Video games find their audiences in different ways. Famous and big-name developers have built-in grassroots involvement thanks to their reputations and sometimes due to their inclusion in orders for new consoles. Indie developers often have a harder time getting their names out there, as they lack a pre-built fan base.
Instead, indie games find access to viral success in the sphere of online video game content. If a game becomes popular with YouTube game creators or Twitch streamers, it’s much more likely that your audience members will buy and play the game as well.
10 Between us was given a second chance
Although the independent success Among us released in the summer of 2018, it reached incredible heights of popularity in early 2020. Many attribute its sudden rise to Twitch user Sodapoppin, whose highly-viewed streams of the game directly preceded its surge in player base.
Streams and gameplay videos from other Twitch streamers and gaming YouTubers kept their following throughout the year. This sustained growth fueled Among us long enough to inspire the developer to provide massive updates and expansions on the content.
9 Five Nights At Freddy’s started a new cycle of viral games
Given the explosion of content that is the five nights in Freddy‘s franchise, there were far fewer video games going viral online. Some games were more popular than others among Let’s Play-style YouTubers and streamers, but their preferences rarely extended to the rest of the gaming industry.
Predominantly due to the influence of popular YouTube creators like Markiplier, the first Five nights at Freddy’s The game burst onto the scene in 2014, and the indie horror genre would never be the same again. Soon, the series became a multimedia sensation and merchandising titan.
8 Hello Neighbor was a hit even before it was finished
Surprisingly, some games have gained massive popularity after content creators played the game and were still in the early stages of development. Through programs like Steam Early Access, the general public could access, download, and play games in their alpha and beta stages.
Thanks to the influence of content creators like The Game Theorists, hello neighbor it achieved viral popularity while it was still in its alpha releases. Each new update to the game fanned the flames of its renown through cryptic details of lore and hints at a larger, overarching story.
7 Get over it. Entertaining with rage
One of the most frustrating games ever made, Get over it with Bennett Foddy, it achieved a larger following due to its popularity among gaming content creators. Among certain audiences, it became known as “the game that made Markiplier so mad he threw a chair”.
Many streamers gambled on his ability to scale a mountain using only a hammer and a surprisingly bouncy pot, and the resulting rage entertained thousands upon thousands of viewers. Although the complete end of getting over it it was meant to be a secret, players enjoyed watching others go through the grueling process of reaching it while the creator narrated their journey.
6 I am bread found lightness in the fight
Many games have thrived among streaming audiences thanks to their ability to induce extreme reactions in players. One of these games is I am bread. This strategy game is about a piece of bread struggling to cross a room and turn into edible toast without human help.
While its premise was simple, it angered many gamers at the time. As a result, online audiences enjoyed watching it broadcast or played on video in order to observe content creators’ strategies for overcoming complex obstacles and their fury at failing deceptively difficult tasks.
5 minecraft comes in waves
Even though their acclaim has been easily sustained without them, Minecraft has seen multiple spikes in popularity due to online gaming content. Some examples include the expansive adventures of the Rooster Teeth channel in previous years and the more recent influence of scripted RPG servers starring popular streamers.
No matter, Minecraft it goes viral from time to time. Every time it does, that momentum sustains the beloved game, helping it continue to grow and expand, which then fuels the creativity of its players to continue the cycle.
4 Slender was born on the internet
The myth of the Slenderman cryptid was born on internet forums. It is logical, in that case, that YouTube has become responsible for the popularity of the video game that surrounds the myth of him.
Before Twitch reached its own intended audience, Slender: The Eight Pages, its subsequent spinoffs, and its sequels found significant favor with “let’s play” YouTube channels and their avid audiences. For a time in the early 2010s, there wasn’t a gaming-focused corner of the internet that hadn’t been touched by SlenderThe viral influence of , whether in game mechanics or theme.
3 Bendy and the ink machine thrived on hype
bendy and the ink machine spawned a new element in the cycle of video game virality: serial releases. Each chapter of the game came out individually, often with no clues as to when the next installment would be available.
This created patterns of exaggeration surrounding bendy and the ink machine, as each release date announcement and teaser trailer sparked a new wave of excitement and theories from the audience. While the game’s legacy may not live up to the image it created in its prime, the YouTube and Twitch communities were a strong foundation for its popularity.
two Fall Guys was in the right place at the right time
In early 2020, gamers around the world were looking for ways to play with their friends from the safety of their homes. Fall Guys burst onto the scene, offering a relatively intuitive party game that players could enjoy together from anywhere.
Streamers and content creators dove in, playing in groups with their friends or alone against an endless sea of bean-shaped opponents. Audiences that were equally hungry for multiplayer socializing immediately jumped on the trend and battled it out for the crown at the end of the obstacle course alongside their favorite players.
1 Phasmophobia was the perfect balance between horror and hilarity
phasmophobia was released via Steam Early Access in September 2020, answering calls from gamers for a spooky title they could enjoy together over long distances. Streamers and YouTubers immediately formed ghost-hunting teams with their friends and colleagues, jumping into the terrifying and sometimes bug-ridden world of the game.
The combination of genuine suspense-building horror and hilarious glitches made phasmophobia an instant hit among internet communities. Thanks to its initial exposure from the online content creator, it remained one of the most popular games.
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