There’s a lot that’s within your control if you want to grow your audience as a content creator in the world of video games. There’s no substitute for following a consistent schedule, developing a rapport with your audience, and working on your production values, brand, and persona. But what you’re playing is pretty important too, and if you’re in the right game at the right time, it can make your career overnight. Just ask Ninja.
With that in mind, we asked our community of veteran content creators to assess the big announcements at The Game Awards 2023 and look ahead at this year’s release calendar through the lens of audience development. Where are the big opportunities for gaming creators in 2024? Which games look like they’ll make perfect YouTube or Twitch fodder? Which should you be playing to maximise your chances of hitting the big time?
Here’s what they thought.
Monster Hunter Wilds
Monster Hunter, the action-RPG series about slaying enormous creatures who in at least a few cases were probably minding their own business, has been going for a long time, but it was only with 2018’s Monster Hunter World that it really blew up outside its native Japan.
We’ve had plenty of expansions and spin-offs since but only one main-sequence sequel, Rise, in 2022. Monster Hunter Wilds is the next. It’s due in 2025, and @GameofBeardz reckons it’ll be perfect for content creators.
Monster Hunter is getting bigger and bigger in the West, and Wilds will be another fantastic opportunity to showcase this amazing series and the incredible depth and gameplay that has been its staple from the beginning. You can have fun playing by yourself, but these games are SO much fun to play with friends and community members too, so you can share the adrenaline rush of defeating the Elder Dragons, Diablos, and everything in between.
Light No Fire
“Definitely the new Hello Games game,” says @avrona with a confidence that we think is entirely justified.
Any sandbox games have near-infinite content potential, plus it’s from the same people as No Man’s Sky, so of course there will be plenty of opportunity for content comparing the two and making comparisons with that game’s original rough state.
The hype is real for this one, too - it was one of the most successful announcement trailers of TGA 2023, having racked over 17 million views at time of writing about a month later. Avrona concludes with this wry observation: even if Hello Games “hasn’t learned its lesson, and this new one is also pretty boring at launch, that in itself will be a content farm.” Some might read that as just a touch jaded, but it’s basically saying that Light No Fire is a win-win for creators. What could be more sunny and optimistic than that?
Jurassic Park Survival
“Three words: Jurassic Park Survival!” says @HaiAlexx, and we’ve got three more: we completely agree. Let’s hope developer Saber Interactive has: spared no expense.
With speculation and rumour rife that it will take inspiration from Alien: Isolation, widely hailed as one of the best survival-horror games ever, we’re betting on tension and jump scares galore - perfect for those who like their streams with an edge of fright. Alex adds:
I’m curious to know if they will ever go down the path of multiplayer, I know it’s meant to be a solo game but it would be cool to survive with friends!
Cool, for sure, and perfect for community streaming.
Skull and Bones
It’s been over ten years since Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag (if you receive this news with equal dismay as we did upon discovering it… sorry about that). Its naval battles were one of its best bits, and work began almost immediately on an expansion that would have a lot more of them. That project became Skull and Bones, an all-new pirate game that actually had playable demos at E3s 2017 and 2018 before disappearing into the briny deep.
After many more delays, it seems set to finally launch this year, and it’s @scrollandshare’s tip for creators to dig into:
I remember playing it at E3 2018 and being so excited for it. We saw that with Sea of Thieves, a lot of content creators and streamers were building crews and sailing the high seas, and if Skull and Bones does indeed come out in February, I wouldn’t be surprised to see them building crews again and doing role-play (RP).
That’s a good point by Max. RP gaming blew up on Twitch a few years back with GTA, and Skull and Bones seems perfect for it.
Visions of Mana
“If we strictly want to go with newly announced games,” says @lanah_tyra, “I would go for Visions of Mana. It’s the first new Mana game in 15 years, and I’m very excited to see what they’ve done.”
This is a canny bet from Lanah. The first game in the Mana series is actually called Final Fantasy Adventure, and it was a spin-off from the now-legendary Japanese RPGs. It led to a number of very highly regarded sequels in the ‘90s before quality began to slide and, barring remakes and spinoffs, the series was put on ice. Square Enix has decided the time is right to thaw it out, however, and for streamers with any connection to RPGs or Japanese games, this is one to keep an eye on. Lanah sees it as a chance to dip a toe beyond her core focus:
Since I know that there’s at least one game coming in 2024 which is not Final Fantasy and I’ll want to stream it, I might take this chance to open up a bit towards variety streaming. It will be easier to get sponsorship as well with smaller studios or indie games and work towards the big goal of one day working with Square Enix (one can dream).
Final Fantasy VII Rebirth
…but that doesn’t mean she’s forgetting her roots. This is another nomination from Lanah, but it’s one that even more creators will want to take seriously. We all know Final Fantasy VII is one of the most beloved JRPGs ever and that the first part of its remake was a huge hit. Here’s Lanah on why part two should be a no-brainer for the right creators:
If you’re already playing and streaming Final Fantasy (or JRPGs in general) this is an obvious choice. It’s been a much-anticipated game, and anyone who loves the franchise or played the original will be watching. Competition will be high, but also the demand for streams. Many people still don’t have a PS5 and can’t play it themselves, so what will they do? Watch others.
Also ever since the closing scene of the FF7 Remake, we’ve known that something in the story will change. The newer trailers have now confirmed that there will be some sort of alternate timeline. How much will the game’s story differ from the original FF7 game? That’s the question everyone will want to see when the game comes out in February.
And that’s what our expert community of content creators makes of the TGA 2023 announcements and major 2024 releases. Which are you planning to tackle? Can you think of any they missed? Let us know in the comments!
Some text has been amended for brevity. You can find the original wording at the bounty post.