Grand Theft Auto V remains a massively successful video game, both in terms of player numbers and sales. Since its original release back in 2013, Rockstar’s open world crime has comfortably carved a place for itself as the most popular entertainment product of all time.
Yes, even more popular than Cluedo. Mental, I know.
Just in case you thought GTA V wasn’t doing quite well enough for itself, the game has now managed to become the third most watched on Twitch in February 2019, thanks to the rise of role playing servers.
This is according to data from market intelligence firm Newzoo (via gamesindustry.biz), who report that the viewership of GTA V has risen from just over ten million live hours to a staggering 58.2 million since February.
Newzoo’s Game Streaming Tracker shows the viewership of GTA V remained pretty steady between August 2017 and February 2019, generating pretty respectable numbers that tended to land anywhere between seven million and 16 million live hours per month on Twitch.
As per Newzoo’s report, this mind blowing growth for Rockstar’s game on the streaming site is down to the massively popular NoPixel server which uses FiveM’s role playing mod.
If you haven’t heard of NoPixel, it’s essentially a server which sees players log in to play GTA like regular, law abiding citizens, instead of the usual gun loving, car stealing criminals with murderous impulses. It’s basically how we all used to play GTA when we were bored as kids.
The server allows 32 players at a time, and apparently has a pretty exclusive waiting list. Players can donate to the server to bribe – I mean bump – their way up the list, but even then they still have to complete an eligibility questionnaire and adhere to strict guidelines at all times.
While I wouldn’t have thought tuning in to watch people behave themselves in GTA V sounded like the most successful formula, GTA V has now managed to take down a number of streaming giants, including Apex Legends, DOTA 2, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, and Overwatch.
Early figures for April from Newzoo seem to suggest that, thanks to NoPixel, GTA V’s newfound success on Twitch is all set to continue.
Clearly, GTA V is a game that will outlive us all – especially if people are willing to watch others play it in the most pedestrian way possible in their millions.
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Ewan Moore is a journalist at UNILAD Gaming who still quite hasn’t gotten out of his mid 00’s emo phase. After graduating from the University of Portsmouth in 2015 with a BA in Journalism & Media Studies (thanks for asking), he went on to do some freelance words for various places, including Kotaku, Den of Geek, and TheSixthAxis, before landing a full time gig at UNILAD in 2016.