The Game Awards announced that last week’s video game showcase reached more than 45.2 million global livestreams viewed, up 73% from 2018’s record-setting performance of 26.2 million livestreams.
OK, so it’s not such a joke to call it the Oscars of gaming anymore, as it is pretty darn close to being bigger than the Oscars. The Game Awards said that the show is one of the world’s largest — and most watched — awards shows for any entertainment medium. The Oscars are probably still bigger worldwide (the U.S. audience was 29 million in 2019), but the audience for the Academy Awards has been declining since 2014.
It aired live from the Microsoft Theater on Thursday, December 12, and it says it had significant growth across all metrics: viewer-voting, social engagement, and co-streaming. It was live and free on more than 50 digital video networks around the world, with a peak of 7.5 concurrent million viewers, with more than 2 million on Twitch and YouTube.
The top 13 platforms that aired the show all saw double-digit increases in viewership from last year.
“We are grateful and humbled by the continued growth of The Game Awards over the past six years,” said Geoff Keighley, creator/producer of The Game Awards, in a statement. “These record-setting results show that gaming culture continues to reach new audiences around the globe, and these numbers re-affirm our distribution approach of streaming the show live and free across more than 50 digital video platforms.”
On social media, The Game Awards was the No. 1 worldwide trend on Twitter for the entire show, with 18 of the top 30 trends worldwide coming from the show. Over 1 million tweets were sent about the show during the live broadcast, and viewership of the livestream on Twitter was up 65% from last year, to over 4 million unique viewers on Twitter.
On Twitch, 4,700 creators from around the world co-streamed the program live (up from 3,300 creators in 2018), with many translating the show in real time for fans. The show delivered 1.3 million concurrent viewers on Twitch at its peak, up from 1.1 million in 2018, and ranking as one of the largest livestreams of the year. An interactive Twitch extension encouraged users to vote in real-time for their picks in select categories, in addition to an Emote Meter, which gauged the audience reaction in real time based on Twitch chat.
Online authenticated fan voting for The Game Awards delivered a 50% year-over-year increase to more than 15.5 million logged-in votes, with fans selecting their favorites across a variety of platforms including The Game Awards website, Google and Bilibili in China.
Celebrities such as Star Wars director J.J. Abrams, Vin Diesel, and Margot Robbie appeared, while Green Day and Chvrches performed musical acts.