Take a look at the trending tab for YouTube’s gaming section, and you’re met with an awful lot of Fortnite videos. While that’s partly to do with the tremendous success of Epic’s battle royale, it’s also indicative of a wider trend which is seeing the industry’s biggest stars playing fewer and fewer games.
YouTubers are still posting the same number of videos, but according to analytics firm Fancensus (via gamesindustry.biz) the number of games that feature in those videos has shrunk dramatically. In 2016, the number of unique titles covered by the top ten influencers on YouTube sat at 383. That number dropped a little in 2017, down to 326, but by the end of 2018, the site’s ten biggest gaming stars covered just 28 games between them.
A lot of that is down to Fortnite, which accounted for 94% of views for YouTube’s top ten. Its prevalence is such that in all of 2018 eight out of those ten influencers published a combined total of just 87 videos that weren’t related to Fortnite.
Outside of the top ten, things are a little more diverse. Fortnite’s share of the views dropped to 61%, but 43 of the top 100 stars still published more on Fortnite than they did on any other title. Fancensus doesn’t reveal which other games feature, but I’d be willing to be that FIFA, Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, and The Sims 4 are all up there.
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Even if the current trend continues, I expect we’re likely to see at least one new game on the list in 2019. The launch of Respawn’s battle royale saw the Apex Legends player count rise to more than 50 million in a single month, and given its influencer-fuelled launch, which has seen the likes of Ninja and Dr. DisRespect heading to King’s Canyon, I expect there are few other games that could challenge Fortnite’s success.