streamers on (our) Twitch card have many familiar faces, their respective places on the list continue to shift," said StreamElements CEO Doron Nir. “Especially was popular Wow Asmongold player who drove the recent one World of Warcraft Classic wave all the way up. This talks about the value of grinding away with a game that may not be at the top of the charts, but tomorrow it will. "

Even Tyler "Ninja" Blevins is out of the Fortnite train, switched to WoW Classic on the Microsoft Mixer streaming service, much to the disappointment of his legion of young fans. Comrade Fortnite streamers such as Tim "timthetatman" Betar and Brett "Dakotaz" Hoffman and even popular first-person shooter players such as Michael "Shroud" Grzesiek have streamed WoW Classic from late.

Nir notes that it is a combination of both nostalgia – many of these streamers played online games with titles such as Wow – and also general exhaustion with the current state of popular games that drives the emergence of titles as well WoW Classic.

“There are several interesting things to note with regard to the August top ten. Based on the number of streamers that flowed to World of Warcraft Classic, nostalgia is a good place for the gaming community, "says Nir. “Another older game that went through a huge increase was Minecraft. Although no new content has been released, a number of popular streamers have increased the number of hours they played it. "

The latter is also remarkable. Minecraft, of which StreamElements says it grew by 73 percent in August, became a popular alternative to Fortnite at the height of the fight against the mech suit of a generous hit when dozens of streamers and e-sports players criticized developer Epic for refusing to scale back the destructive abilities of the mech. Epic eventually gave in, but the hostile attitude of the community is not reversed. Instead it seems to slip into outright apathy.


Ninja played earlier today Fortnite for the first time in what seemed to be many days just because WoW Classic encountered server problems. He eventually switched back to the MMO after he got frustrated (and presumably after being back online).

What is really going on here? It seems to be a combination of factors that have just as much to do with the wider Twitch community and the appeal of a classic game like Wow as it does with the popularity and lifespan of Fortnite.

It is understandable that even the most die-hard Fortnite players are looking for a change of pace. The game comes at the end of the two-year anniversary of the Battle Royale mode at the end of the month, and it makes sense that Twitch's top stars get tired of it. Fatigue is a serious problem in the creator space, especially on YouTube and Twitch, where the demands of the daily content platform can be a burden on people's mental health.

Doing something for 10 to 15 hours a day for most of two years would lead someone to look for a much needed change. For streamers, even a traditional one-week holiday before vacation can cost their subscribers and income, and that is precisely why someone as big and popular as Ninja, who once said he The E3 streaming interruption of 2018 cost him 100,000 subscribers, Twitch left for the greener pastures of a Microsoft Mixer deal.

Also, Fortnite no longer has the same magic as before. The game is still very popular and Epic continues to come up with creative and technically masterful ways to impress his fans. The recent World Cup Final tournament in New York was a stunning success, as was the robot-monster fight in the game that took place earlier this summer. But video game fans aren't as enthusiastic about the Battle Royale genre as they were last year. The world domination of the genre seems to be declining. And the constant pressure from Epic to add new elements to the game to shake up the competitive balance and have made the difficult effort and completing a seasonal combat pass Fortnite a demanding waste of time that is easier than ever to walk away from.


Why? Wow is the thing that steals FortniteIt's thunder now, probably because the game like Minecraft, has an almost universal appeal to gaming fans, albeit with a slightly different and older audience. Blizzard forever changed both the RPG genre and the entire online gaming market when it was launched Wow in 2004. It was a real modern MMORPG and created hundreds of millions of fans during his run.

Even today, the game is still supported with new extensions, and it still has a monthly number of subscribers in the millions. That gives WoW Classic, a nostalgia-filled return to the earliest days of the game, the kind of cache that some other games – even newer, more adrenaline-filled instantly Fortnite competitors want Apex Legends – can reach. Her Minecraft for Twitch streamers who don't feel like playing Minecraft. It is known to gaming fans in their 20s and 30s and at the same time it is brand new for whole generations of younger teen Twitch viewers who have never played it, even if it does not provide the most compelling streaming material.

So although it may seem logical Fortnite& # 39; s biggest competitor would be another battle royale game or a new, unforeseen trend in online multiplayer, the biggest threat to Fortnite good, Fortnite. And titles like WoW Classic are there to happily record the former fans who are desperately looking for something to shake up the daily grind.