Is Twitch Worth It For Mobile Developers? (Hint: We Say Yes.)

The world’s longest turn in Hearthstone. The largest space battle in history. A Guiness Record breaking game of Pokémon.

These all took place on Twitch – which claims to “broadcasts ALL the games!” and boasts 65 million monthly active users that share and watch live streams of gameplay. Twitch is a digital trophy case of gaming talent, incredible feats. and international live events. This year, they’re even planning a convention. Put it simply: It’s a huge way gamers share experiences today.

But, up until recently, these experiences have leaned heavily toward online games – with League of Legends and DOTA 2 boasting enormous communities. That’s changing. Last year, Twitch launched the Mobile Software Development Kit, allowing developers to live broadcast, capture and archive gameplay. Now, communities are beginning to form around mobile games.

Bottom line, mobile developers should be aware of how to share their games on Twitch. To kick-start your thinking, we spoke with Matt Diener, a Game Analyst with EEDAR, a game research and consulting company that recently investigated the growth and diversity of Twitch.

Live Video: What’s the right fit?

On Twitch, developers can create channels for their mobile games. Having a channel allows you to accumulate followers, live stream gameplay, and share highlight videos and links to social channels, app store and forums.

Vungle - Should mobile developers use Twitch?

Clash of Clans live streams group battles to thousands of viewers.


But, says Diener, a live-stream strategy will likely be most effective for mid-core titles.

“Mid-core games are a strong fit for Twitch,” says Diener. “These are games that players have measurable progress in, they have reason to check in. It can become part of their daily routine really quickly. Those players are the ones who’ll try to figure out best strategies and what other skilled players are doing.”

Channels aren’t the only way developers can use Twitch. The best approach, says Diener, is to find something unique that makes the game stand out and focus on that.

“You see developers do tutorials or trainings, like ‘How do you build a first player shooter?’ That’s a great way to build a profile and reach out to other devs, to show the face behind the game.”

Some developers have started live streaming the development of their games – building users’ investment in the process from the beginning. The President of Sony Games was recently interviewed saying, “We’re able to stream our developers working on a level, and we’ll get 5,000 people watching and interacting with us in real-time. We’ve never been able to get that type of immediate feedback throughout the development process.”

Going Beyond Channels: Player-generated content

Though mid-core games may be a better fit for live streams, developers can also tap into the Twitch community through player-generated content.

Star Admiral, an iOS title, integrated Twitch, allowing users to broadcast their tactical missions. In one instance, they rewarded users who broadcast on a certain day with a free ship to use in game.
Vungle Blog - Twitch for Mobile Development
Twitch is a great way for content creators and streamers to interact with viewers, but also for developers to interact with content creators,” says Diener.

While developers can activate average fans to become content creators, they may also want to reach out to some of the big Twitch influencers to raise awareness through their network.

If you take this approach, says Diener, make sure you’ve watched their stream and have a good idea of the types of content they post and how often.

“Content creators will stick to regularly streaming content at certain times so people know to check in at same time. Be aware of this, and then it’s not a bad idea to reach out to influencer and say ‘hey we have a content update’ and see if you can get it into their schedule.”

And, he adds, be honest and genuine. “Don’t be pitchy but convince them there’s something worth playing.”

Good Content Wins Every Time

If you want users to follow your channel or stream content from your game, you’ve got to make a good game with great production values.

“Focusing on production values is a great way to maximize their reach on Twitch,” says Diener. Hearthstone has a huge presence on Twitch. It’s an immensely deep and enjoyable game and it has incredible production value.”

Overall, Diener says, it’s about standing out in the space.

“If you have a combat game or a city builder, you might have trouble attracting an audience. But if you deliver something that doesn’t have a clear analog out of the mobile space, these are games that people would be interested in seeing. If you deliver a unique experience, you have a better chance of attracting eyes to it.”

For some awesome tips on using Twitch for awareness and community-building, check out this post from Making Games. And, as always, subscribe to the Vungle blog for articles like this sent straight to your email.