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Q1 2024 Live Streaming Report, Women's underestimated presence in gaming, Netflix partners with Roblox, and Supercell brings UGC Gaming to Mobile.

Grab your coffee, ready up, and let’s drop in 🪂
Here’s what we have for you today:

  • Live Streaming By The Numbers: Stream Hatchet Q1 2024 Report 📊

  • Women's underestimated presence in gaming: Newzoo Report 🎮

  • Netflix — now on Roblox: launch digital in-game theme park 🎡

  • Chess not checkers: Supercell brings UGC Gaming to Mobile ♟️

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This is the 25th issue of Private Lobby! 🎉

When Justin Palacios and I (Zach Eller) launched the newsletter back in January, we only hoped to provide some value to the community while creating an outlet for our passions and curiosities.

Since then, we have added 3 members to the team (Brandon Painter, Trinity Nguyen, and Brendan Valentine) and received tons of messages of support from you all. We are incredibly thankful for everyone that reads the newsletter and shares it with friends & colleagues. It is only with your support that we can continue to grow and bring value to the community that we love.

From all of us here at Private Lobby — THANK YOU!

📊 Live Streaming By The Numbers

source: Stream Hatchet

Stream Hatchet, the data analytics company, releases quarterly reports that highlight the state of live-streaming across all platforms.

Stream Hatchet recently released their Q1 2024 streaming report, shining a spotlight on some of the most recent trends across the globe.

The Highlights:

  • After a two year decline, hours watched is up +10% across all platforms compared to Q1 2023, totaling 8.2 billion hours

  • Q1 2024's viewership is 128% and 61% greater than Q1 2019 and Q1 2020's viewership, respectively

  • Twitch had a slight decrease in market share, going from 74% of hours watched to 69%

  • CHZZK takes over the South Korean market as Twitch exits the country

  • The top 3 games across all platforms were GTA V, League Of Legends, and Counter-Strike

  • FPS Games were the most-watched genre, with Non-Gaming/Just Chatting, and Action-Adventure games following closely in 2nd & 3rd

  • Brazilian streamer, Gaules, was the most popular streamer across the globe by hours watched, with Jynxzi & xQc following

  • Amouranth was the most popular female streamer, with Kyedae & mira following behind her

source: Stream Hatchet

⬇️ Download the full report and dig into the data yourself through the Stream Hatchet website!

👀 Our POV 

It’s good to see hours watched back up on the rise! I think it was expected to see a slight decrease following the end of the pandemic, so to finally see some green is always good! I’m really interested to see if the trend in hours watched can continue through the end of the year.

What surprised me the most out of the report were the top games & genres. All 3 of the top games have been out for 10+ years, with GTA V being heavily supported by third-party mods whereas League of Legends & Counter-Strike are still being strongly supported by their dev team. It just goes to show that even with all of the big new flashy games that are coming out, people will want to watch what they’re comfortable with which is these games they’ve been watching & playing for the past 10 years.

source: Stream Hatchet

“Non-gaming” being the 2nd most popular genre also jumped out at me when going through the report. I think this shows just how big live-streaming has gotten. It’s way bigger than the dated criticism of “just watching someone play a video game”. Streamers are starting to become the celebrities & influencers of our era. They could be just sitting & talking with chat and their viewers will still be there watching. They are entertainers — full stop.

If you scroll through Just Chatting on Twitch you can find anything from people IRL streaming their adventures while traveling, to Kitboga pranking scammers, people talking about stocks & finance, live -stream POVs of farm animals in the wild, or construction workers streaming their POV from the worksite (I just checked and was very surprised at that one 😭).

- Justin Palacios (Private Lobby)

🎮 Women's Underestimated Presence in Gaming

Newzoo recently released a report covering how women play video games and their spending habits related to gaming.

While women have always played video games, they haven’t always felt safe being a part of the broader community. They often face sexism, gatekeeping, and generally problematic behavior from men online. The conversation around inclusive and accessible spaces has continued to rise and shed light on the issue at hand. Marketers are getting wise to the fact that women make up a significant part of the gaming community but aren’t being properly considered or catered to.

“Understanding the experiences and preferences of women who play, develop, and lead games can enhance storytelling and design in games. It can also mitigate and reduce the sexualization of female protagonists and NPCs while accentuating the importance of creating more diversely resonant gaming experiences.” - Newzoo

source: Newzoo

Key Insights From The Report:

  • Of the surveyed population, 72% of women play video games (compared to 81% of men)

  • Of the total cohort that says they play video games, 55% are men and 45% are women

  • Half of women players are also payers

  • Within those who are players, 36% of women consider themselves a gamer, yet only 31% of women say that other people call themselves a gamer

  • Both men and women who play games consider diversity to be an important part of gaming, 62% of women and 65% of men affirmed this sentiment

  • Around half (44%) of female players only play on mobile platforms.

source: Newzoo

👀 Our POV

I’m glad to see more research being highlighted that shows how prevalent women are in gaming. They aren’t a niche sub-group. They are a significant part of the overall gaming population that’s been criminally underserved for too long. Even in single-player games, 66% of lead characters were male, with only 28% being female! That said, I wouldn’t recommend people haphazardly spin up initiatives themed around “women” for the sake of it. I encourage leaders in our space to be mindful of this data and use it to create more inclusive spaces, use it to inform game design decisions, and consider ways to authentically cater marketing to an audience beyond primarily men. 

Progress is being made, but it doesn’t change the fact that many women still feel underrepresented or unsafe using their mic in certain games. I’m glad that titles like NBA 2K, NHL, and EA Sports FC are introducing female leagues and clubs! Representation is a good first step, but now it’s on the industry to begin crafting games and spaces with women and underrepresented groups in mind from the start. Marketers should be intentional as they put campaigns together not to tokenize but to truly elevate and spotlight diverse voices. Gaming is moving in the right direction (albeit slowly), and it will only continue to do so if we put the work together.

- Brendan Valentine (Private Lobby)

Netflix 🤝 Roblox: A 10-Second Teaser and a World of Possibilities

source: Netflix

Two weeks ago, Netflix’s Geeked account surprised us with a short clip promising something coming to Roblox supporting two of their blockbuster Originals: Stranger Things and live-action anime adaptation One Piece.

This past Wednesday, they dropped the “Nextworld” universe featuring characters, content and games from Stranger Things, One Piece, Cobra Kai, Rebel Moon, and Is It Cake? The “digital theme park” includes all new interactive experiences that add depth to these universes, custom NPCs that currently serve as “guardians” of their respective worlds, venues for online events like premieres and viewing parties — players will be able to watch the Jurassic World: Chaos Theory overview on May 17 — as well as daily “content bites” in the Tudum Theater, and lastly Fan Pods. You can find Nextworld on Roblox now!

source: Netflix

These unique personal areas within Nextworld allow players to show off objects and wearables collected by engaging with these various aspects of the Roblox world in a space that you can keep to yourself or open up to friends (ex. A Demogorgon Plushie or One Piece Flag).

source: Droid Gamers / Netflix on Roblox

👀 Our POV

With all of the uproar around Disney’s Epic Games investment, it’s particularly interesting that Netflix has gone with Fortnite’s frenemy. For the last few years, Netflix has shown their intent to continue investing in gaming whether that be their games catalog or adapting IP like the long-awaited Bioshock movie, so leaning harder into endemic spaces like Roblox where currently over 75 million players actively engage makes a ton of sense. 

While this isn’t as substantial of a move as the Disney/Epic deal, it still hints at a rabbit hole of IP being adapted (officially) for the Roblox player base. Think of the potential! UGC gaming as a function of reengaging fanbases before new seasons or movies has been toyed with, but with Stranger Things appearing in this context as hype builds for the final season… It's pretty easy to imagine a Squid Games activation to support the launch of their second season or similar tentpoles. (Anyone remember the Crab Game craze?)

- Brandon Painter (Private Lobby)

♟️ Chess Not Checkers: Supercell Brings UGC Gaming to Mobile Devices

source: Supercell

Supercell, the game development company behind Clash of Clans and Brawl Stars, is backing a new platform called HypeHype, which is described as a blend of Roblox and TikTok. This platform aims to empower users to create and share their own games and interactive experiences, further diversifying Supercell's portfolio and tapping into the growing user-generated content market.

These developments underscore Supercell's strategic efforts to innovate and expand its offerings in the competitive mobile gaming industry, leveraging its established franchises and exploring new interactive platforms.

Supercell’s Newest Game is Coming

Supercell, who recently made a splash partnering with famous soccer player Erling Haaland to feature in Clash of Clans, is set to launch its first new game in over five years, "Squad Busters."

This marks a significant milestone for the company, which has a reputation for its rigorous quality standards, often canceling more games than it releases to ensure only the best reach the market. "Squad Busters" is a player-versus-player multiplayer mobile game that brings together characters from Supercell's popular titles, including Clash of Clans, Brawl Stars, Hay Day, Clash Royale, and Boom Beach. The game will feature 10-person multiplayer matches and is expected to follow in the footsteps of its predecessors in generating substantial revenue, potentially becoming another billion-dollar hit for the company.

The overwhelmingly positive reception influenced the decision to fast-track "Squad Busters" to a global launch during its soft launch period. Supercell's CEO, Ilkka Paananen, expressed confidence in the game's potential, highlighting the company's goal to create memorable games that players have enjoyed for years.

Interesting Insights:

  • Supercell’s current games are said to average from 50-200 Million monthly users these days.

  • Squad Busters features an innovative "merge gacha" mechanic. Players can fuse and evolve characters from baby to classic to super forms, unlocking new abilities as they progress. This merging system is likely inspired by Supercell's previous success with similar mechanics in Clash Royale. 

  • While Squad Busters is designed to be accessible for casual players, it offers depth and competitive gameplay for more hardcore audiences through its 4-minute intense multiplayer battles and strategic use of abilities and spells. 

  • HypeHype is specifically aimed at capturing the mobile UGC market that desktop-first platforms like Roblox have neglected. They’re even reaching out to game developers and inviting them to contribute as pros.

  • HypeHype is currently only live in Finland, Philippines, and Canada, though creators anywhere can request access through the game’s site. And after over two years in soft launch, HypeHype is “definitely getting closer to going global,” adds Mäki-Patola.

  • HypeHype aims to empower users to create and share their own games and interactive experiences. This move diversifies Supercell's portfolio into the user-generated content space, which has seen significant growth in recent years.

👀 Our POV

Supercell has shown no signs of slowing down and the recent news around Squad Busters and HypeHype shows us that they’ve only gotten started. Firstly, they’ve pulled a clever move inspired by Ubisoft, bringing their various game characters together under one title with Squad Busters. It’s a new 10v10 PvP experience that leverages IP and mechanics their players are already familiar with. This is a much-needed Supercell refresh after 5 years and will likely be another successful title in their portfolio. Its bite-sized matches are packed with action and unique mechanics not often seen in other team battle games. I sincerely applaud Supercell for their impeccably high bar of quality that’s continued to define the mobile gaming space. I’m curious to see if an esports scene sprouts out of Squad Busters as it has for Clash and Brawl Stars. 

In regards to Hype Hype, holy crap! I feel foolish for not considering mobile as a platform for UGC content. We all know you can play Fortnite and Roblox experiences on mobile, but their creator tools aren’t supported on there. Supercell is taking a gigantic swing at Roblox and Fortnite’s user-generated space, and it will only work if they do one thing. Supercell must maintain a relatively high standard of quality Hype Hype to succeed. This platform will be held to a similar standard as the all-star developer, and if you’re endlessly scrolling through half-assed games that aren’t fun, it may flop. Fortnite has TONS of user-created games or maps but I’d guess most users are concentrated on the top 20. I’m curious how Hype Hype will maintain a certain level of polish on their platform while enabling creators to do their thing and recreate a “For You Page” type of experience. If I were a betting man, I’d say Supercell’s involved for a reason, and this is one to watch. Hype Hype will likely be massive.

- Brendan Valentine (Private Lobby)

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