It's a funny state of affairs that the success of a video game now no longer rests simply on how many people play it. Video games now have to be tools of social interaction, capable of inspiring not only individuals to play them, but get other people invested in the act of watching other people watch them. Strange times, indeed.
It's a movement that's not only precipitated the rise of an entirely new genre of sport, but created one of YouTube's largest, most powerful subcultures. Gaming YouTube contains some of the most powerful and influential figures in the modern era of video creation, from PewDiePie to the next generation of streamers like Ninja. Their influence both on YouTube and the Wider gaming landscape is undeniable, with games now paying streamers and gaming insiders hundreds of thousands of dollars to play their games for their audiences.
All of this has prompted an industry-wide struggle for developers to get their games featuring prominently on YouTube. To do so in the modern marketing landscape is to potentially earn millions of purchases, and now, as part of YouTube's wider Rewind retrospective of 2019, the video platform has revealed the games that people spent the most time indulging in (through somebody else) in 2019.
10. Mobile Legends: Bang Bang
A hugely popular mobile game in Asia, Mobile Legends' 5v5 format has proven so addictive the mobile game has flourished as an e-sport, making YouTube an important hub for strategy guides and highlight videos.
9. Brawl Stars
Created by the folks behind Clash of Clans, Brawl Stars has also emerged as a popular multi-age mobile game, catering perfectly to a generation for whom YouTube is perhaps their key source of content.
8. PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds
PUBG is, in some countries, the most popular Battle Royale game, and one taken more seriously by many older gamers. This makes it a popular choice for streamers and avid gamers alike.
7. League of Legends
LOL is still perhaps the most prestigious esport out there, and while its following in the western world isn't as strong as it is in Asia, come tournament time, it has the capability to capture the entire gaming world's attention, and has even spawned cross-cultural projects like in-game K-pop bands.
6. PUBG Mobile
The mobile version of the above has proven wildly popular in some markets, like India, where people are now being arrested for playing PUBG as the government thinks it's harmful to productivity.
Roblox is one of those games where the creativity of the gaming community is shown off to its full potential, mostly because it allows players to create and share their vary own games.
4. Garena Free Fire
Another extraordinarily popular online battle royale, GFF has a ton of devoted followers thanks to its CoD-like gameplay and penetration in markets where Fortnite and PUBG aren't as well-played.
3. Grand Theft Auto V
A couple of years since it first exploded onto consoles, GTA V still maintains its prestige. The game's online multiplayer mode and almost endless freedom has prompted a wave of streamers to hop on board in the game, making for some of the dumbest, funniest moments in YouTube Gaming.
Fortnite still dominates the cultural zeitgeist when it comes to games, commanding an army of rabid fans and perhaps the most avidly-followed set of streamers, celebrity players and e-sports stars of any game. The game's peak in 2019, however, came when it became the first game to host an in-game concert, courtesy of EDM megastar Marshmello, which has so far been viewed more than 45 million times.
Still one of the most popular games in the world, Minecraft accrues millions of views every from players, both young and old, looking for tutorials and strategy guides on how to build new things and tackle the games obstacles. It also got a welcome boost in June as PewDiePie, the site's most popular gaming personality, started playing for his 102 million subscribers for the first time.