Twitch, the social video platform and community for gamers, has announced it is making a move into e-commerce — starting this spring, the e-sports and live streaming platform will begin to sell video games, and in-game content directly within Twitch.
Developers will soon be able to make offers directly to fans who are watching their games on Twitch, and streamers will be able to earn money from purchases on their channel pages via a rev-share that looks a lot like traditional affiliate deals. Developers will earn 70% of the revenue and the 17+K Partnered Twitch streamers will earn 5% for sales originating from their channel pages.
Fans will also be rewarded if they purchase via “TwitchCrates,” a new offering that will provide randomized drops of items tailored to users, such as exclusive emotes, chat badges, and Bits for Cheering.
“The Twitch community is a key part of everything we do, from getting the word out about a game we’re launching to maintaining an ongoing dialog with our fans,” said Steve Allison, SVP of Publishing for Telltale Games. “By allowing viewers to help support their favorite streamer just by buying a game on Twitch, we’re able to help strengthen the community that has done so much for us.”
Both AAA and indie published games will be available when the program launches, including Ubisoft®, Telltale Games, Digital Extremes, Hi-Rez Studios, tinyBuild, Paradox Interactive, Trion Worlds, and Vlambeer,. Games can be downloaded and played via the Twitch launcher, or through existing developer or publisher-operated services like Uplay.
The announcement further shows how game developers are embracing Twitch as a marketing and engagement vehicle, as they used to do with Twitch-predecessors like Machinima and even YouTube. And, until now, the connection between Twitch and its parent company Amazon have been under played as the live video game streamer has operated autonomously since its billion dollar acquisition in the latter half of 2014.
With access to over 9.7 million daily active users and 2 million unique streamers per month, the potential for Twitch to move product and generate meaningful revenue for game publishers, streamers and for itself is sizeable. It also will serve as a major proof point of how Amazon can fully exploit the active community on the platform.