World of Warcraft

Record Twitch views for WoW Classic signal successful franchise revival

by Alan Bernal

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World of Warcraft Classic has taken Twitch by storm and is topping out modern titles on the platform, signaling a bright future for Azeroth.

Let’s be clear, before WoW Classic’s August 26 launch, the franchise and its mainline MMO was healthy and still had its millions upon millions of subscribed players logging in to grind, quest and level up their many characters.

But that doesn’t mean the franchise has been immune to dips in its user base due to player fatigue, emerging competition, or the like. In fact, Activision Blizzard’s Fourth Quarter 2018 results for World of Warcraft “saw expected declines post the (Battle For Azeroth) expansion release” in monthly active users.

Blizzard
Blizzard
New players to the franchise could start their WoW Classic adventures.

This makes World of Warcraft’s staggering control of Twitch viewers all the more impressive, especially when comparing the audiences for the franchise’s own expansion releases and major events for competing titles.

By looking at data collected by Thinknum, it’s evident that WoW Classic could signal a unique opportunity for the MMO to get back to the level of mass interest it famously garnered in its first years after launch.

Just how WoW got spikes in their player base for new expansions, the MMO naturally gets more Twitch audiences as people tune in to watch what the fuss is all about.

But what’s happened since WoW Classic’s launch blows every viewership number for the franchise completely out of the water.

Since WoW Classic released, it’s been “averaging in the millions” for Twitch audiences, which show that nostalgia and streamer hype is opening the game to a new generation of players.

While some of these numbers can be attributed to the relative audience size of Twitch as a whole during those expansions eras, another impressive trend emerges when looking at a modern hit like Fortnite.

“For comparison, Fortnite had high peaks during special events and tournaments,” the Thinknum report said. “But then went back down to maintaining regular numbers. WoW Classic on its first few days of release are averaging in the millions.”

WoW players have been having a blast in Classic so far, and with future phases of content releases set to come out, Blizzard could capitalize on the renewed hype for the legendary franchise.