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Microsoft has acquired Seattle-based streaming service Beam for an undisclosed fee, with a view to integrating the platform into its Xbox family.
Beam aims to set itself apart from competitors such as Twitch by giving viewers the chance to not only watch, but play alongside streamers in real-time.
Writing in a blog post, Team Xbox said they hope to use Beam to make Xbox Live "more social and fun."
"Using Minecraft as one example, with Beam you don’t just watch your favorite streamer play, you play along with them," they explained.
"You can give them new challenges and make real-time choices that affect their gameplay, from tool selection to quests to movement; all through simple visual controls."
Beam CEO Matt Salsamendi says the company plans to expand following the acquisition, and will bolster its infrastructure accordingly.
The Beam chief will continue to lead the team from Redmond, working alongside Team Xbox as part of the Engineering group.