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XDefiant’s Arcade-style Shooter Action Attracts Call of Duty Streamers

XDefiant looks to set itself apart from the crowded shooter market by trading on the legacy of its publisher Ubisoft’s previous titles. Developed by Ubisoft San Francisco and spearheaded by executive producer Mark Rubin (known for his work on the Call of Duty Modern Warfare titles), XDefiant features many of the locations and factions from Ubisoft’s other franchises, including Watch Dogs, Far Cry, and Splinter Cell

With this as its hook, Ubisoft hopes to add to its success in tactical shooters with Rainbow Six Siege by entering the more fast-paced shooter arena. The result is an almost arcade-style shooter that feels like a Call of Duty game, but with the abilities and classes of games like Overwatch and VALORANT. With so many disparate elements being pulled together, it’s time to look at which streamers flocked from other shooter titles to try out XDefiant.

Streamers Primarily Switch to XDefiant from Call of Duty Titles

Having released on the 21st of May, XDefiant made a splash on live-streaming platforms. In its first week, XDefiant generated 7.5M hours watched across all platforms. This was no surprise, given that the game had 3M unique players within 48 hours of its launch and roughly 500K concurrent players on launch day. In large part, the game was supported on live streaming by well-known shooter-games streamers like Scump and Shroud, who pulled in 432K and 402K hours watched, respectively.

Notably, these streamers mostly switched from two titles in particular: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 and Call of Duty: Warzone. Taking Scump as an example, in the week prior to XDefiant’s release, he had generated 1.5M hours of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 content. But following XDefiant’s release, Scump aired exactly zero hours of Call of Duty content despite the higher viewership from that game. In fact, of the top 10 streamers, all of them decreased their coverage of previous shooters to cover XDefiant. This shows a strong interest from the FPS community in supporting new titles, and finding the gameplay interesting enough to stick around.

While the Ubisoft-universe hook and Mark Rubin’s reputation drew players in, the gameplay kept them hooked. XDefiant eschews many of the trappings of Call of Duty titles, such as having no kill streaks, a higher time-to-kill, and, as a result, a tighter focus on objectives. Additionally, the high kill counts and frequent respawns contribute to the arcade feeling of XDefiant, making it vastly different from Ubisoft’s other shooters.

Still, Ubisoft is tentative to claim the game as a success. For now, XDefiant is in pre-season – a kind of trial period for the game before the proper Season 1 begins that will allow developers some leeway while they respond to community criticism and fix bugs. Stream Hatchet will be watching when XDefiant launches Season 1 later this year to see if players stick around.

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