The Swedish developers Paradox Interactive are considered geniuses when it comes to round strategy games in a historical setting. With “The Lamplighters League” (Steam, Xbox, Game Pass), they are now distributing a new game and wanted to promote it via purchased Twitch streams on 9/28. That didn’t go so well somehow, says MeinMMO author Schuhmann.
What kind of game is this?
- The Lampglighters League is a turn-based strategy game in which you control 3 or 4 heroes and go up against groups of “look like Nazis, but aren’t” henchmen. Gameplay-wise, it looks like a mix between Evil Genius (the strategy map) and X-Com (the battles).
- A special feature is that before starting a fight you’ll have the possibility to eliminate some enemies. Depending on the character type, you’ll be able to throw mines, sneak up on them and knock them out from behind, or run them down at full speed.
- The game has the look of the “The Mummy Returns” movies, but is also often compared to Indiana Jones.
In initial tests, the game received GameStar gave it an 82% rating, PC Gamer but found little to like about the game, finding it too grindy, too monotonous, and penalizing it with 62%. On Metacritic, The Lamplighters League stands at 75%.
Table of Contents
Developer wants to promote game that is not for Twitch via Twitch
What’s the problem with such a game? Such a game is usually not for Twitch at all. This has at least three reasons:
- For one thing, we Germans like the genre “turn-based strategy game” much more than the rest of the world. Even the release of the similarly themed Jagged Alliance 3 hardly interested anyone outside of Germany. Jagged Alliance 3 currently ranks 552 on Twitch
- On the other hand, single-player games on Twitch are difficult anyway, especially linear ones, because you spoil yourself if you watch. Exceptions are horror games, where you are happy when the streamer gets scared, or very creative games like Baldur’s Gate 3.
- The Lamplighters League is rather slow in terms of gameplay, so it’s not that exciting to watch there. The gameplay loop repeats itself quickly
Normally, the game would hardly interest anyone on Twitch for the release on October 3.
Paradox books sponsorship with major streamers
This was Paradox’s plan: Paradox Interactive booked a sponsorship with some big US streamers and scheduled it for 9/28: The two biggest streamers by far were LIRIK (3 million followers on Twitch) and CohhCarnage (1.5 million followers).
These are Variety streamers who are known to have a heart for indie games. CohhCarnage was also the biggest streamer on Jagged Alliance 3 and was way ahead on Baldur’s Gate 3.
Did the plan work? No, unfortunately not. CohhCarnage screwed up the embargo and showed the game already on September 27 for 2 hours. Then on September 28, he put another 2 hours.
LIRIK stuck to the plan, but also only showed the game for the apparently agreed 2 hours and not a minute more.
Switch from Counter-Strike 2 to The Lamlighters League costs every 2nd viewer
That was the problem for the streamers: Both streamers were live on Twitch with another game and each had to interrupt their actual stream and turn down what they wanted to play in favor of “The Lamplighters League” at the agreed time. In the process, many viewers also disappeared:
- Lirik had almost 20,000 viewers when he was active in Counter-Strike 2. The blatant change of subject from shooter to strategy game drove away about every 2nd viewer for him. By the end of the stream, he still had 9,400.
- CohhCarnage fared a bit better: But instead of 12,000 viewers who had watched him play Cyberpunk 2077 a few hours earlier, there were only 7,000 for the strategy game. He was far away from his peak figures of the week around 20,000 viewers.
LIRIK didn’t really seem to want to show the game now anyway: He turned the game off in the middle of a mission when the two hours were up and said that the game was also available in GamePass.
What would have been better? The clearly better sponsoring partner for Paradox Interactive was probably the German Twitch streamer Writing Bull, who specializes in strategy and was already looking forward to the game at gamescom
He only showed about 4 hours of “The Lamoplighters League” in front of about 450 viewers, but they remained stable. Writing Bull, who has already shown Jagged Allaince 3 extensively, probably reached the right target group for the stream.
Steinwallen, with whom Paradox had actually also booked, was not streaming.
Sponsorship money for strategy game buys only brief hype, but it fades quickly
That was the problem: Paradox actually only bought a “very short” Watchtime peak with the sponsorship money and of all things in the middle of the hype for Counter-Strike 2 and Cyberpunk.
As soon as that spike was over, no one was showing The Lamplighters League on Twitch: already the day after, only one channel worldwide was showing the game, German Twitch streamer Moerp in front of 171 viewers.
Amazon had a similar experience with the shooter “Crucible”: They bought some of the best and most expensive streamers for the release, but that didn’t help at all and the game was quickly finished.
When is the game coming out? “The Lamplighters League” will be released on Steam on October 3 and will also end up in Game Pass. A demo is already available now.
More on weird deals on Twitch:
Twitch streamer accidentally shows $35,000 deal with biggest MMORPG on Steam – “Don’t donate to streamers”