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How developers can benefit from creating streamable games

JM Specht, head of Devolver Digital's streaming arm, explains how nurturing a streaming community can ultimately be a good thing for game developers.
"Witnessing someone really getting into a game you've worked on is a powerful experience."

- JM Specht, head of Devolver Digital's streaming arm, dives into both the emotional and promotional benefits of encouraging video game streaming

A piece penned for Polygon by Devolver Digital’s JM Specht explores how the publisher’s games have benefited from Let’s Plays, Twitch streams, and a healthy video community.

While setting out to create a game that resonates with the streaming community is easier said than done, Specht offers a look at why supporting such endeavors could be beneficial for developers. 

On one hand, Specht notes that streaming can be a more robust and cost-friendly way of promoting a game to large audiences. 

“This visibility is at no cost to the developer. Producing elaborate trailers and crafting announcement timelines are vital, but by allowing a fanbase to explore a game on their own by finding things they like about your game is a godsend, particularly after launch,” says Specht. “If it’s too early to discuss sales figures, DLC plans or postmortems, supporting streamers is a great way to get additional promotion for your game.”

Beyond even that, Specht says that watching streams and Let’s Plays can have an emotional payoff for developers. He says that Devolver Digital and its affiliated developers often watch livestreams of their games being played and jump into chat to distribute codes to the audience or to answer questions. 

"This is one of the things that is often left out of this discussion: watching people stream your game as a publisher or developer is incredibly satisfying," he explains. "It’s a rush when a talented streamer finds something cool in one of our games or they make a great joke when something unexpected happens in their play through." 

For more on this topic from Specht, including his thoughts on how strict streaming limitations impact game sales, take a look at the full piece over at Polygon.

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