24
Jul
twitch-logo-300x300

Update 7/24/14: VentureBeat reports that the deal has finally gone through, though nothing official has been announced by either company just yet. The waiting game continues.

The original post from May 18th continues below.

Google has reportedly succeeded in securing the acquisition of the game streaming service Twitch. If the deal goes through, Twitch will apparently become part of YouTube. The sale price is being reported as an even $1 billion in cash, which works out to exactly one Instagram.

twitch-tv-21

Twitch has become indispensable in the growing world of e-sports. If you want to watch someone play video games, Twitch is the way to do it, and Google wasn't the only company that wanted a piece of it. Microsoft has also been wooing Twitch, hoping to snap it up before Google could seal the deal. In the end, a YouTube acquisition makes more sense for Twitch. Many of those streaming videos end up on YouTube anyway, and Microsoft isn't exactly big in streaming video. It's still early, though. A few sources say Twitch might still pull out and seek funding to go it alone.

Twitch has been seeing a massive increase in usage over the last year, and it now pushes more traffic than Amazon or Facebook during peak hours. It took $20 million in venture funding last year, but Twitch is expected to turn a profit in 2014. If this deal turns out to be legit, an announcement will probably be made soon.

[Variety]

Ryan Whitwam
Ryan is a tech/science writer, skeptic, lover of all things electronic, and Android fan. In his spare time he reads golden-age sci-fi and sleeps, but rarely at the same time. His wife tolerates him as few would.

He's the author of a sci-fi novel called The Crooked City, which is available on Amazon and Google Play. http://goo.gl/WQIXBM

  • miri

    Other sites are reporting that it's just a consideration and they're also exploring other options. If it does end up happening... cool beans.

    • SSDROiD

      The headline of this article does state "Rumor", though. And the second sentence starts with "If the deal goes through".

      • miri

        Just offering what I thought was an important piece of perspective left out of the article as I'd imagine there's a considerable difference between "is in the realm of possibility" and "has already happened and is awaiting approval".

        • PhilNelwyn

          Except that, as SSDROiD mentioned, it wasn't left out of the article.
          "[Rumor]"
          "Google has reportedly..."
          "Google wasn't the only company that wanted a piece of it..."

  • DeadSOL

    I am really excited by this supposed acquisition! Hurray for Google and us!

  • SSDROiD

    This is really exciting!

  • Sean White

    If nothing else this should improve the quality of the app. For a company this important their app is remarkably bad

    • Matthew Fry

      At least we won't have to worry about them intentionally disallowing sound only playback as twitch streams are much more visually oriented.

    • bprichard

      I'm also hoping it improves Twitch's search, which is just astoundingly bad.

    • Retsu Unohana

      They recently updated the app. Which surprisingly is miles better and I had a gut instinct the buy out had something to do with it. (as in influenced it). I think the Google buyout will allow them to slowly go into other gaming platforms like the PS4, XB One etc since Twitch is part of the services.

    • Nasko Hristov

      You really thing Google will support Twitch? I gave them 1 year until everything is ported on to Youtube.

      • PhilNelwyn

        Yeah, like they did with Waze...

        • Steven Code

          Ya when we thought they were gonna destroy them 😝

      • Francesco Lorenzet

        oh, sure, because if the same person do the same stream from a different url is ugly and commmercial.

  • Leonard Krum

    Twitch Plays Poke...[This stream is no longer available due to a Nintendo copyright claim]

    Ah.. all that Game Streamers... they will need to start talking instead of using Copyrighted Music Playlist..

    • didibus

      The thing is, as Twitch grow, and especially as it starts to turn a profit, it would also have to start addressing Copyrights. That's just a side effect of popularity, YouTube didn't care about it for a long time, until it became too popular.

    • Francesco Lorenzet

      i think google can buy musics right for them
      or just doing twich plays facebook poke

  • Fatal1ty_93_RUS

    Wow, this is bad. And I mean BAD. Google sees the rising popularity of Twitch that threatens YouTube's gaming content, especially with the whole Content ID bullshit, so instead of providing competition - they just decided to buy the fuck out of Twitch. Fan-fucking-tastic.

    This should be illegal as this is clearly a monopoly establishing move. I hope Twitch denies the offer

    • Zargh
    • StevenLockey

      To be a monopoly, the users need to have no choice but to use that product. There are other gaming/streaming sites available to use so its not a monopoly.

      People keep using that term, but I do not think they understand what it means!

      If 90% of people use one service because its better than the alternatives, but there are alternatives that are actual competitors then its not a monopoly.

      • Fatal1ty_93_RUS

        I don't see how YouTube (Daily motion, vimeo, ...) and Twitch (ustream, hitbox. TV,...) can be called competitors with their almost nonexistent market shares. YT and TTV pretty much rule the video hosting and livestreaming

      • http://www.sunsetreflector.blogspot.com WufanGohan

        That's what you think. People aren't as stupid as you think, or you are. You are just too academic to understand the world.

        • StevenLockey

          I think the person who should be considered stupid is the person making biased statements without knowledge of the terms they are using.

          Monopolies are things like water services, you don't have any choice where the water that comes out your taps is from in most cases.

          There are alternatives that are entirely valid for every Google product. They may not be as good as Google but that does not mean they aren't valid competitors. A monopoly isn't decided by the quality of the competition but the absence of it.

    • hhh

      Better than if Microsoft acquired it, and turned it into a Xbox live gold pay service....

    • Athanor

      The problem might be a lot more complex. For instance, facing extreme growth, twitch might have prospected for an eventual buyer. Once that happens Google pretty much has to make a move, else another taking service like ustream might become even bigger and hard to catch up to. Another solution would be Microsoft. That could be bad for Google as Microsoft already has a search engine and would gladly incorporate a video service. But let's not forget that twitch might not have had much of a choice. Going with Microsoft is too risky because twitch is platform agnostic and should stay that way. And you haven't many people around who can offer enough cash and a technical help as strong as YouTube. I'd say it's a clusterf*ck with not that many possibilities for each party involved. Or maybe I'm altogether mistaken.

      • Fatal1ty_93_RUS

        I am also wondering what would this mean for the twitch app on Xbox One, there is a chance it might get wiped out completely just like all those Google apps on winphone

        • simon

          Nobody has Xbox one. So it really doesn't matter

          • Fatal1ty_93_RUS

            5 million owners disagree with you

          • blindexecutioner

            I don't think so. They have shipped that many to retailers.

        • didibus

          Isn't there a YouTube app on Xbox One?

          You also should understand, this isn't an Android related acquisition. So the competition isn't so much on that front, Google will probably want Twitch to be accessible on as much devices as possible, just like for YouTube.

      • Roger Siegenthaler

        "Going with Microsoft is too risky because twitch is platform agnostic and should stay that way. "

        Ummm... if anything MS is more likely to keep Twitch platform agnostic, last time I checked MSs apps were available everywhere I needed them (except desktop linux currently) whereas google refuses all MS OSs and isn't better with Linux desktop support...

        • Solust

          Google only has a handful of applications, all running on Windows. Chrome, Earth, and Picasa run on Windows and Mac. Their Android Development Tools work on Windows as well. Google refuses Windows Phone because it has a small market share. If/When the market share grows I'm sure they'll make official apps.

          Microsoft is kind of a risky buyout situation if you look at Skype. Sure they have all the funding they want now but they've also added more advertisements to the desktop versions and (at least the last time I tried) their Android app is still a mess to use. UX-wise there hasn't been any improvement to Skype.

          • Roger Siegenthaler

            Well google just shuts down its acquisitions normally... Also skype has gotten markedly better with actual cloud servers to send messages when you're not online and proper push notifications on android.

            And saying windows mobile has a "small" market share is quite a sad statement when they actively prevent MS from having a youtube app that works.

          • Solust

            I doubt they would shut down Twitch. Just like with Youtube there's already a massive user base and the views they get are surpassing some major sporting events. They'll want to keep the brand.

            Skype has had some missteps after their acquisition, but you're right they have improved things. I don't happen to need those things but I know a lot of people use them.

            The thing about Windows Phone (it's not Mobile anymore) you seem to be debating their market share and then hitching it to something unrelated. The truth of the matter is that WP does have a small, but improving, market share. As far as MS being prevented from having a Youtube app, I consider that a getting even thing. MS sues a ton of Android manufacturers and expects Google to play ball when it wants something. Who knows, seeing as Google and Apple have recently dropped their lawsuits maybe we'll see that situation dissipate as well.

          • didibus

            They only shut down things when they bought it for the workforce. When Google bought YouTube, they didn't shut it down, they kept it going and improved it. I think that's what they'll do with Twitch.

          • Roger Siegenthaler

            Youtube is pretty much the only example I can think of apart from Nest and that's probably more of a branding problem because who wants Google in their house knowing they track absolutely everything...

          • blarg

            "Skype has gotten markedly better"?! I honestly never thought I'd see a statement that crazy. Skype has gone down the toilet since MS took over! It's basically unusable now. Messages to mobile platforms have hour-long delays before hitting now! It's bloated up badly. It lags to death on every device I've tried recently. Message take hours to come through to phones and whatnot (I know, I already mentioned that... but it's the main reason Skype is useless on my phone and tablet now).

        • didibus

          But Microsoft owns Xbox, and I feel like that's a bit of a conflict of interest given Twitch is a Game Streaming platform.

  • slurivariv

    I love these "currencies" lol. "Exactly one Instagram."

    • Histirea

      Since Instagram was bought out for exactly $1b, it's a perfect measurement for sales in the billions. It's like calling a dollar a "buck" in the US after deerskin stopped being the most common standard of value.

      • Nasko Hristov

        So 2 Bilions should be 2 Instagrams, did I get it right? :D

        • redsnowfox

          What's Bilion?

          • Francesco Lorenzet

            a thousand million

          • Nasko Hristov

            Sorry, in my mother tongue we say completely different word for biLLion.

    • http://www.LOVEanon.org/ Michael Oghia (Ogie)

      I think it's getting old...

  • Jadephyre

    Oh for fucks sake Google...

  • Randy Strye

    hopefully they'll fix that God-awful delay. having to wait a minute for interaction with the chat room has been a deal breaker for some

  • Colin Richardson

    I, like some others, hope this really does improve their app. Their android app is just dire. I was searching for ages for the "cast to chromecast" button/option to eventually find out they don't have one. Apparently a few other apps have found a way to do it, but I couldn't find the stream I was after with them. So it was either, watch something I didn't want to watch on the TV, or watch something I could barely see on my phone. In the end, I just put a movie on and cursed Twitch.

  • Darren

    I am genuinely excited about this happening. I watch several gamers on youtube and Im just starting to get into twitch.

    • Guest

      They suck like you.

  • suthanalley

    That is dumb I do not believe Google would make the next nexus phone exclusive to sprint because that would make it go against Googles mission statement of making afford phones.. Fuck.. http://bit.ly/QZLZSd

  • BehelitOutlaw

    I was hoping that it was Valve who took them instead of Google.

  • catherinekylie

    oh my good $1 Billion Google/YouTube Buyout Offer just for: http://bit.ly/ScLhlI

  • cy_n_ic

    I just dont get the concept of watching someone else play a game. Its like constantly waiting for your turn which never comes around. Why is it so popular?

    • _jliu

      Sometimes people don't have access to a game they are really interested in and want to watch someone else to see what the actual gameplay is like. Another reason (although it'll sound really nerdy) is to watch competitive gaming. I personally find it very captivating to watch people play TF2 competitively because they're very good at what they do. It's much like watching actual sports on TV: You can always play the sport yourself, but it's still interesting to see the pros do it.

      • cy_n_ic

        Both valid points. Have an upvote

    • lljktechnogeek

      There's also the streams that are less "playing a videogame" and more "watching people do crazy shit with a videogame". Twitch Plays Pokemon was already referenced, although I'm more a fan of Video Game Championship Wrestling. Stick a bunch of video game characters into WWE 2k14 (in all its bizarrely glitchy glory), set up a bunch of CPU vs CPU matches, and watch the majesty unfold.

      (Especially any time Scorpion winds up in an Iron Man match.)

    • NinoBr0wn

      I've played a plethora of different games in my life, but I'll never be as good as the pro Street Fighter players. I love competition though, so I watch them duke it out. You can always hone your own skills by watching and getting new ideas from other gamers too, regardless of skill level. I don't watch a whole lot of TV, but I love gaming, so yea.

    • Colin Richardson

      Your argument could be made for normal sports. Millions of people watch people play football. But they could go out and play the game for themselves. Why is this so popular?

    • wolfkabal

      For me the only thing I watch on there are the speed run competitions and charity runs. They're a blast to see some of the tricks people use to break games and get those ridiculous times. I never cared about twitch until this last summer games done quick charity run (24/7 for a full week of speed runs) most I didn't watch, but the zelda and FF games were fun to watch.

    • kgptzac

      I actually share the same question... To check out the games I'm interested but don't have I'd rather go to YouTube and watch a edited version of gameplay videos where it would supposedly show more relevant information for me to get a better hang of the game instead of live streaming, which can be quite often showing mundane stuff.

  • DemandTrialByCombat

    Google's acquired companies (YT/Nest) are now buying out other companies ? Oh my goodnessness!!!

    • Francesco Lorenzet

      they will rule the world!

    • blarg

      It's like a spinoff show from a spinoff show!

  • jd

    Only for a billion? A steal for Google.

  • _jliu

    I frequently use Twitch and YouTube and this sounds like exciting news. However, I'm a little worried that the chat rooms are going to be a lot more toxic now; the Twitch gaming community is generally pretty good, but a lot of the YouTube gaming community isn't. Oh well, guess we'll wait and see.

  • NF

    From a technical perspective, this is good because it'll get the necessary resources to Twitch. TPP sucked a lot due to the intense lag. Hangouts is much more real time and that kind of latency would be great for cloud gaming.

  • blindexecutioner

    Great, another video service ruined. I'm sure Google+ is going to be required soon.

  • Kevin

    This plus Android TV??

  • MJ

    "A few sources say Twitch might still pull out and seek funding to go it alone" Huh? You haven't turned a profit yet! Take the f*cking billion dollars and don't ask any questions.

  • Big Tony

    Cool. Glad it didn't end up in Microsoft's hands.

  • http://www.LOVEanon.org/ Michael Oghia (Ogie)

    Guys, I think the Instagram comparison is getting a little old.

  • Matthew Gardner

    Hopefully his will improve the horrorshow that is live streaming on Youtube. Just about everybody I subscribe to has stated at some time or another how much of a shitshow Youtube livestreaming is in comparison to Twitch.

  • DKT70

    Great, another company Google can ruin, just like they did with YouTube.

    • DKT70′s mom

      Qunt.

  • Chippah

    I dont understand what is so entertaining about watching other people play video games with annoying commentary, but my 6 year old is obsessed with a Gentleman by the name of Markiplier.

    • _jliu

      Yeah, some people make very cringey game commentaries, but I guarantee you not all gamers are like that. I think the most popular commentators tend to to appeal to a younger audience, which generally makes them sound very annoying.

  • saradduclos

    Start working at home with Google! It's by-far the best job I've had. Last Wednesday I got a brand new BMW since getting a check for $6474 this - 4 weeks past. I began this 8-months ago and immediately was bringing home at least $77 per hour. I work through this link, go to tech tab for work detail

    ✒✒✒✒✒✒ Jobs700.Com

    ===============================

    • lalalol

      How about sucking my balls?

  • wolfkabal

    Does this mean they'll get official chromecast support finally?