It’s finally happened…as far as the internet buzz is concerned. After months of rumors, Google buckled down and signed the deal to purchase video game streaming service Twitch for $1 billion, according to unnamed sources in a report from VentureBeat.
Though the deal has yet to garner an official announcement, it seems like it was only a matter of time before it went through. Acquiring Twitch marks the logical next step for Google, since gaming YouTube video annotations already had the ability to bring viewers directly to live play on Twitch with a single click. Twitch Live Annotations premiered in June, merging the companies closer to the current deal.
Started by the creators of Justin.tv in 2011, Twitch has raised $35 million in past funding initiatives. Bessemer Venture Partners, WestSummit Capital, Alsop Louie Partners, Thrive Capital, Take-Two Interactive Software, and Draper Associates invest in the game streaming service, which boasts over 45 million users each month.
With YouTube having yet to claim a strong live-viewing option, the acquisition of Twitch will serve to fill a void on the digital video platform. Many users who have live-streamed their game play on YouTube note the hurdles they have to jump through due to copyright, and a common practice of Let’s Players is to upload their footage from Twitch to YouTube.
The acquisition could make the Twitch to YouTube transition more seamless for gamers, but details of the purchase are being kept very much under wraps for now. What we do know is that — if the reports are true — it will end competition between the two platforms.