Twitch saw a new viewership record set when pop star Drake joined professional gamer Tyler Ninja Blevins and others to play Fortnite: Battle Royale. The video live streaming platform confirmed that as many as 628 000 users watched the stream on 14 March, which also became a trending topic on Twitter.
The record for single-player stream viewers sat at 388 000 previously. Joining Drake and Ninja for the event in which the platform was the winner, were Travis Scott, better known for his career as a rapper, and gamer Juju Smith-Schuster, the former NFL player.
How the Meet-Up Unfolded
The action began with Drake and Ninja playing several matches. Thereafter, Scott and Smith-Schuster joined the Fortnite fray, which to Twitch owners Amazon must have been like hitting a slot machine jackpot. The viewership figures climbed higher and higher with every minute.
During the stream, Drake not only dropped a surplus of weapons for Ninja; he also revived Scott’s character – and said God’s plan, a reference to his hit single of the same name. The pop star confirmed he prefers to play on a PS4 and uses a Scuf controller and the John Wick-themed skin. Ninja, on the other hand, prefers to play on his computer.
The discussion between the players naturally turned to the game being played. When chatting about Fortnite’s future, Drake said the thought attention should be paid to enhancing the game’s current map, instead of creating something altogether new.
The Canadian-born singer also offered a few glimpses into his own life during the discussion. However, rather than baring heart and soul, he said that he knows about iconic game League of Legends, that he is vegetarian, was snacking on pizza while playing, and he thinks there is a place for pineapple on pizza. The action only came to an end when Drake had to leave to pack for a flight the following day.
Ninja, who stands to earn US$250 000 per month now that his subscribers number grew by more than 90 000 following the Fortnite stream, said the online encounter was as exciting as it could get. The professional gamer, whose previous streams attracted an average of 70 000 viewers, added that the team had made history that night.
Twitch executives were delighted by the stream’s success. Marketing senior vice-president Kate Jhaveri said the event laid a new milestone. She also said the event was of cultural importance.
According to Jhaveri, the connection between a pop star and a professional gamer brought together two different communities that are both as large as they are passionate, helped highlight the massive appeal of social video.
Highlighting Social Gaming
The Drake-Ninja Fortnite Twitch stream also underscores the importance of social gaming. Millions of players are no longer playing a video game or online slot machine as a solitary experience.
This had led to more and more developers of video and other popular types of games finding ways to incorporate elements of social media. It has also led to an increase in the popularity of online live casino games, augmented reality games, and others. It is this increasingly prominent aspect of gaming that is driving the direction in which the wider gaming industry is moving, and a whole new set of records may soon be broken.