Amazon’s streaming platform Twitch has reached beyond a gaming audience over the years, but one of the most popular Rockstar games carried viewership during 2021. Grand Theft Auto 5 managed to become the number one most-watched game on Twitch this year according to platform analytics.
The most-watched Twitch game each year is something that many people look to as the overall most entertaining game of the year, as it shows how many people are actively engaged in them rather than simply playing them. According to Rainmaker.gg and StreamElements’ State of the Stream 2021 year in review report, Twitch viewers flocked to Grand Theft Auto 5 whether it was xQc, MontanaBlack88, or Summit1G playing the game. Overall Twitch viewership also increased during 2021 by 1.3 billion hours of watch time, reaching 2.1 billion hours watched in total from 764 million.
One of the things that is a clear factor in Grand Theft Auto 5‘s success during 2021 is the number of popular Twitch livestreamers playing Grand Theft Auto Online. More specifically, many of these streamers have taken to GTA Online roleplaying on the Nopixel server created over five years ago. GTA roleplaying only recently blew up on Twitch due to popular changes and the nopixel server, but GTA RP dates back to 2013.
According to this year’s Twitch viewership numbers, the overall most-watched category on the platform was Just Chatting, a section of the livestreaming website in which streamers typically respond to chat, react to clips, or go on rants. Just like Grand Theft Auto 5, this section is typically one that popular streamers such as TheGrefg, Ludwig, and Pokimane dabble into between games. The other most-watched Twitch games during 2021 were League of Legends, Fortnite, Valorant, Minecraft, Call of Duty Warzone, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Apex Legends, and Dota 2.
Across the several years of Twitch livestreaming, League of Legends held the crown as the most-watched game, only being toppled by GTA 5 this year and Fortnite in 2018. This year’s most successful new release according to the Twitch statistics was New World from Amazon Games, reaching an impressive 259 million hours watched for the debut of a game. Although viewership numbers are significantly improved on Twitch over last year, the loss of popular Twitch streamers like TimtheTatman and Dr Lupo may impact some of the hours next year in an increase for YouTube.
Grand Theft Auto Online recently saw the addition of The Contract story DLC, bringing a lot of new content to the game and potentially increasing viewership when it was released. The Rockstar Games title also became the most successful media product back in 2018 and its improved Twitch viewership over previous years shows the longevity of Grand Theft Auto 5. Although it’s currently unclear how much longer GTA fans have to wait for the next title in the series, Rockstar Games is releasing an updated version of GTA 5 for PS5 and Xbox Series X/S early next year.
Grand Theft Auto 5 is available right now for PC, PS4, and Xbox One.