Although prior rumors had suggested that Google/YoutTube might purchase popular streaming service Twitch for $1 billion, no such deal actually took place. Instead it was online retailer Amazon who stood up to the plate and acquired Twitch for a final sum of $970 million.
Shortly after news of the acquisition broke, many gamers began to speculate as to how Twitch might change post-sale. But rather than let those gamers’ imaginations run wild for too long, Amazon Vice President of Games Mike Frazzini and Twitch CEO Emmett Shear came forward to answer just a few questions.
First and foremost, Twitch and Amazon want gamers to know that there will be no drastic changes in the short term. In fact, the acquisition will actually “help Twitch do what [they’re] doing today, only faster.”
Shear also wanted to stress that he will continue as head of the streaming service. Some had thought that the sale might lead to an outright takeover by Amazon, but as Shear explains in a town hall discussion Monday afternoon, that is not the case.
Rather, Shear believes that the deal will give Twitch unfettered access to Amazon’s relationships and infrastructure while still operating independently. More specifically, this will allow Twitch to “improve quality of service.”
How exactly that might come about, however, isn’t entirely clear just yet. There was talk of potentially adding an Amazon affiliates tie-in to Twitch and even offering special features to Prime members, but nothing is set in stone. For now, Twitch users should expect business as usual from their streaming service.
Well, business as usual except for the recent copyright crackdown on unlicensed audio and limitations on archived videos, which Shear says was not influenced by the upcoming sale. It turns out that Amazon had no idea that Twitch was about to change their policies. And apparently the negative reception the change drew did not scare them away either.
“In the case of the audio recognition change, no. Amazon was surprised by that. We might have made some mistakes on release, but it was something that had to be done for the good of the community and the long term health of the platform. Amazon didn’t even know of that.”
While Twitch has drawn a fair amount of criticism as of late, it sounds like the Amazon acquisition could help boosts the service’s appeal in the long run. There’s obviously no telling whether Amazon will change Twitch for the better or the worse, but Shear believes his company will improve under the online retailer’s watch. We’ll see whether that holds true in six months time.
Do you think Amazon buying Twitch will be a good thing in the long run? How do you see Amazon changing Twitch?
Source: Game Informer
Follow Anthony on Twitter @ANTaormina