Forza Horizon 4 was the first title to include a direct push toward streaming and viewing the game on Mixer. Stream the game while playing or watch streams and you gain influence – used as experience within the game itself.
The idea seemed like a promotion with two key objectives: first, to increase brand awareness of Mixer, and secondly to inflate the number of people streaming and watching streams. I would hazard that they were hoping for a knock-on effect of building community and fostering engagement with streams, coincidentally the area they failed in – and in a massive way.
Here’s the thing – there are currently 4,514 people “viewing” Forza Horizon 4 streams.
I use ‘viewing’ pretty lightly, as there’s only one legitimate streamer in the top 8, the rest are 24/7 influence farms with viewer counts of 2,213, 1,632, 406, 46, 42, 12, and 10 – totaling 4,361 viewers. Around 97% of the viewership and a good chunk of those watching Mixer streams total (a shade over 22% according to their displayed numbers) are idling on a screen ‘watching’ a stream nobody is actually playing.
A sizable portion of Mixer’s viewership is essentially just watching paint dry – that’s a problem. Right now, if you’re looking to watch someone actually play Forza Horizon 4 it’s easier to find real players on Twitch – the exact opposite effect they were hoping for.
I guess they can claim a partial victory, as Mixer numbers grew slightly in October. I would guess most of that, if not all of it, can be attributed to the 24/7 influence farms.
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