We were recently reminded – via this Tweet from streamer Northernlion showing his complete game schedule during March 2021 – just how many games there are out there, and how tricky it can be to get featured by notable streamers.
So we thought it might be helpful to highlight some of our top ‘variety’ streamers. That’s those YouTubers and Twitch streamers who don’t simply concentrate on playing one or two games, all of the time. These are the folks who might actually feature your game on launch if it’s an intriguing new Steam release:
- Northernlion has been at this a long time – I actually asked him to give a GDC 2014 talk on using streamers to market your indie game. With 860k YouTuber subscribers, a manic schedule (see above!), and a loyal Twitch following, he’s one of the most intellectually curious streamers for new titles. If he tries your game once, it’s useful, but a series (generally if you’re a randomized roguelite – Binding Of Isaac is his signature title) is *eyes bulge out* good.
- SplatterCatGaming is an interesting one. Not only does he have 607k YouTube subscribers, he ONLY tries unique titles on his YouTube channel, so is a true 100% variety YouTuber – very rare. We previously referenced SplatterCat in our article on Nova Drift ‘taking off’. We’ve also seen multiple other wishlist graphs where he gave a good bump to games, even playing pre-release versions.
- Wanderbots is another ‘frighteningly large amount of content’ streamer. He has 369,000 subscribers on YouTube, and enough interest in the space to do multiple Let’s Play series at once. Right now he’s doing multi-videos on Dandy Ace, Monster Train: The Last Divinity, It Takes Two and Monster Hunter Rise all at the same time. Wow. He’s definitely a streamer I see mentioned as a discovery driver.
- Look, there’s a lot of other ones (too many to count!), and some of these folks concentrate on roguelikes that can garner repeat plays. But I’d also point you to Retromation, Rhapsody, and BaerTaffy on YouTube as streamers I’ve seen pick up a game and make a concrete difference to its popularity. (Do you have other streamers you think should be mentioned alongside them? Ping us and we’ll round them up in an upcoming newsletter.)
It’s worth noting – as documented in this Reddit post from 2018 – that ‘variety’ streamers are battling against one notable fact. Most players want to watch games that are… already popular: “All variety streamers… also know the woes of fluctuating viewership based on the game you play. People will wanna watch games they wanna watch, unless they truly stay for the person.”
So thanks to the above streamers for making the effort to play new/different games! And honestly, this is a tiny subset of the total streamer universe. SplatterCat’s video on Narita Boy (see below) isn’t even the most viewed of streamers if you look across all of YouTube – several non-English language streamers are doing even better.
To conclude: we highly recommend you search for streamers who have been playing certain games similar to yours. (Sullygnome has an easy way to search for this for Twitch, and you can search game names on YouTube.)
Then you can ping them about trying your title, with a personal pitch and Steam key already included in the email. This kind of targeted pitch may be manual and low-reward, but it’s absolutely worth attempting – who knows what might happen?
[Simon is founder at GameDiscoverCo, a new agency based around one simple issue: how do players find, buy and enjoy your premium PC or console game? You can subscribe to GameDiscoverCo Plus to get access to exclusive newsletters, interactive daily rankings of every unreleased Steam game, and lots more besides.]