Some people lose the desire to play the games they watch on Twitch. But according to research conducted by one of the company's science team members, those who feel the opposite are plenty enough to boost sales and retention rates. The study, authored by Danny Hernandez, says Hearthstone's success after it exploded on Twitch "raised the line of inquiry" he was only able to explore recently after getting the data he needed. Hernandez listed a few examples to illustrate his point, including Tom Clancy's The Division. He believes the website was responsible for around 18 percent of its sales.
Hernandez determined that Steam-connected viewers are more likely to buy a game within 24 hours of watching a stream. In addition, the study found that current players of, say, games like DOTA are five percent more likely to show up in their second week of playing if they watched streams during their first week. "[M]oving retention even a single percent is crazy hard," Hernandez wrote, so five percent is big news.