Live streaming video games has become more and more popular over the recent years. Every day millions of people are tuning in to watch their favourite streamers play games or to watch them paint or show off other talents. These are done across multiple streaming platforms such as Twitch, Hitbox, Ustream and much more. However, after being a viewer of streams and an amateur streamer myself I have noticed that the people who stream games often only ever stream AAA games and not indie games. A known exception being RetroPrincess who streams for Orange Bison.
I think that this is because of indie games having a smaller audience than AAA games, so streamers will stream AAA games to get more views on the stream. Another reason is because the streamer might not be fully aware of the indie games available to them from services such as Steam and the PlayStation Store. So, I am not trying to blame streamers or the streaming service itself for there not being more indie games being streamed. However, maybe for indie games to be streamed we will need another service for them to be introduced on.
Why would we need another streaming service? Because currently, it is mainly AAA games that are being played on the popular streaming services. The solution to this is an indie streaming service for indie gamers! Rather than having indie gamers try and climb the ladder on services such as Twitch when it is hard enough when you are streaming popular games, we can give them a dedicated streaming service for indie games where people can browse through new indie games and it also helps promote a developer’s indie game to a bigger audience as well.
What features would be included in the service? I think the best way to have an indie stream service set up is to have the UI similar to Twitch. This is because the UI on Twitch is user-friendly and easy to learn. In an ideal world Twitch would make the indie streaming service, unfortunately we probably will never get that. However, sticking to the way Twitch works we could have ads before each stream when you enter, but the ads are new/upcoming indie games, therefore indie games are getting more promotion compared to what they might be getting now (depending on the indie developer). So, this indie service would provide help for everyone involved, it helps the streamer by them gaining more views and possibly partnerships and it helps the indie developers promote their game as well as get feedback on the game. As well as this a podcast section to help promote various podcasts indie developers would do for listeners would be great so that we could stay up-to-date on various news linked to our favourite indie devs.
Furthermore, the site should be run as if it was an indie site. By this, I mean that the site itself shouldn’t charge indie developers to promote their game (unless the indie developer has a publisher e.g. Hello Games had Sony). This would make it worthwhile for the indie developers because then they would have the promotion they need without paying a penny towards it. Also, the streamers/viewers shouldn’t have to pay any prices to upgrade their accounts to skip ads, if the viewer wishes to skip during the stream then they should be able to, rather than being forced to watch it. However, I think it is only fair if an indie company does have a publisher then they are able to pay for the advertisement on the site because they have more help than a standard indie developer.
Personally, I believe that this service would become popular amongst the indie community because there is a nearly endless supply of indie games for streamers to play so for viewers there would be entertainment on near enough all of the time on the service and it would come in many forms depending on the genre you wanted to watch. As well as this, as a contributor to Orange Bison and after speaking to many indie devs, I understand how hard it can be for some of them to get their game out in the market and noticed by the public due to the fact they are competing against AAA games and other indie games. So, this service will give them advertisement and any feedback from players that these hard working devs deserve.
Furthermore, it would be beneficial for the viewers because rather than there being these few big streaming services available, they get to watch new streamers and new games which may provide more entertainment than standard AAA games, especially when it comes to horror; the indie scene seems to perfect horror more than AAA games sometimes.
Maybe in the future, we will get an indie streaming service like this for everyone to enjoy. And maybe it will be affiliated with Orange Bison. Who knows, all I know is that if this idea was to become possible then it would be an amazing opportunity for everyone involved in the process and final outcome of the product. Also not forgetting it would be fantastic so see a streamer you watch helping out indie devs! Finally, I would like to say thank you to HarleyXngel, SystemMeltd0wn, RetroPrincess and WhyAmISuchABeautifulPanda for allowing me to use pictures from their streams as it was a great help for the article; please go and drop them a follow!