Well E3 is over, and we’ve spent the time since trying to take stock of what the hell just happened. It was games galore this year, albeit with no new hardware. Microsoft announced a staggering 50 new Xbox titles, with 15 of them being world exclusives. Let’s just say that this showcase brought in quite the crowd.
Turns out, Microsoft just raked in the highest amount of concurrent viewers on Twitch ever recorded, with a whopping 1.7 million viewers (take that, Fortnite.) This is a dramatic change from the previous year, when Microsoft were viewed by 1.1 million people. Further back in 2016 Microsoft had 818k viewers which means that in just 2 years, almost an extra 1 million people are watching.
With all this being said, viewership increased across the board and developers drew in bigger audiences than ever. Ubisoft and Sony were not far behind with 1.6 and 1.5 million viewers respectively (an increase of 700k for Ubisoft and 600k for Sony from 2017). Bethesda enjoyed a marked increase from 233k in 2017 to 964k this year, most likely due to the Fallout 76 effect, and Nintendo also gained almost 400k viewers. The PC Gaming Show also increased its viewership by over 300k. The only decline in viewers came from EA, who lost 100k on Twitch.
To be honest, these increases should be expected. Twitch is currently at the height of it’s popularity so it’s only natural that more people are going to tune in to E3 via that platform, although I’m not taking anything away from Microsoft. They had an impressive show. Halo Infinite and Crackdown 3 looked impressive in the flagship slots but I personally have a soft spot for Ori and the Will of the Wisps.
There is a certain hilarious irony in Microsoft bringing in the largest audience on Twitch, given the fact that they were promoting their own streaming site, Mixer, quite heavily. Time will tell if it will be able compete with the goliath that is now Twitch, or if it will head in the same direction as the Zune, but if this year’s numbers are anything to go by, it would take something special for Mixer to be able to get anywhere near. This E3 showing has likely given Xbox boss Phil Spencer some rejuvenation, but with gap in sales for the current generation so wide, this is much more likely a statement of intent that Microsoft are heading into the next console war all guns blazing.