Yesterday, Amazon jumped in the Twitch buyout arena and grabbed them for $970 million. Google was long rumored to be purchasing the streaming platform for $1 billion. What happened? It appears antitrust (monopoly) concerns held Google back. Amazon didn’t have to worry about regulators and jumped in.
Now that the Twitch buyout is done, what changes can Twitch users expect? Amazon says none. “Twitch is absolutely doing a great job and we don’t want to change that at all,” said Michael Frazzini, VP of Amazon Games, during a Twitch broadcast.
The $970 million deal makes Twitch a subsidiary of Amazon. Twitch CEO Emmett Shear pointed out that his job remains the same. “The exciting thing about the Amazon deal is I get to keep doing what I do.” Shear went on to say that the deal means Twitch gets access to Amazon’s engineering team, infrastructure and more partnerships with advertisers and game creators.
Twitch could stand some better servers. Getting rid of the stream delay would win over pretty much all Twitch users.
“The reason I thought Amazon would be a good home for Twitch is that we had a really shared vision around where gaming industry is going,” Shear said.
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos also expressed optimism about the deal. “Broadcasting and watching gameplay is a global phenomenon,” he said in a statement. “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.”
Well, they are all saying the right things. Time will tell if the no changes policy holds up. Twitch has already implemented a pseudo contend id system on recorded broadcasts for copyrighted music. It’s important to note this system has not been applied to live broadcasts.
I think it will be business as usual for Twitch in the near term. I do think they will continue expanding their service into music and other entertainment. Plus, Amazon gets a foothold in the growing E-sports arena with the biggest gaming tournaments regularly bringing in hundreds of thousands of viewers.
With the Twitch acquisition, Amazon proves it wants a massive presence in gaming. Amazon’s games division boasts some of the most talented designers in the industry including Double Helix games, and the designers of Portal and Far Cry. Now, they just need this talent to translate to the Amazon Fire TV.