Released in 2017, Escape From Tarkov (EFT) is a hardcore realistic first-person shooter. Although EFT had its fans from the beginning, it’s fair to say initially success was fairly modest. According to Twitch Tracker, a website dedicated to visualizing Twitch statistics, on August 3, 2017, EFT had 859 viewers across 56 channels. It had taken eight months to get there.
Three years on, and the picture couldn’t be more different. In early 2023, this three-year-old game skyrocketed in popularity on Twitch. On December 25, 2019, the game had 24,031 viewers on Twitch across 548 channels. Just a few weeks later, on January 6, 2023, this was an eye-watering 83,645 viewers across 1,302 channels. EFT tripled in viewership in just a few short weeks! Over 2023, these spikes kept appearing, but why?
Twitch drops are a feature that allows players to connect their gaming account, in this case, their EFT account, with their Twitch account, to receive in-game rewards. Players can get in-game loot simply by watching broadcasts of the games they play. The spikes in viewers we see for EFT directly correlate with the Twitch Drops. For example, Escape From Tarkov recently launched a New Year event running from December 28, 2023, to January 8, 2023. Just a few days before the event went live; Twitch viewers stood at 36,204. But on December 28, when the event went live, this number increased to a staggering 235,298.
These hundreds of thousands of viewers stood to gain many rewards, including temporary access keys, loot, and full copies of the game. This event, and the ones that came before it, have been incredibly successful in fulfilling their goal: to get more people playing the game and to keep interest for existing players alive.
Here’s why Twitch Drops have worked so well for Escape From Tarkov:
- The Drops are available to users who already have a copy of the game – This coaxes players back. Players who maybe played the game in the past but got bored of it or started playing something else are pulled into playing again. They have nothing to lose by watching a stream, and they might get some cool free gifts.
- People who receive gifts play more – It’s just common sense that if you get an in-game reward, you’re going to want to try it out. These players often fall back in love with the game, continue playing, and maybe even invite their friends to play, increasing the player base.
- It drums up excitement for new players – Since you have to have an active account to get the drops, people curious about the game are more likely to start playing during these events. Twitch drops act as an incentive, or the last push, to get new players in.
If you don’t have an EFT account but want to get one at a competitive price before the next Twitch Drop, you can buy Escape From Tarkov accounts online.
Twitch Drops are the primary reason for the spikes we see, but they can’t explain why the game remains popular during the periods between the drops. Although viewership does plummet after these events finish, Tarkov manages to grow its player base consistently.
Was EFT Primed to Be Successful on Twitch?
Anyone who has spent time on Twitch will know you can find streams of almost anything on there, as long as they meet community guidelines. However, not all games are equally successful. Typically, the type of gamers that are popular on Twitch have one or multiple of the below characteristics:
- Loud/Vocal – Strong displays of emotion are entertaining.
- Extremely skilled – Viewers want to watch gamers do things they couldn’t do. They want to see lightning-speed reactions, exceptional situational awareness, and creative solutions to problems.
- Chilled out and relaxed – These streamers typically play chilled games. Their content matches their audience.
EFT Twitch streamer Pestily managed to get 40,000 Viewers in 24 hours and is in the Top 500 broadcasters of all time. In an interview with Devin Nash on YouTube, Pestily puts his enormous success down to several factors. Firstly, he created a relaxed and open community of EFT enthusiasts – he says everyone’s welcome, whether they’re subbed or not. This increases access to the EFT community and draws curious viewers in. Secondly, he broadcasts for around 55 hours every week, generating a massive amount of EFT content for fans to consume. Since Pestiliy is just one EFT Twitch channel, it’s fair to say that EFT fans will never struggle to find a stream to watch.
The Game Itself
When analyzing why Escape From Tarkov manages to be a massive hit on Twitch, we can’t ignore the game itself. In many ways, the type of game EFT is, lends itself to exciting content.
As a hardcore game, EFT satisfies viewers’ desire to see complex and skilled players. EFT blends a bunch of different game genres. For example, it has all the hallmarks of any successful first-person shooter complete with fast-paced high-stakes combat. It also has survival elements. When they get hit, players have to tend to their wounds. A broken leg needs bandages; otherwise, you’ll be slowed down. It also has considerable tactical elements. Players have to use the right bullets, gear, and weapons, and the customization options are beyond extensive. This means there are endless configurations for players, and by tuning into a Twitch stream, viewers might stumble upon a setup they’d never considered before and become a better player as a result.
The stakes are also extremely high in Tarkov, which leads to some tense and emotive content. If a player dies, their loot can be taken by the enemy player. Dying with all your best gear sets you back considerably in the game, and if this happens on stream, it makes for an entertaining watch. If you’ve recently lost your gear in Escape From Tarkov and need some extra money to get what you need on the market, you can buy Escape From Tarkov currency online at Eldorado.gg.