2021 saw a few improvements after the dumpster fire that was 2020, but people still largely spent their free time inside their homes. With the pandemic ongoing indefinitely, the masses are incredibly thankful to have so many streaming options to keep them entertained as more events see cancellations and more mandates are announced. Twitch, in particular, continues to grow year after year, with 2021 seeing a 45 percent increase from 2020, amounting to over 24 billion hours of content being streamed to stir-crazy viewers. These new statistics were tallied by Rainmaker.gg, the analytics partner of SteamElements.
Three games managed to accumulate over a billion hours of viewership: Grand Theft Auto 5, League of Legends, and Fortnite. GTA 5 was the most-watched game of the year, seeing a 175 percent boost from 2020 to over 2.1 billion hours. League saw 1.8 billion hours of viewership, while Fortnite fell to the third position with around 1 billion hours streamed. As many know, Twitch isn’t only for streaming games–the 24 billion hour figure includes Just Chatting, presentations, tournament streams, and award shows. The Game Awards 2021 saw 3.35 million viewers on the platform earlier this month.
While this is all very impressive, don’t forget about Facebook Gaming. The service saw 5.3 billion hours of content watched, a growth of 47 percent from 2020.
Twitch is clearly doing well, but that doesn’t mean that the company is free from drama. The service has seen heavy scrutiny over the past year for its failure in protecting smaller streamers from “hate raids,” planned and targeted attacks by both bots and viewers alike. Those familiar with the platform are likely aware of Twitch’s reputation for handing out undeserved bans, with a number of high-profile streamers being kicked from the platform for indecipherable reasons. In November, Twitch rolled out a new ban feature but quickly rolled it back, stating that it was released early.
We’re not sure what 2022 has in store, but there’s no doubt that Twitch will continue to boom.