Amazon Gets Serious About Gaming, Buys Twitch for $1B

As Google’s acquisition of the video gameplay website didn’t go through, Amazon looked at this as an opportunity to expand its involvement in the gaming world. The e-tailer is said to plan on buying Twitch for $1 billion or more.

A bit over three weeks ago, Google’s acquisition of Twitch was almost a certainty, and now we find out that Amazon also has an interest in the live-streaming service for videogame players. Oddly enough, the e-tailer is willing to pay the same amount ($1 billion), but might add a bit extra, just to sweeten the deal. According to The Information, Amazon is now in late-stage talks to complete this acquisition. After all, Twitch would fit just fine in the e-tailer’s portfolio, along with the in-house game development studio and the 3D smartphone that was launched recently.

Just to put things into perspective about how big Twitch is, the website has more than 45 million monthly users, and during primetime hours, it fares better than MTV, TNT and AMC. In this context, paying $1B for such a website seems quite a bargain.

Half a year ago, Amazon bought Double Helix Games, the makers of Killer Instinct. Correlate that with the launch of Fire TV, and you can see where all of this is going. The e-tailer is most probably considering adding Twitch to its set-top box, which is already handling gaming pretty well.

If Google’s plan was to torn Twitch apart and integrate it in YouTube, Amazon will likely keep it intact, as it’s more useful like that.

UPDATE: A few minutes ago, Twitch confirmed on Facebook that it has been acquired by Amazon, and quite a few people expressed their enthusiasm saying that it’s better that the e-tailer got ahead of Google in this deal.

In a Thank You letter, Emmett Shear, Twitch’s CEO, stated that “Today, I’m pleased to announce we’ve been acquired by Amazon. We chose Amazon because they believe in our community, they share our values and long-term vision, and they want to help us get there faster. We’re keeping most everything the same: our office, our employees, our brand, and most importantly our independence. But with Amazon’s support we’ll have the resources to bring you an even better Twitch.”

Now that the acquisition is official, it remains to be seen what plans Amazon has for Twitch.

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