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Google in talks to buy Twitch for $1B, suggest multiple reports
Google in talks to buy Twitch for $1B, suggest multiple reports
May 19, 2014 | By Mike Rose

May 19, 2014 | By Mike Rose
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    11 comments
More: Console/PC, Business/Marketing



Newsbrief: A number of reports appeared over the weekend, suggesting that Google is in talks in buy video game streaming giant Twitch, although it isn't clear at what stage these talks are at.

Sources talking to Variety, The Verge and the Wall Street Journal all say that talks are currently underway, and it's suggested that Twitch has chosen to go ahead with Google over other big companies, including Microsoft.

However, while Variety and The Verge report that the talks are in the final stages, and that the deal may be worth $1 billion, WSJ's report suggests this is not yet the case, reporting instead that "the talks are at an early stage, and a deal isn't imminent."

Both Google and Twitch declined to comment on any of the reports.


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Comments


Phil Maxey
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Twitch being acquired was/is inevitable. Google might be a good fit, but it's hard to see how if they do buy Twitch how Twitch won't just become absorbed into YouTube.

Karl E
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Game streaming is such a suboptimal and counterintuitive concept. There should be a "spectator client" made for each game. With such a client, only minimal information (position of character's joints?) would have to be transmitted to each spectator, and spectators would be able to enjoy the game with the same fidelity as the player. Also, spectators would be able to choose the perspective themselves, as well as check up on background information about the players that are useful for quickly getting into a game but not permanently visible on the players' HUD.

Robert Green
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That's a nice idea, but speaking as someone who helped write a replay system for a game once*, it's not as easy as it sounds, and it also requires some concessions, like requiring certain things to be deterministic.
Also, a 'spectator client' would, in order to render everything, need to contain basically the entire game, meaning that watching a stream of a modern game would essentially mean downloading a >10GB specialised video player, which sounds just as suboptimal, unless we're assuming that people only want to watch videos for games they already have.


*which is basically the same idea - store the data required to recreate the scene

Karl E
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Yup, that's true, it would be basically the whole game, so it's only viable for people who are serious about spectating. It's still an intriguing concept from the publisher's side though, because a lot of these spectators are presumptive customers of the game, and they could be presented with a one-click unlocking process for purchasing the game if they feel like jumping into the fray.

And the ad money itself is not trivial either as the $1B price for Twitch shows.

A W
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Super Smash Bothers Brawl for the Wii had a spectators client built right into the online portion of the game. You could watch other people's online battles and gamble on who would win the match. If you where right you would get items that you could use to unlock stuff,. It was very rewarding. Then there was Killzone 2 which also had a spectator client built into online. You could switch between players during the match.

Daniel Gutierrez
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Err.... Twitch's largest streams come from esports (the diff between a LoL tournament vs single player stream is like 250k+ vs 5k). It's not really about experiencing a game as if you were playing the game. Same concept as why sports streams aren't just a deluge of GoPros on player helmets.

Alan Barton
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Twitch for real time and youtube for pre-recorded does sound like a good fit, especially if you can catch recordings of once live events, although it was nice to see a potential competitor to youtube appearing, so I'm not so happy to see it be swallowed up by google.

That said, I've felt Twitch's front page is badly biased towards "Featured Games" ... which is another way of saying badly biased towards big money paid placement adverts for only the top AAA developers, so hopefully if Google does buy Twitch, it could open it up more for smaller indie companies.

Jennis Kartens
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Oh dear.

YouTube and how it is treated by Google is... horrible. Google doesn't inform the userbase about anything, keeps changing things (sometimes very drastically) and caters too much towards the problematic copyright infringement controversity. Back in december 2013 they implemented the contend id system which in the first months created a heavy wave of hundreds of thousands false claims from self-proclaimed third party copyright owners.

May not really be a good fit.

A W
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Just one billion. Mark Z and Apple have been buying valuable companies for two billion. They are being sroogled.

Robert Green
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I didn't think I'd ever see the day when a company that struggles to make a profit is bought for a billion dollars and is thought to have been undervalued. What a funny world we live in.

Kyle Redd
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I guess the way things are going, it will soon be impossible for you to have a presence online and not simultaneously be a customer of Google or Facebook.


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