The 9-million-follower streamer has "been there, done that" with Twitch.
(Image credit: Pokimane)
One of the most successful Twitch streamers has decided that she’s not that into it anymore.
In her first video (opens in new tab) after a month-long break, Imane “Pokimane” Anys said that she will stream less often on Twitch than she has in the past and will focus on posting non-gaming content on other social media platforms like Twitter, TikTok and Instagram. “I feel like other platforms fit into my lifestyle nowadays a little bit better,” she said.
The 26-year-old streamer, who started streaming League of Legends in 2013 and is now one of the biggest creators on Twitch, said she’s lost her passion for the platform. “I hope it doesn’t sound big-headed of me to say, but nowadays when I see things on Twitch, it kinda feels like ‘been there, done that,'” she said.
“There’s such a pressure on streamers to follow every trend, to capitalize on viewership, to stream longer than the guy next to them…” Pokimane explained. “It’s just a hyper-competitive industry. But ultimately, the reason I say this is because I’m just at a point in my life that it doesn’t feel creatively fulfilling to feed into that anymore.”
It’s unclear how the 9.2-million-follower streamer’s recently renewed exclusivity contract (opens in new tab) with Twitch will be affected by her new schedule, but it’s probably not a massive hit to her bottom line: In addition to streamer, Pokimane is also the co-founder of successful creator collective OfflineTV, the chief creative officer (opens in new tab) of the company that co-owns fighting game tournament EVO, and was financially comfortable enough to turn down a $3 million sponsorship deal (opens in new tab) in 2020.
Pokimane still wants Twitch “to be a part of my arsenal” but wants to avoid the “pressures” of being a full-time streamer. “When I wake up nowadays, I don’t want to run to my PC and game for eight hours straight,” she said, a sentiment that resembles comments from other career Twitch streamers who cited the struggles of the daily grind (opens in new tab) when they moved to other platforms.
Twitch recently lifted the ban (opens in new tab) on streaming to YouTube and TikTok for partnered Twitch streamers, possibly an acknowledgement that creators have to stretch themselves (opens in new tab) across the multiple platforms to increase their odds of success. According to data leaked from Twitch’s internal records (opens in new tab) last year, only the top 0.015% of its streamers make a livable wage on the platform.
Burnout and waning passion are common reasons for Twitch’s most popular streamers taking breaks. Pokimane is fortunate to be able to step back from full-time streaming without fear of losing her audience, but for the millions of people who yearn to reach even a fraction of her success and turn Twitch into a meaningful job, the grind continues.
Tyler has covered games, games culture, and hardware for over a decade before joining PC Gamer as Associate Editor. He’s done in-depth reporting on communities and games as well as criticism for sites like Polygon, Wired, and Waypoint. He’s interested in the weird and the fascinating when it comes to games, spending time probing for stories and talking to the people involved. Tyler loves sinking into games like Final Fantasy 14, Overwatch, and Dark Souls to see what makes them tick and pluck out the parts worth talking about. His goal is to talk about games the way they are: broken, beautiful, and bizarre.