The video game industry giants have thrived in the COVID-19 pandemic, as the stay-at-home measures continue driving the growth of their impressive user base.
According to data presented by Safe Betting Sites, Riot Games and Epic Games, as the two leading video game publishers, hit 3.6bn cumulative streaming hours watched between January and September.
Riot Games Hit 2.35B Streaming Hours Watched Worldwide
Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, millions of eSports fans chose online videos to get information about their favorite games. However, the year 2020 delivered new records in time spent watching the gaming titles on the streaming platforms.
Riot Games, as the leading video game publisher globally, hit 2.3bn cumulative streaming hours watched in the nine months of 2020, revealed the Streamlabs and StreamHatchet data.
The Los Angeles-based developer of the global eSports phenomenon League of Legends hit 462.7 million hours watched between January and March. Over the next three months, this figure surged by 144% to more than 1.1bn. In the third quarter of 2020, Riot Games hit 756.7 million hours watched, 265.3 million more than the second-leading Tencent.
As the second most-watched video game publisher in 2020, Epic Games hit 1.25bn hours watched between January and September. Statistics show the US video game publisher behind the worldwide gaming phenomenon, Fortnite, had 287.6 million cumulative streaming hours watched in the first quarter of 2020. By the end of March, this figure surged by 87% to 539.5 million. The third quarter of the year delivered a slight decrease, with the combined number of hours watched sliding to 426.9 million. Nevertheless, the figure represents a 48% jump compared to Q1 data.
Top Three Games Hit 3.8B Hours Watched in 2020, League of Legends Tops 1.4B
The StreamHatchet data showed League of Legends was the most popular video game this year. A free-to-play multiplayer tactical first-person shooter developed and published by Riot Games was the most-watched game of Q3, with a sizeable portion of the viewership coming from its esports leagues. Statistics show League of Legends reached over 543 million hours watched in the third quarter of 2020, and almost 1.5bn in nine months.
The Epic Games megahit, Fornite, ranked second with 1.2bn hours watched in this period. Grand Theft Auto V followed with more than 1.1bn cumulative streaming hours.
Statistics show three most-popular video games globally hit 3.8bn hours watched between January and September.