StreamElements has released their final State of the Stream for 2022. Using Rainmaker.gg’s data, the report shows that streaming hours watched have seen healthy growth compared to 2019, but it failed to reach the heights of 2021. This adds to the general consensus that 2022 was a corrective year for the gaming industry at large.
Twitch is still the top platform for gaming live streams and its not even close. In 2022, more than 21.5 billion hours were watched on the platform. In 2021, Twitch set a new annual record, pulling in about 24 billion hours watched. While this is about 10% fewer hours watched than last year, this is still more than double 2019’s 10.2 billion. Twitch clearly retained many of these new pandemic-era viewers through this corrective year.
While many of the top categories remained the same on Twitch, there were a few surprises. Escape from Tarkov exploded in viewership — up 455% — compared to November. Roughly every six months, developer Battlestate Games wipes resets all progress and inventories, allowing new players to jump into the title on even footing. Other big winners were World of Warcraft and Fortnite. World of Warcraft was up 76% month-on-month due to the Race for World First where top guilds competed to complete the first raid of the Dragonflight expansion. Meanwhile Fortnite was also up 75% month-on-month due to the Winterfest 2022 event.
Notably, League of Legends fell 24%. The title’s esports leagues are off season until late January. However, Valorant did not see as significant of a drop off by comparison. Likely, this is due to the third-party events that are running through during its competitive offseason.
Facebook Gaming fared similarly to Twitch — not quite meeting 2021’s highs but still growing compared to 2019. In 2022, viewers watched 4.9 billion hours of gaming livestreams, down about 11% from 2021’s 5.5 billion hours watched. Meanwhile, the annual total for 2019, was 1.4 billion hours watched. Despite this contraction year-over-year, the platform has grown hours watched by 3.5-times when compared to the last pre-pandemic year.
The full State of the Stream report includes additional data on YouTube Gaming and the most watched creators.