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Amazon Buys Twitch... but to what end?

by on25 August 2014 2030 times

Hey, remember all of those rumors that YouTube would by live streaming service Twitch? Well it looks like all of that might have been wrong. According to a new report uncovered by the Wall Street Journal it is not YouTube or Google that is buying up Twitch, it is Amazon. This is something of a departure from what most analysts felt was going to happen within the company. A lot of people felt the marriage of Twitch and YouTube was one that made sense even if there was reluctance on the part of the community.

 

In some ways we can see where Amazon would want to have this service for themselves (to keep it away from Google), but it is not really clear how it fits into the other all Amazon plan. One possibility is that Amazon is going to dive into the gaming industry and wants to have their very own live streaming service when this happens. Amazon has already picked up some game developers recently and has shown they are very interested in the gaming market. The question is: will this interest be all about mobile gaming, cloud gaming or will it be a full-fledged game development work shop.

The acquisition of Twitch could be seen as a bridge into cloud gaming if they (Amazon) put their cloud compute services to work rendering on the backend and Twitch to push the games out to their clients. It is a stretch as Twitch is not really meant to work like that, but it does have potential. In a more realistic world the acquisition could be nothing more than Amazon looking for another service to sell to consumers. They could offer this through their Amazon Prime service and allow gamers to stream their games.

This builds on the service offerings to existing customers and gives new ones another reason to sign up. It is unlikely that Amazon is going to dive into gaming in the near term even if they are looking at this as a long term goal. Twitch just posted the following on their site so it looks like it is all a done deal.

Dear Twitch Community,
It’s almost unbelievable that slightly more than 3 years ago, Twitch didn’t exist. The moment we launched, we knew we had stumbled across something special. But what followed surprised us as much as anyone else, and the impact it’s had on both the community and us has been truly profound.
Your talent, your passion, your dedication to gaming, your memes, your brilliance - these have made Twitch what it is today. Every day, we strive to live up to the standard set by you, the community. We want to create the very best place to share your gaming and life online, and that mission continues to guide us.
Together with you, we’ve found new ways of connecting developers and publishers with their fans. We’ve created a whole new kind of career that lets people make a living sharing their love of games. We’ve brought billions of hours of entertainment, laughter, joy and the occasional ragequit. I think we can all call that a pretty good start.
Today, I’m pleased to announce we’ve been acquired by Amazon. We chose Amazon because they believe in our community, they share our values and long-term vision, and they want to help us get there faster. We’re keeping most everything the same: our office, our employees, our brand, and most importantly our independence. But with Amazon’s support we’ll have the resources to bring you an even better Twitch.
I personally want to thank you, each and every member of the Twitch community, for what you’ve created. Thank you for putting your faith in us. Thank you for sticking with us through growing pains and stumbles. Thank you for bringing your very best to us and sharing it with the world. Thank you, from a group of gamers who never dreamed they’d get to help shape the face of the industry that we love so much.
It’s dangerous to go alone. On behalf of myself and everyone else at Twitch, thank you for coming with us.
Emmett Shear, CEO


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Last modified on 25 August 2014
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