Sorry Tarkovsky, apologizes to Fortnite, and lo siento to all other games and streamers and AGDQ; Escape From Tarkov is now the first phenomenon of 2020 in the video game world. Seemingly overnight, major streamers on Twitch, Mixer, Facebook, and YouTube are all playing this Russian first-person shooter that originally came out in 2016. We first noticed it over the weekend when Dr. Disrespect, one of the few legit celebrities on the platform, was playing it.

Just look at these numbers! Most startups would kill to have this kind of growth. On Christmas day there were only seven thousand people watching the game being played. By January 5th, it was up 1789% to 140,000 viewers. There isn't anything that apparently kicked off this frenzy, and the game on the surface seems like a normal Eastern European shooter. But the magic is in the gameplay, from the looks of it. An inherently generic video game that is in open beta, that released years ago, has made Buster Douglas' comeback seem tame by comparison. 

Just for fun, the actual most popular game on Earth, Fortnite, has not been setting the world on fire. This is from the last few months only. It overall gets more viewers, but does not have the same trajectory as Tarkov, which is only going up on an hourly basis. 

Again, most games would kill to have these numbers as an average, but unless there's a major event or update to the game, nothing is coming close to the new car smell Escape From Tarkov has right now. Even though these games came out the same time, which was a while ago, it just took them different amounts of time to hit the cultural zeitgeist. 

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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