It was recently announced that Google might be acquiring game giant Twitch and there are a number of important facts that consumers need to know about the possible imminent merger. The purchase by Google of Twitch is going to have a deep impact on gamers should it come to fruition, and The Verge just announced that Twitch has definitely selected Google as the buyer, so the merger appears that it will most likely happen soon. Analysts predict that this merger will be successful, and that means that sweeping changes are most likely going to affect everyone currently using Twitch; namely, those changes will center heavily on increased advertising and possibly destroying the careers of many who currently make a living streaming games on YouTube.
For those new to the concept of Twitch, it is a platform on which gamers can collaborate, watch each other in real time, and comment upon the action. It is a community of gamers sharing their play socially with a large audience rather than playing in a more solitary way. Much like the social media platforms Facebook and Twitter, Twitch aims to connect people who share common interests as well as facilitate a much more social gaming experience.
While some Twitch community users are wondering if they will be forced into using Google + more often should the merger happen, analysts say that might not be the case. What is more likely, though, is that Google will incentivize players to use Google + by offering some type of discounts to opt in to the network.
What will definitely happen, say experts, is that Twitch users will be exposed to a healthy increased dose of advertising while using Twitch; a fact that is making some in the gaming community unhappy. The other word that has been bandied about a lot in the coverage of the possible imminent merger between Twitch and Google is “monopoly.” More than one commentator has stated that this acquisition by Google may represent some sort of direction that is too close to a monopoly to be desirable, and one analyst claims that such a merger could cause the entire industry to “collapse” due to driving out all of the competition.
Still other experts say that just as Google has done to many millions of people already, this acquisition could destroy the careers and lives of thousands as it would potentially create a copyright nightmare. Many of the streaming video games people use contain music under copyright, and it has been pointed out that YouTube, owned by Google, is not shy about handing out removal notices and then removing content from its site. Thus, it is probable that YouTube would not allow much of the current content created by Twitch users to exist on its servers. This, in turn, could end up starving out thousands of people who will suddenly become essentially unemployed. Some say that YouTube often enforces copyright claims that are not even legitimate, and this could do even more damage to the independent businesses people trying to eke out a living in the gaming sector.
Indeed, the gaming community has sounded the alarm bells on the possible imminent merger between Twitch and Google, but it’s not all doom and gloom. Several reports have taken a more positive approach to the impending sale by pointing out that Google could bring additional resources to the Twitch platform and thus allow it to grow by leaps and bounds.
Still, the gaming community is watching for this $1 billion acquisition with a lot of anxiety as they search for the most important facts that will affect their lives. Stay tuned for more coverage of the imminent Twitch and Google merger as it unfolds.
By: Rebecca Savastio