We’ve all heard the stories about streamed games on Twitch. How the League of Legends finals got more views than the Rugby World Cup Finals, and how this social network gains more and more viewers every month. When we started building the social ecosystem for Might & Magic Duel of Champions, we obviously wanted to go where our players are and build on platforms they’re already using. For a free-to-play game like Duel of Champions, word of mouth is very important. And with our clear ambition to create an amazingly fun competitive platform with our game, and we needed to put the right things in the right place to achieve our goals, one step at a time.
Our story with Twitch and streamed games began at the 2012 Paris Games Week, where our French players asked for a spectator mode. We were still in Beta at that time. We knew we had a fun game, but we couldn’t help wondering, Is it fun to watch? Will people really want to comment on and analyze Duel of Champions? Even though we weren’t yet sure of the answers to our questions, we started thinking about that feature, knowing that it takes a long time to develop. Meanwhile, though, our players didn’t bother waiting for us and started streaming on Twitch using third-party software, webcams and microphones! A few weeks later we noticed that thousands of Polish players joined the game over a weekend. We knew we were very popular in Poland, but this amount of newcomers was surprising. Looking deeper, we discovered that a popular Polish streamer called RockAlone did a commented session of Duel of Champions on his channel, and more than 30,000 people watched it! It was then clear for us: Players like our game so much they even enjoy watching other people play during the weekend, even without a proper spectator mode.
After that, more and more top players started streaming their duels online, with hundreds or even thousands of players watching every day, downloading the game and asking for strategies, hints and tips on how to create some competitive decks and more. Twitch was a place where players gathered to discuss strategy and learn best practices. We wanted to build on this momentum and we said, Let’s do it! We worked closely with the teams at Twitch and decided to implement their software tools, so every player new to the network would be able to go live without having to spend a dime on third-party software. We wanted to make it as easy as possible to help this growing audience flourish.
The feature was released in July, and we have noticed that our number of streamed videos on Twitch tripled since then. More players from all around the world were going live, establishing their “public personalities” and building their audience based on what they like to show, starting tournaments, and more. Our Community Managers applauded those initiatives, promoted their channels and handed out rewards to those hosting tournaments. We had new public ambassadors for the game coming from every corner of the globe. On the developer side it was also an important milestone. We started to answer questions on the livestream, presenting the team and broadcasting bigger programs just like we did at Gen Con.
So what was at first a funny way to watch games online became a major platform of interaction for our players, and perhaps one of our most important social channels. A big part of our Road to Paris World Championship will be streamed on Twitch, so all players will be able to follow the qualifiers and finals, even if they cannot attend the live events. We also started weekly “Stream with the Team” events that are attracting a growing number of viewers. Our next steps on the development side are to release a spectator mode available for all players, add some features to the Twitch tools (webcams, etc.), improve our broadcast programs and move forward with the competition. Let us know what your favorite streams are in the comments below, and see you on Twitch!