If you don’t know what Twitch is and you play any sort of video game, you need to check it out. It has quickly become the mecca of professional gamer livestreams, how-to’s, and general “I want to check this game out before I buy it” views. As a viewer, you can ask questions of the player that is streaming and they can answer via their microphone, or even show you on screen, the answer to your questions. The streams can get pretty fancy as well. A lot of streamers have their face in the video, as a webcam is pointed at them. Some even have custom graphics to enhance the feeling of the stream. Twitch just rewrote their mobile apps as well to be better incorporated into the site. You don’t have to miss a beat now if you aren’t at your PC.
In the past months, we’ve all heard about the Google offer to purchase Twitch. Well yesterday the CEO pushed out a blog piece on the site to say the deal had gone through, but not with who we thought. Amazon has won the bid, for a cool $970 million.
As a gamer, this is something I’m looking forward to. Already I’ve received an email that any recorded videos that aren’t highlighted will be deleted on August 27th. If I analyze this for a minute, the only reason to send this mass email out to everyone, is they are moving their servers onto Amazon’s offerings, perhaps. This will add speed and reliability to the streams and recorded video, surely.
They’ve reduced the storage time for recordings (not highlights, those are indefinite at this time), but have increased it for paying members of the Turbo and Partners program. I get the feeling this is a direct result of the purchase by Amazon. We are all aware of their servers and systems being top notch, so Twitch, being built now on top of their platforms can only get better.
The only downside I see, is that the Amazon Prime membership has gone up this past year. While that seems off topic, Amazon Prime provides on demand video streaming, so I’m hopeful that Twitch can stay alive on the ad driven model, and won’t venture towards subscription only. Turbo is their subscription model, and at $8.99 per month, it seems a little steep to just watch game videos with no ads. If you add that into the Prime membership, and make it a requirement, it will certainly drive people away.
However, having the backing of a major company is quite a feat, and to be allowed the opportunity to continue to operate as your own entity may be even nicer. I hope that Amazon treats Twitch as a partner, and not a child, as in just over 3 years, its shown it is a powerhouse of entertainment for the gaming world.