You know what’s cooler than $1 million? $970 million. That’s how much online shopping site Amazon just spent to buy Twitch, a company that specializes in streaming video game content from next-gen consoles, swooping in under Google to nab the company.
Chances are if you haven’t been following this story (or regularly game), you have two reactions to this story: that’s an insane amount of money; and what the heck is Twitch?
Twitch is a service which essentially allows you to connect to other users while gaming, through streaming video and chat. You’ve probably even used it to watch some of those awesome online gaming videos on YouTube, as many of the platform’s iterations allow you to record video while broadcasting.
It’s not a multiplayer service: instead, it allows you to broadcast your gaming exploits to a huge network of other gamers, and allows you to similarly watch others.
Dedicated channels in the Twitch community (think Youtube channels) can have hundreds of thousands of viewers at any one time, allowing for gamers to gain fame from playing a game, and even revenue. In fact, some gamers can even make a living off simply playing a game extremely well and cultivating a video watching fanbase, thanks to subscriptions which provide users with exclusive access to some of your videos – if you’re good enough, of course.
Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, explained why the company bought Twitch in a statement, saying, “Like Twitch, we obsess over customers and like to think differently, and we look forward to learning from them and helping them move even faster to build new services for the gaming community.”
What isn’t as clear is whether Amazon bought Twitch for the gaming integration, or for its streaming capabilities.
At the moment, though, if you’re one of the 50 million users worldwide who uses Twitch’s free, ad-supported platform, this shouldn’t affect you directly. In the long term we’ll have to wait and see how things fall out, but for now: enjoy your “League Of Legends” games, playaz.