If you’re following Neverwinter on Youtube and or Twitch, you probably know Kali Gold as the premier PC streamer of the game. About six months ago he started the ambitious journey to make Neverwinter great again, to bring more viewers to a game that was hovering around a measly 100. Yesterday this journey ended with a video announcement in which Kali basically stated that the effort was no longer worth it. We’d like to thank him for the content he has provided over the last months and wish him all the best on and off the screen going forward.
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What’s the issue with streaming NW?
A streamer quitting is in itself not an overly interesting fact. They come and go, just like the regular gamers that play Neverwinter. But it illustrates the trouble you can run into if you’re putting your effort into streaming on Twitch. Especially an MMO, especially a considerably small one like Neverwinter. Kali Gold did probably receive as much support as you can get. Be it from other streamers, a spotlight on Arcgames or through frequent mentions and features on our site. Yet he never surpassed 150 average viewers on the channel, a far cry from his own expectations. In the end he realized that Neverwinter cannot deliver what he thinks the channel deserves.
MMOs are a complicated genre on Twitch. Those games tend to draw much less viewers than your typical PVP MOBA or First Person Shooter. The reason is quite simple, because MMOs tend to be repetitive by design. And people won’t come back to watch the same quest or dungeon every day. It’s not that interesting or entertaining. Yes there’s World of Warcraft with its big streamers, but then what? Relative to its size I don’t think Neverwinter is doing particularly bad. WoW has 15,000 average viewers at 10,000,000 population. Applying the same percentage (0,15%) to Neverwinter’s 200 viewers would lead to 133,333 players. You might challenge the math or numbers, but as Kali pointed out in his statement, that might be what the game can deliver on Twitch. In any case I think we can agree that official streams probably present a peak. And those have 600 viewers.
While you could say that Kali Gold went into the project with unreasonable expectations, part of the truth is that a game like Neverwinter cannot make anybody on Twitch. It’s no coincidence that all three recent “Streamer Spotlights” on the Arcgames website are already more or less gone. Elementalstorm quit soon after the feature, Kali Gold yesterday and ALSRandomKill only plays Neverwinter sporadically between a large number of titles. Neverwinter never really had a stable roster of streamers, and probably never will have. The game is not set up to perform well on Twitch, no MMO is. At least six months even of daily streaming is not enough to establish something. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. Look at LightItUpDan, who used to stream Neverwinter regularly, got partnered and is still fighting for triple digit average viewers over a year later. Twitch and streaming can be a cruel business.
… can lead to frustration
Bottom line: If you stream Neverwinter you probably have to live with 100-150 viewers even long-term. Actually that’s a very respectable number that says you’ve indeed been successful. But at the end of the day you still might put in a lot of effort for marginal gain. And if you’re aiming higher and try to accomplish it within this game, you might get frustrated like Kali Gold did in recent days.
It all boiled over when Sharpedge, a major theorycrafter of the game, appeared on stream. They got into a hefty argument about the DC class and its recent changes. According to those present that day it was an ugly mess and not really the kind of publicity you want. Kali probably took down the VOD for a reason, even before he deleted his entire channel due to the shutdown announcement. He also admitted in the video that the quality of his streams had suffered. The disagreement was the final nail in the coffin for a streamer that already had enough.
It’s a bit of an inglorious end of Kali’s Neverwinter streaming days, but I think we can agree that what happend can mostly be credited to the situation of the stream and the game. I won’t say the devs couldn’t do a better job of making NW more attractive for the Twitch consumer. The potential in such a small market however is naturally capped.
What’s your take on Kali Gold’s exit and the game’s potential on Twitch? Share it in the comments below or visit the corresponding thread on our message board!
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