Jordan Fisher knows where the future is heading, it’s just taken a different path than maybe we all expected this year. Twitch streams were hugely popular long before a pandemic kept everyone inside a lot more than they’d have liked. But life in quarantine has made streaming more popular than ever, and it’s also changed what people want to see played in some ways.
Among Us, for example, is a surprise hit two years in the making, proof that you never quite know what games will make it big and how audiences will grow. What will be big, though, is the technology that fuels those Twitch streams and the way we live our modern lives. Which perhaps is why Fisher — an actor with a dedicated Twitch following and a lifelong love of gaming — was perfect to help Verizon launch its 5G campaign earlier this month.
When Uproxx spoke to Fisher, he was in “an undisclosed location” filming a movie he’s producing. But the To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You actor and streamer is also big into gaming, and talked to us about what games he wishes got more run on Twitch, how he balances his serious gaming with relaxation and what he wishes more people would watch on Twitch so he could play it more often.
Uproxx: You’re a big gamer and I know that’s taken up a lot of your time during the pandemic, but what else have you been up to these days?
Jordan Fisher: Well, a lot. I’m executive producing a film and starring in it, so that is 90 percent of my days. Just production meetings and being on set, writing, doing the thing. Going over shot lists, et cetera et cetera. Other than that, I’m streaming a lot and going over a few other projects and wrapping up wedding planning. Just kind of little bit of everything. I’m kind of like chicken with my head cut off at the moment but I am happy. That’s probably the most important thing.
Basically everything you said there has had the level of difficulty ramped up these days due to the pandemic, especially with a wedding and filming. How stressful has that been for you? Any advice on how to juggle things in times like these?
Stressful is an interesting kind of term because there’s so much of everything that’s out of our control and I think the just relinquishing as much control and power as possible, letting it be what it is and understanding the everyone is trying to do their job.
We’re fortunate to be able to get married at this time, regardless. We’re fortunate to work at this time, to film at this time. Yeah, there are all kinds of things and precautions that are not a part of our muscle memory with our day-to-day lives, and how we function and our work. It doesn’t really matter what we do, if you work in an office or on a set or a construction site, whatever the case may be, there’s a lot of muscle memory that comes into play that has to be tamed. You have to figure out how to function in a new way but at the end of the day we’re fortunate that we get to continue to work and make a living. It’s all very important to remember and I count my blessings every day.
With all that’s going on, do you find gaming and streaming to actually relaxing or is it just more work? I know I cover gaming for a living and sometimes struggle to see it as something that is the leisure activity it’s supposed to be for most.
Yes and no. Funny, I was just talking to somebody about that. It was always important to me, especially because I’ve been gaming for close to three decades now, this is my lifeblood. Gaming has always been my first language, whether I’m playing at a super high level competitively or if I’m just chilling with some friends and having some good conversation sipping some beers over Discord and hanging, having a good time. Gaming has always been the thing that’s been my alternate universe. For you, I’m sure you can say the same thing. It’s, to an extent, the thing that should be able to take you away from your real life and be a separation from work.
But when you are one of the two of us, for example, that work in the gaming industry, it’s really easy for it to feel like work. One thousand percent there have been times where I’m like ‘I don’t want to play this game today, I don’t want to be entertaining and get on camera today. I don’t feel like chatting, I don’t feel like blah blah blah.’ But you do it, because you have to do it. And oftentimes I feel, to be honest with you, I often find that the days where I’m not in the mood to stream, when I’m not in the mood to play comp on Valorant, all of these things: it ends up becoming a really good session. It ends up becoming a really great stream. Something happens in there and I kind of relinquish that control.
So it was really important to me and those really close to me, my family, my fiancé, my super close friends as I found myself further thrust into the gaming space on an entertainment level, that it didn’t feel like work. So I could continue to have that as an escape. And I’ve always worked really hard to make that stay the same. And I think I’ve found, probably over the course of COVID more so, is taking time to game with friends off stream. And play and hang off stream. That’s what’s really kept my love for video gaming as fervent as it is, taking that time to just be a gamer and play games.
For sure. And you can see on Twitch when trends pop up with certain games, people almost feel obligated to play titles that are popular just to attract eyeballs.
A thousand percent.
Is there a game maybe that you’re not playing on Twitch that is keeping you sane this year? Something maybe people aren’t paying as much attention to as you wish they would?
Yeah, there are probably a few. The mainstays right now, especially with it being Halloween time, it’s like clockwork every year there’s a new spooky party games that come around each year. I’m loving Phasmophobia at the moment. Obviously Among Us is the new big thing. But to be perfectly honest with you the game that I wish was more popular, the game I wish more people cared about in terms of watching it so that it was more successful on the streaming side of things is Overwatch.
Overwatch is, I just love it. I came in super late, I started playing it only last summer and I went on a bit of a grind. My community got to watch me go from placing in Gold my first round of placements to becoming a GM in DPS. To be able to go on that journey and watch that happen, watch me grow as a gamer and also to see me fall deeper and deeper in love with it has been a lot of fun. We’ll see with Overwatch 2. I know (Blizzard vice president) Jeff (Kaplan) wants to make it a little more viewable, a bit more watchable. Every studio and game developer knows very well now for the life of the game these days it has to be playable on YouTube, watchable on streams. We’ll see how they deconstruct and reconstruct Overwatch 2 and hopefully it becomes one of those Fortnite, Modern Warfare, League of Legends-type titans in the industry. It would make me very happy.
Oh, and World of Warcraft.
Obviously you have a deep connection to gaming and working with Verizon explaining how 5G works is something that isn’t much of a stretch for you. It must be nice to work with a company like this that’s tied directly to a passion of yours.
We partnered with @JordanFisher to help explain what 5G Ultra Wideband is and how it could potentially impact so many facets of your life. Check out the below video to learn more from our friend, Jordan! #5GBuiltRight https://t.co/PbteA0JigJ pic.twitter.com/wIV4qqBzmd
— Verizon (@Verizon) October 5, 2020
And actually cares about it? Yeah, 100 percent. Working with a company that actually, genuinely cares about gaming and gamers and understands the necessity for download and upload speed? One thousand percent. It’s one of those partnerships that just makes sense and I think you get to a point to where you start to be a little picky and choosey about who you align yourself with.
For me, any kind of partnership I take on I want to be fully and entirely authentic. I want it to really make sense and be a partnership I can actually be excited about and talk about with excitement. And this is that. I’m an absolute nerd, I love advancements in technology. I’m wired into, tapped into all of those different outlets and I want to see speeds be faster. I want to see things be more streamlined. I want to see, you know, hardware be sleeker and more sexy and all of these things.
And Verizon’s really doing that with data here. This is true 5G. Instantaneous access to things and especially for me, who travels a lot, to be able to get that kind of coverage and accessibility whether I’m on an airplane or train or boat or automobile, I want instant access to things I need whether they be for work or for pleasure. And I think that everybody wants it, even if you don’t know that you do.
It’s incredible what our phones are able to do and make happen through science. But we’re also only humans and we’re selfish and we want things to be faster than the day before and Verizon has raised the bar constantly in that. They really raised the bar with 3G and made it what it was, 4G LTE as well and 5G is going to be a massive game-changer and I’m excited to be one of the faces that helps spread the good news, if you will.