Ubisoft’s new battle royale, Hyper Scape, was officially announced today in unconventional fashion: by rising to the top of the Twitch charts. Ubisoft has been teasing the game, which was leaked earlier this week, with a fake company website and via cryptic Twitter updates. Starting at 12PM ET, the game effectively went live in a technical test phase, when various Twitch and YouTube personalities were permitted to start streaming the game, and just 30 minutes later, it has amassed nearly half a million viewers. The publisher is planning an official reveal live stream for 2PM ET.
Ubisoft’s strategy here is reminiscent of the abrupt surprise launch of Respawn’s Apex Legends and the Twitch-focused beta of Riot’s Valorant. Developers for both games used streamers and a direct marketing approach to build an organic appeal for the game beyond the standard media cycle of most big-budget game releases. And it looks like Ubisoft is doing the same here.
We have lots more to share on #HyperScape later today.
Tune-in to the official behind-the-scenes livestream at 11AM Pacific / 2PM Eastern for new footage, game details, and more.
— Hyper Scape (@HyperScapeGame) July 2, 2020
Of course, we don’t know exactly what’s going on behind the scenes, like whether any of these streamers are being paid to play the game right now. Hyper Scape has no concrete release date right now because Ubisoft hasn’t issued any form of messaging about when it’s entering beta or really anything else about the game as of right now.
But Turner “Tfue” Tenney, best known for playing Fortnite, is currently pulling more than 50,000 viewers playing the game as the most-watched channel on the platform. Scores of other streamers are playing the game to massive viewership, too. So whatever Ubisoft is doing here is clearly working.