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Posted by patrickklepek (6012 posts) -

UPDATE: The reports were true. Amazon is buying Twitch for roughly $970 million. The deal is expected to close in the second half of 2014.

“Broadcasting and watching gameplay is a global phenomenon and Twitch has built a platform that brings together tens of millions of people who watch billions of minutes of games each month--from The International, to breaking the world record for Mario, to gaming conferences like E3. And, amazingly, Twitch is only three years old,” said Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos in a press release. “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.”

Twitch CEO Emmett Shear published a statement as the news went live:

"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."

--

It seems inevitable that Twitch is getting sold. The first reports suggested Google would pick up the popular streaming service, but both The Wall Street Journal and The Information (both outlets require a subscription) are reporting it's actually Amazon.

(This certainly makes Venture Beat's headline about Google from weeks back seem a bit silly. Confirmed!)

According to the WSJ, negotiations between Google and Twitch "cooled" in the last few weeks. It's also possible the Amazon buyout could be announced later today, assuming everything goes as planned.

So, what say you? Is Amazon a better or worse home for Twitch?

#1 Posted by JasonMrazMtaz (45 posts) -

Scoops!

Online
#2 Edited by Captain_Felafel (1596 posts) -

Well this is completely bonkers! Google always made sense; YouTube's streaming capabilities are subpar, and Twitch's VOD capabilities have always been a pain to navigate. Google buying Twitch solved two birds with one stone. But Amazon? That's a bizarre fit, but I'd definitely feel (slightly) more comfortable if they were the ones calling the shots rather than Google.

#3 Posted by theimmortalbum (512 posts) -

I definitely think I trust Amazon a bit more at this point to do right by its' customers than Google. I'd be interested to see what comes of this.

#4 Posted by Ford_Dent (309 posts) -

Amazon is a strange choice, but at the end of the day I am pretty sure it won't matter as long as they let things stay more or less the same.

#5 Posted by forteexe21 (452 posts) -

Depends if Amazon will fix twitch lag and the archive.

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#6 Posted by conmulligan (701 posts) -

I'm way more comfortable with Amazon picking up Twitch than I am with Google. Here's hoping it pans out!

#7 Posted by theMockingNoob (173 posts) -

Amazon has been ramping up their in-house ad placement tech, so it makes sense for them to want to buy something like twitch.

#8 Edited by JimmyPancakes (120 posts) -

I think GiantBomb will soon replace Kotaku as my source for breaking rumors! You won't believe what happened next!

#9 Posted by leejunfan83 (1004 posts) -

Yakkem!!!!!!!!!!

#10 Posted by bradtgrace (1 posts) -

I personally love it. Imagine streamers having more leniency with copyrighted content, as long as they have a link underneath the stream with a "Want to try this game? It's $19.95 on Amazon, with Prime 2-day shipping!" Or maybe even, "Like this song the streamer is listening to? Buy it now on Amazon Music, $.99!"

I know those aren't the most plausible outcomes to this rumor, it's a (albeit distant) possibility. Which is neat to consider.

#11 Posted by MrMazz (1036 posts) -

I still think it would be better for YouTube as a service to aquire Twitch, I don't really see how Amazon can use Twitch to make sweet internet money aside from using the muted licensed song moments to link to the Amazon music store. but hey I'm just some dude on the internet

#12 Edited by CornBREDX (5830 posts) -

Based solely on Amazons lenient MP3 sales policy I am ok with the idea of Amazon owning Twitch.

#13 Posted by JamieOD (75 posts) -

I don't care who buys it, just get rid of the 30 second delay.

#14 Posted by BabyChooChoo (4739 posts) -

Shit, didn't see that coming. I hope it works out because I definitely have more faith in them not to ruin Twitch.

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#15 Posted by HammondofTexas (840 posts) -

Well Amazon has a ton of experience running Web Services, so I guess it sort of makes sense.

@patrickklepek Is there a dollar figure attached to this rumor? Wasn't the YouTube/Google rumor figure at 1 Billion?

#16 Posted by Lukeweizer (2749 posts) -

As long as I don't have to sign into Google+ for Twitch, I'm happy.

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#17 Posted by Springfart (353 posts) -

hopefully they won't destroy the site with copyright bullshit like google would've

#18 Posted by sub_o (912 posts) -

Little did they know that it's actually Taco Bell who's going to buy Twitch. Imagine the world's leading video platform for gamers merged with world's best cuisine company.

#19 Posted by Pop (2648 posts) -

Waiting to see what happens. I have no idea if this is good or bad. I don't like change that much, if they leave the main thing (stream for free, views streams for free) I'm okay with it.

#20 Edited by President_Barackbar (3472 posts) -

As much as I would rather have Amazon own Twitch, I think anyone who thinks the acquisition would mean a reversal or revision of their new streaming and VOD policies is kidding themselves since Twitch did that independently of anyone else.

#21 Posted by EXTomar (4922 posts) -

This is probably legitimate because Amazon probably sees Twitch as the perfect way to advertise buying physical and digital games.

#22 Posted by ripelivejam (4609 posts) -

So one monopolistic corp for another, eh?

#23 Posted by T_wester (282 posts) -

I would rather have youtube and twitch competing, instead of forming an almost monopoly of "video stuff".

So good news / rumor.

#24 Posted by PXAbstraction (348 posts) -

I'd rather Amazon end up with Twitch than Google, if for no other reason than to stop the creation of a full-blown monopoly over both streaming and on-demand video but I hope Amazon can do something to fix Twitch. The delay, the lag, the horrible UI, the constant bugs, the useless support for anyone who isn't a big partner (a problem YouTube also has), these are all major problem that other sites like Hitbox have already solved but which Twitch lets slide because they're basically the only game in town if you want any viewers. This has got to change.

#25 Posted by chrisphil1724 (64 posts) -

Coming soon to Twitch: "Twitch Prime" Amazon will send a drone to your home to record your gameplay and live stream it to Twitch! $14.95 a month.

#26 Posted by Player1 (3891 posts) -

@mrmazz: I am no expert myself, but I would guess that video ad revenue has a lot to do with potential profits as opposed to referral links.

#27 Edited by Aviar (446 posts) -

I'm not to sure anyone would of even guessed this. With the way Twitch has been cleaning house, it really seemed like it was mimicking how YouTube runs the shop. But I think Amazon could be a good fit for this. Amazon has been slowly seeping it's way into other aspects of the market and online game streaming seems like a pretty good addition to their pie.

#28 Edited by Arrested_Developer (734 posts) -

As an Amazon employee I feel this is for the best

*watches employee stock prices rise*

*strokes cat in lap*

#29 Edited by Crono (2698 posts) -
@arrested_developer said:

As an Amazon employee I feel this is for the best

*watches employee stock prices rise*

*strokes cat in lap*

*Invests in call options for Amazon stock*

#30 Posted by langdonx (122 posts) -

YouTube's streaming capabilities are subpar

I don't know when you last checked, but YouTube's streaming is totally legit. I watched some streams during Google IO this year (back in June) and it was as perfect as I could imagine. I don't know what the latency from broadcast was (a problem with Twitch), but the fact that you could rewind and watch any part of the stream instantly blew me away. It's really lame that Twitch, a supposed leader in online streaming, can't yet do this.

#31 Posted by SLowrAM (42 posts) -

Hope Amazon Prime members get ad free twitch.

#32 Posted by Benmo316 (541 posts) -

@slowram: I didn't even think about that possibility. That'd be great!

#33 Posted by EXTomar (4922 posts) -

Youtube's streaming isn't "subpar" but "open". Making Youtube Streaming more friendly to gamers means it hoses other streamers would have issues.

That said, competition would do them a world of good where making a suite of tools to help make streaming easier if you are a sports caster or a video game caster.

#34 Edited by hott8bitaction (12 posts) -

Definitely a what the fuck moment if I have ever seen one.

#35 Posted by Captain_Felafel (1596 posts) -

@langdonx: Huh! That's actually pretty awesome. It has been awhile since I last checked, so consider me corrected! Though, does YouTube support livestreams over its myriad of apps?

#36 Edited by iAmJohn (6134 posts) -

I trust Bezos a little more than Google, but not that much more.

#37 Posted by langdonx (122 posts) -

@langdonx: Though, does YouTube support livestreams over its myriad of apps?

Good point, I'm not sure... it's just a channel though, https://www.youtube.com/channel/SBAaOjE-GIlRI, which is really weird.

I'm also speaking strictly from a viewer standpoint, I don't know how hard it is to hook up to.

#38 Edited by BaconGames (3542 posts) -

Sure, that makes sense. The few companies who could benefit from Twitch and in turn allow Twitch to grow are the ones which have extensive server and/or content delivery infrastructure. Amazon not only has both but as part of that has a vested interested in becoming a competitor in the streaming market.

I'd say it's a better home for Twitch because Amazon has more to gain and lose with Twitch than Google.

#39 Edited by TheManWithNoPlan (5902 posts) -

I'm at least more positive toward the prospect of Amazon buying twitch over Google.

#40 Posted by MariachiMacabre (7099 posts) -

I think GiantBomb will soon replace Kotaku as my source for breaking rumors! You won't believe what happened next!

So, when does a rumor become more than "Kotaku-level"? Because this is being reported by, as Patrick said, The Wall Street Journal. I'm genuinely curious since you seem so adamant on accusing Patrick of click bait for this piece.

#41 Posted by Bones8677 (3271 posts) -

I would much rather Amazon buy Twitch than Google. While Google made more sense, I generally trust Amazon much more.

However, they have screwed up with their acquisitions in the past. They bought Comixology a while back and took away the ability to purchase comics on the iPad. Instead now I have to go to a separate site on my computer, completely missing the point of the fast and portable functionality of an e-reader.

#42 Edited by bassman2112 (850 posts) -
#43 Posted by KaneRobot (1787 posts) -

I really doubt they'll be changing the 30-minutes-of-muting policy, so I really don't care who buys it. More interested to see if Hitbox or another alternative steps up in the next year or two.

#44 Posted by GorillaMoPena (2283 posts) -

$970 million? Rusty really can't help being talked down to a bargain.

#45 Edited by JJOR64 (19051 posts) -

At least Google+ wont ruin Twitch now. Hopefully Twitch will get some nice features now with Amazon behind them.

#46 Edited by darkest4 (416 posts) -

Amazon is one of the few big corporations I trust (mostly). They haven't wronged me, not once over the years I've been using their store a lot, and their service is great. I don't think they'll ruin Twitch, I think Google was more likely to do that.

#47 Posted by cmblasko (1322 posts) -

"It’s dangerous to go alone."

... was that a Legend of Zelda reference?

#49 Posted by hmoney001 (105 posts) -

Prime + Turbo = do it amazon.

#50 Posted by reckreckreck (19 posts) -

I'm hoping for some sort of perks based on amazon prime, presuming that Amazon works some of their systems into Twitch directly.