Amazon Promises 'No Change' In How Twitch Operates

August 26, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

While it is the typical line for a company to use when buying out something so beloved by the community as Twitch is, Amazon said last night that it has no plans to make any changes to the popular community-driven video game streaming service. Amazon announced yesterday that it had acquired Twitch for an estimated $970 million. Michael Frazzini, vice of president of Amazon Games, and Twitch CEO Emmett Shear said during a "town hall meeting" last night that the deal shouldn't worry Twitch users.

"Twitch is absolutely doing a great job and we don't want to change that at all," Frazzini said last night.

He also said that Twitch will become an Amazon subsidiary under the Amazon Games division.

"The exciting thing about the Amazon deal is I get to keep doing what I do," Shear added.

He went on to say that the Amazon deal was the right move because it would give the company access to resources like engineering talent, backend infrastructure, and partnerships with game creators and advertisers.

"The reason I thought Amazon would be a good home for Twitch is that we had a really shared vision around where gaming industry is going," Shear said, noting that the internal cultures at Twitch and Amazon also match up nicely.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said that there is real synergy between the two companies.

"Broadcasting and watching gameplay is a global phenomenon," he said in a statement. "Like Twitch, we obsess over customers and like to think differently, and we look forward to learning from them and helping them move even faster to build new services for the gaming community."

One thing they didn't say but makes sense is that Twitch could hypothetically be rolled into Amazon Prime, Amazon's streaming on demand entertainment service. Whether incorporating Twitch into that service is part of the plan is unknown at this time.

You can watch a rebroadcast of the "Town Hall Meeting" here.


Comments

Re: Amazon Promises 'No Change' In How Twitch Operates

I've noticed a trend in all my years online since and before the Online Bubble. I've noticed these traits during and before the buyout.

  • A site had a failing product and bought a successful product to replace it.
  • A site had a similar product and had bought a successful product and had bought it to scavenge what had worked and let the bought product slowly wither.
  • A site bought a product and because no one else had anything like it and let it die.

Google does have a track record of buying out companies and using them but often this means there products become stronger in the process. It's very rare that I have seem them buy a product and allow it to wither away being that they typically borrow the tech for other uses.

Yahoo on the other hand is the biggest offender of buying out companies to use tech to destroy competition, using that tech due to lack of innovation. Years back Yahoo first got into the company buyout back when they bought eGroups which was due to a lack of parental controls and being able to Moderator content in which Yahoo Clubs at the time had illegal material of minors shown openly on Yahoo has being a 'top club' and from then on Yahoo stopped innovating and bought out site to replace its aging services rather than innovating.

Right now Facebook is the only company out there that allows its purchased companies to operate as they were and gives them resources to improve. This could be a good thing or a bad thing being that this process has hurt the gaming industry but studios being bought out by big publishers and no longer making content for consumers but rather themselves.

Re: Amazon Promises 'No Change' In How Twitch Operates

Worth noting: The "nothing will change" statement has come not long after Twitch made a ton of unpopular changes. Makes one wonder if that was in preparation for this buy-out, and the statement was timed so that Amazon wouldn't have to take any heat for the changes, even if they might have demanded them beforehand.

Re: Amazon Promises 'No Change' In How Twitch Operates

I'd like to point out that this isn't the first time Twitch has made an unpopular change (which has resulted in very unhappy customers, particularly broadcasters). As an example, there is no shortage of broadcasters who are still not happy with the arbitrary stream delay. Then there's the poor decisions in terms of staffing (such as administrators with a conflict of interest, and an overzealous usage of the ban hammer). In each case, Twitch has never actually announced changes so much as they've engaged in damage control with responses that literally consist of "we screwed up".

The larger problem here is as the user responding to that comment ascribes:

I would believe this more if Twitch didn't do this EVERY SINGLE TIME you implement anything! There has been no learning, you guys just constantly add things, usually broken (as in this case), with little or no regard for your customers. Why on earth would you implement this system, when it flags things it shouldn't (in game music, the copywrite holders themselves, holders given permission (Danny B)), and then you don't even have a good appeals system in place. This isn't just horrible business, it's incompetent

Indeed, Twitch has a habit of rolling things out, and not informing anyone till after it's done (if they're informed at all).

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Papa Midnight

Re: Amazon Promises 'No Change' In How Twitch Operates

It's the timing of the change that's different here. It all happened after the rumors had started going around that Twitch was going to be bought out by Google, so they were likely in talks with either Google or Amazon at the point they decided to go through with all of this. We can't say which of these companies or Twitch itself was behind this decision (though we can certainly blame Twitch for the poor implementation of it, as you point out), but it still kinda galls to get a "nothing will change" reassurance just after a ton of unpopular changes (and some minor backpeddling).

Re: Amazon Promises 'No Change' In How Twitch Operates

...and here I was hoping that they would finally get around to cleaning up the cesspool and spam-centric hub that is Twitch Chat. Even during their "town hall" meeting yesterday, it was impossible to follow the chat due to the massive amounts of emoticon spam. After moderators FINALLY decided to do "something" about it (aka: placing the room in subscriber only mode), spam failed to subside as more than half of the spammers were subscribers and Twitch-Turbo users; and in the mean-time, djWheat is trying to answer community questions, or provide them to Emmet Shear and Michael Frazzini, but neither can actually read them with tens-of-thousands of users spamming Kappa.

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Papa Midnight

 
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