When it comes to Massively Multiplayer Online RPGs, there has really never been one as dominant in popularity as World of Warcraft. The game has continued to control a massive fanbase despite years of competitors springing up. That extends to livestreams where it controls some of the most viewership on Twitch. However, even giants can be challenged. Not only has Final Fantasy 14 been on the rise, but it actually managed to outperform World of Warcraft in August 2021 on Twitch, according to the latest StreamElements reports.
StreamElements launched its latest State of the Stream report for August 2021 with statistics from its analytical partner at Rainmaker.gg. There were a number of stats of interest throughout the previous month, including Twitch finally having one of its first positive growth periods in three months. However, perhaps the most interesting news was World of Warcraft being dethroned as the most viewed MMO on Twitch. Final Fantasy 14 has been on the rise since June and in August, it narrowly beat WoW out by four percent in hours watched.
There are a number of factors to consider in how Final Fantasy 14 was finally able to top WoW. First off, Square Enix has been leaning hard into new content and platform releases for the game. Final Fantasy 14 is getting its last expansion this year when Endwalker launches in November. Also, Final Fantasy 14 came out of beta on PlayStation 5, giving a next-gen upgrade to the game.
There’s also the tremendous amount of bad press Acitvision Blizzard faced in August to consider. Late in July, California opened an investigation into the company for sexual harassment and workplace toxicity reported by many employees. It escalated to an employee walkout and various executive and lead resignations. In terms of World of Warcraft, it also made for an exodus of many players from WoW to FF14 in the past couple months. Even top WoW streamer Asmongold made the jump for a time, bringing 4 million hours of viewership to Final Fantasy 14 and largely contributing to this stat.
The playing field is interesting right now with Activision Blizzard still pushing through allegations and lawsuits, and Final Fantasy 14 looking better than ever with new content and mostly drama-free. With Amazon’s New World also entering the fray soon, it will be interesting to see how these stats shift in the coming months.