One of the coolest things we can do at Thinknum is visualize, hour by hour, the number of people watching Twitch for any given video game. Twitch is the live-streaming platform where more than 15 million people around the world come together every day to play and watch their favorite titles. This month has seen some of the biggest game releases of the year hit store shelves just as millions of people are staying home and safe. What we've seen is a complete shift in viewership in just days.

Nintendo's Animal Crossing, Id Software's Doom Eternal, and Valve's Half-Life: Alyx were all within days of each other, and within hours each dominated viewership on Twitch, beating out even the most popular stalwarts on the platform.

Just as a frame of reference, on average, here are the top ten most-streamed video games and their daily viewers:


Average Concurrent Viewers

League of Legends


Just Chatting




Counter-Strike: Global Offensive


Call of Duty: Modern Warfare


Grand Theft Auto V




Escape From Tarkov


Apex Legends




Now let's look at the first day numbers for some new releases, which were highly anticipated and had millions in pre-orders, but did not have the install bases as some of the older titles in that chart above.

Animal Crossing: 245,000 concurrent viewers

Nintendo's Animal Crossing series has never been more popular than it is right now; the life simulator starring adorable anthropomorphized animal villagers and neighbors in a fictional town you help build isn't the most entertaining game to watch someone stream by any means. And yet, a quarter of a million people tuned in on launch day.

Doom Eternal: 137,000 concurrent viewers

When Bethesda and Id Software showed off Doom Eternal at the end of February in a preview stream, it got almost 5,000 people to watch. Not bad. On the first day of release, the game got 132,000 MORE people to watch on Twitch.

Half-Life: Alyx: 297,000 concurrent viewers

And finally, Valve's long-dormant series Half-Life got a new entry yesterday, something fans have waited 13 years for. Half-Life: Alyx is a virtual reality exclusive game, and since most gamers cannot afford a new VR rig right now, they vicariously watched the game in record numbers. On the 17th, there were 3,000 people watching in an early preview, but now that the game is out, there will undoubtedly be more eyeballs watching Alyx than hands actually playing it.

About the Data:

Thinknum tracks companies using the information they post online - jobs, social and web traffic, product sales and app ratings - and creates data sets that measure factors like hiring, revenue and foot traffic. Data sets may not be fully comprehensive (they only account for what is available on the web), but they can be used to gauge performance factors like staffing and sales. 

Further Reading: 

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