Popular video and social platform Twitch today announced it will enable the sale of games and in-game content directly on its platform. The rollout is expected to start this spring.
With the new expansion, developers will be able to make offers directly to fans who are watching their games on Twitch, while streamers can earn money from purchases on their channel pages.
In addition, Twitch will reward buyers by giving them a free Twitch Crate, which provides randomized drops of items tailored to Twitch users, such as exclusive emotes, chat badges, and Bits for Cheering.
“Many of our streamers want to make a living doing what they love,” said Matt McCloskey, VP of Commerce, Twitch. “To help them, we’re enabling game developers to sell game content at the exact time and place their communities are gathered to watch, which in turn lets streamers earn money from games sold on their channels. To ensure everyone benefits, we’re also rewarding fans that purchase with Twitch Crates.”
When the program launches this spring, there will be dozens of games available from both AAA and indie publishers, including Ubisoft, Telltale Games, Digital Extremes, Hi-Rez Studios, tinyBuild, Paradox Interactive, Trion Worlds, Vlambeer, and many more. Games can be downloaded and played via the Twitch launcher, or through existing developer or publisher-operated services like Uplay.
Gamers can buy games and in-game items directly on channel and game detail pages. Developers will earn 70% of the revenue and Partnered Twitch streamers will earn 5% for sales originating from their channel pages.
“For years we have appreciated how supportive Twitch streamers and viewers have been of our games,” said Chris Early, VP of Digital Publishing at Ubisoft. “This made it an easy decision to work with Twitch to better serve our passionate community with benefits for everyone.”
“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.”
“Next to the perks for our community, what attracted us to making in-game content from SMITE and Paladins available on Twitch is how the opportunity to buy appears right where a streamer is playing and viewers are engaged in watching and learning about the game,” said Todd Harris, Co-Founder and COO of Hi-Rez Studios. “Since the streamer gets a revenue share of purchases made, this is a great way to further support streamers who educate and entertain viewers.”
The English language version of the game sales initiative launches globally in spring 2017 with pricing in USD, to be followed by localized experiences later in the year.