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Using Twitch Drops to Promote Your Live Service Games 

In the modern gaming space, developers need to constantly update and promote their live service games to keep the player base active. This is where Twitch Drops come in.

For the uninitiated, Twitch Drops are in-game loot that viewers can obtain by tuning into their favorite streamers during special Twitch Drops campaigns. Initiatives like Twitch Drops drive traffic to streaming platforms and kick off a cascade of renewed interest, such as players talking about the latest changes, mentioning the game on socials, and jumping back onto servers. While community days, competitive streamer showdowns, and watch parties all have their own merits, Twitch Drops offer a tangible reward for the loyal player by handing out free gifts.

In this article, we’ll be covering the basics of Twitch Drops, how developers can use Twitch Drops campaigns to reignite their player base’s passion, and some key tips to remember when putting your Twitch Drops campaign into action.

Five Key Steps For Starting Your Own Twitch Drops Campaign:

    One of the most powerful tools at your disposal is information: Access Stream Hatchet’s in-depth repository of streaming data to see chat mentions on Twitch and current trends among popular streamers.

    Analyze the Benefits

    Before launching into planning anything, you should decide if a Twitch Drops campaign is the right strategy for you. For some practical reasons, many games aren’t well-suited to Twitch Drops. For example, live service games are generally best for Twitch Drops as they have an array of customizable elements that can be used as rewards. Additionally, live service games experience waves of popularity, and Twitch Drops can help spur renewed interest in your game.

    Thinking about benefits also means reviewing how well your Twitch Drops campaign has performed after the fact. Tracking the increase in viewership and how many Drops were claimed during your campaign shows engagement from viewers beyond the loyal fanbase that typically watches your game’s content.

    What Works: Brawl Stars September Boost

    The Twitch Drops campaign for Brawl Stars in 2023 was a phenomenal success, raising the hours watched from 29K the day before the campaign up to 210K when it launched. This means an increase of over 180K hours watched of content, no doubt converting some viewers back into players after having previously been inactive.

    Craft Your Rewards

    Once you’ve decided that a Twitch Drops campaign is the right path for you, you’ll need to craft interesting incentives to pull viewers on board. Twitch has a number of suggestions for maximizing the attractiveness of your rewards, but we’ll go over just a few here.

    Exclusive Twitch Drops can act as a badge of honor for seasoned veterans of the game, showing their engagement with the community. For newcomers to the game, Twitch Drops offer an inexpensive and effortless way to obtain premium-looking skins and rewards that may otherwise seem like a far-off prospect.

    Get creative with what rewards you offer – you can do so much more than mere aesthetic upgrades! While weapon skins, outfits, and in-game currency are nice go-to loot for a Twitch Drops campaign, you can also offer new emotes, titles, or emblems. If you’re really willing to put in the time, you could even offer whole new game content or, in specific cases, beta access keys for devoted early adopters.

    Once you’ve got a nice range, try to scale up the quality of your rewards to keep viewers watching. Maybe some in-game currency and a skin can be used early on to hook viewers in, but more dedicated fans who watch for 10+ hours can receive a premium outfit or new content. Twitch allows developers to set the duration for a reward between 15 minutes and 4 hours, so play around with what intervals you think will keep viewers watching.

    What Works: Hearthstone’s 10th Anniversary

    Hearthstone was ideally suited for a Twitch Drops campaign, utilizing the strategy during their 10th anniversary in 2024 by rewarding viewers with items from their near-endless repository of content. Among the rewards up for grabs were card packs, Tavern Tickets, and unique cards from the then-new Whizbang’s Workshop expansion.

    Partner with Streamers

    While many viewers will be drawn in by the promise of in-game rewards, they’ll want to watch streamers who are familiar with your game, whose content is entertaining, and who will engage with the other aspects of your campaign (as discussed later). Therefore the key to success is knowing which streamers are the right fit for your content.

    As a first port-of-call, you can set your Drops campaign to a “category-wide” setting. In this mode, any streamer who labels their stream with your game can opt into your Twitch Drops campaigns. The advantage of this option is sheer numbers: You don’t have to search out every streamer playing your game, and smaller streamers with devoted followers will still be able to participate.

    However, this blanket approach fails to meet the potential of a targeted Drops campaign. By partnering with specific streamers, you can collaborate with them to fine-tune your message and ask them to actively promote your Drops campaign. Reaching out ahead of time to coordinate your efforts also helps the streamer: It takes creative pressure off so they can focus on your game and the aspects you want highlighted most.

    Stream Hatchet can help you analyze the audience demographics of popular streamers and look at their total viewership to deduce which streamers have the best cost-benefit ratio for your Twitch Drops campaign. Stream Hatchet will guide you towards the best streamers to partner with, ensuring your campaign reaches your target audience.

    Chat with a Stream Hatchet Analyst to get started building your Twitch Drops and Creator Programs

    Streamers who actively play your game regularly and get involved with the community are the best partnerships you can hope for: They’re not only well-known by fans, but they’ll advocate for updates to your game. Beyond this, you’ll want to reach streamers who have a similar core audience to yours. If you’re promoting an arena brawler, try to reach out to streamers who make content for similar games like Fall Guys or Rumble Club.

    What Works: Lost Ark’s First Anniversary

    When Lost Ark ran their first anniversary Twitch Drops campaign back in 2023, they made use of their pre-established Creator Program to tap into streamers, video hosts, wiki authors, writers, artists, fansite admins, guild leaders, and gaming mentors within their community. Not only did this boost participation in their Twitch Drops campaign, but it also got the news out to community leaders which trickled down into the vast majority of the fanbase as free word-of-mouth promotion.

    Inform Your Players

    While streamers are happy to promote your game, they’re less likely to enjoy a flood of new viewers spamming their chat with questions about how to claim Twitch Drops. Ahead of your Twitch Drops campaign, it’s your responsibility to clearly explain to fans what rewards they can receive and how to claim them. Twitch provides a fairly comprehensive guide, but we’ll look at some of the key points here.

    Viewers are forced to jump through hoops to participate in Twitch Drops campaigns, such as connecting their specific game account to their Twitch account. Nothing frustrates players more than watching a stream for several hours, only to forget to claim their Drops before the campaign ends. To prevent this, make sure viewers are able to claim Drops for a set period after the Twitch Drops campaign is over.

    When possible, viewers will tend to put in the minimum effort needed to earn Twitch Drops. If they can open a stream on one of their browser tabs and then ignore it while their time accumulates, they will. For this reason, Twitch allows you to make viewers check in at set time intervals to qualify for Drops. Checking-in means more active viewers, which means they’re actually watching new gameplay. But of course, this can also annoy viewers who want to casually engage with your content. This is a trade-off you’ll have to make.

    With all of these decisions made, you’ll want to create your own tailored, simplified explainer post for players. With so much confusion surrounding the exact mechanics of Twitch Drops campaigns, this explainer post will allay any doubts they might have as to which streamers are participating and how to claim their rewards. This could be a simple blog post, or a video – whatever you think players will find more useful when your Twitch Drops campaign launches!

    What Works: World of Tanks Explainer Video

    World of Tanks made a fantastic video guide for their 2023 Twitch Drops campaign which pulled the viewer through the nuts-and-bolts of Twitch Drops campaign participation, from signing up to claiming rewards. This video required a bit more effort than a simple blog post, but the on-screen guide meant no viewer was left behind.

    Launch Your Drops Campaign

    With all your prep work done, it’s time to launch the campaign! If it wasn’t apparent already, timing is everything for a Twitch Drops campaign. With so many active viewers, this is your time to make a big announcement. Try to line it up with a big occasion, such as a premiere, beta release, or a new trailer. You might even put together a Developer Diary stream to get players up to speed with the development process.

    Your Twitch Drops campaign should be simple for viewers to find out about. Pick a clear, concise title that explains what the campaign is celebrating, what rewards are up-for-grabs, and details any associated promotional events. Once you’ve got the wording down, be consistent! Using the same terminology throughout your promotional material makes it easier for viewers to Google your campaign or find participating streamers on Twitch.

    As your campaign progresses, you’ll want to track how many viewers are tuning in. Stream Hatchet can monitor the success of your campaign to find out which streamers are most popular and how much viewership your campaign is bringing in relative to similar title launches without Twitch Drops campaigns.

    What Works: Diablo 4’s Release Week

    Upon the release of Diablo 4, Blizzard launched a series of weekly Twitch Drops campaigns to build hype for their hotly-anticipated game among their community. Viewers were rewarded with in-game weapons and trophies to celebrate their status as early adopters of the new title. But more crucially, the Drops campaign gave Blizzard a chance to showcase new features (e.g. Nightmare Dungeons) and returning features (e.g. Hardcore Mode).

    Twitch Drops campaigns are effective ways to give value back to your community, not just with in-game loot but with information about upcoming new developments in your game. Transparency is key, keeping your players informed about how the campaign works, how to get their rewards, and any other events they can jump in on. Use this opportunity to remind players about the social aspect of your game and they’ll keep coming back for more when you host future events!

    Stream Hatchet provides the data needed to guide your next Twitch Drops campaign:

    • Learn which streamers are playing your game and what their audience looks like.
    • Gain insights into your viewership data to better negotiate with streamers and sponsors for your Twitch Drops rewards.
    • Explore the effectiveness of your social media campaigns to better understand what marketing strategies are reaching your audience.
    • Track the performance of other Twitch Drops campaigns to figure out what techniques work best in attracting and retaining viewers.

    To get the edge in the streaming arena, sign up to Stream Hatchet now and a sales representative will be in touch to design your personalized trial:

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