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'Twitch plays  Pokemon ' leads to new funding opportunity for devs
'Twitch plays Pokemon' leads to new funding opportunity for devs
April 16, 2014 | By Mike Rose

April 16, 2014 | By Mike Rose
More: Console/PC, Business/Marketing

As video game broadcasting behemoth Twitch goes from strength to strength, the company today announced the next step for its business -- directly supporting those games which interact with Twitch functionality.

Choice Chamber from indie developer Michael Molinari will allow Twitch viewers to interact with any livestream of the game, entering commands in the chat to alter the gameplay.

The game is currently on Kickstarter, but with only half of the way to go to its target pledge total and only four days left, it looks like Choice Chamber won't be funded... but this story has a happy ending.

Twitch announced today that it plans to match Kickstarter pledges dollar-for-dollar -- from now until the Kickstarter project reaches its funding goal -- in order to help Molinari get his game built.

"The Twitch community has already shown extraordinary enthusiasm for interactive games using Twitch chat," Twitch director Brooke Van Dusen said in a statement. "Choice Chamber is an excellent example of how developers can embrace this next-generation concept, so we are helping support this evolution of gameplay experiences in the age of social video."

And Twitch specifically notes that this is the first time it has stepped in to fund a video game, suggesting that this may not be the last time we see this occur.

Of course, this isn't the first time a video game has utilized the Twitch live chat. The incredibly popular Twitch Plays Pokemon really made the idea a reality, while companies like Zombie Studios have said they are also exploring the possibilities.

This big news comes on the same day that the company began selling games directly through its streaming service, starting with Vlambeer's Nuclear Throne.

UPDATE: This story has been clarified to reflect that Twitch plans to match pledges to the Choice Chamber Kickstarter, dollar for dollar, from now until the project reaches its initial funding goal of $30,000. Since the project is currently at roughly $15,000 raised, that means Twitch expects to contribute about $7,500 to the project.

"I'll still be pushing hard in the final 4 days, as their matching the remaining funds means I'll still need to raise a few thousand on my own," Molinari told Gamasutra via email. "I used to say that this game literally wouldn't exist without the help of Twitch, but I guess now that has multiple meanings!"

Gamasutra is seeking further comment on what Twitch will do if the project still fails to meet its funding goal.

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Kenneth Blaney
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I hope there is something of a fork in the services provided by Twitch for this. In these types of games (which I coined as "Massively Cooperative" and really want to make that stick, haha) it is pretty necessary to split up the chat commands that go into the game and the chat commands of the people watching. Otherwise, Twitch would be forcing its audience to other services like Reddit in order to form a community. Consider: if you followed (or are following) TPP, you probably got more info about the current state of the game from alternative sources rather than the live feed itself. I would argue this is a negative thing for both Twitch and the developer since that community traffic could be kept in house.