It’s almost impossible to disrupt the most popular games in the world of streaming, but despite the ongoing popularity of top-three titles GTA V, League of Legends, and Valorant, the rampant success of Elden Ring can not–and will not–be stopped.
According to new data released this week, some of the biggest titles in gaming are being pushed aside by FromSoftware’s smash hit–and had it not been for its late February release, the established champions of Twitch, YouTube Gaming, and Facebook Gaming could have been completely destroyed by the back-breaking GOTY shoo-in.
This week, Stream Hatchet’s Video Game Live Streaming Trends Q1 2022 Report revealed that Elden Ring is the sixth most-watched game on streaming services in the first three months of the year, charting above titans including Minecraft, Garena Free Fire, and CS:GO, amassing 226 million hours of viewed playthroughs.
While on the face of it, Elden Ring remains markedly behind first-placed Grand Theft Auto V with its 534 million hours watched, there’s every chance it could’ve–and perhaps should’ve–been number one in the chart, given its rampant popularity from day one.
If Elden Ring had been released on January 1 as opposed to February 25, and maintained its incredible pace across streaming platforms–even taking into account those early days when the hype suddenly gave way to the realization it was a 96-on-Metacritic kinda game–it would have been on for 592 million hours of hours watched, blowing long-time table-topper GTA V out of the water.
This projected difference of 58 million hours between GTA V and Elden Ring is such an outlandish figure that it's hard to comprehend, but let’s put the figure into perspective. During the same amount of time, 674,000 people could watch The Sopranos from start to finish, 26,000 people could master Japanese, and one person could fly to Mars and back 11,400 times, presuming they could hop in and out of readily awaiting spacecraft at either end.
All the more impressively, the punishing action RPG isn’t alone in its debut dominance. Since Lost Ark arrived in North America and Europe on February 11, it’s clocked 205 million streaming hours, putting it in seventh.
Fortunes couldn’t be any more different for Pokémon Legends: Arceus. Despite also being an action RPG in its own right, Game Freak’s celebrated 2022 return to form averaged fewer than four hours of stream viewing per person among Pokémon fans after one month of its release.
Meanwhile, it appears mobile game streaming has taken a beating during Q1 2022–only Garena Free Fire made the top ten, despite bold predictions for the future of the platform over the coming years. However, this could be due to the recent high-profile news that PUBG Mobile was banned in India–a massive player base, whose overnight loss may have contributed to a 48% drop in hours of gaming watched during the first quarter of the year.