With Acquisition, Microsoft Makes ‘Aggressive’ Live Game Streaming Move

Curtis Silver writes in Forbes: “That was quick. After winning TechCrunch Disrupt NY 2016, Seattle-based Beam has been acquired by Microsoft. If you haven’t heard of Beam, it puts a spin on the familiar live game streaming model made popular by Amazon’s Twitch and play-through videos on YouTube. Beam is a bit more interactive this acquisition shows is making an aggressive move into the live game streaming market.”

“Unlike the other streaming services, Beam allows players to direct the play of the streamer. These directions include changing weapon load-outs, picking quests and assigning challenges. This creates a new level of interaction between streamer and player, a bond that will surely lead to more revenue for the streamer and by proxy — Microsoft. This type of social interaction might help propel Microsoft to a higher level of engagement with their younger gaming audience.”

“Beam founder and CEO Matt Salsamendi said in a blog post, ‘Right now it’s business as usual! We just launched three brand new interactive integrations and we’ll continue to focus on making the Beam platform an awesome place for gaming communities that want to interact with their audience.’”

Writes The Verge: “Beam lets viewers suggest challenges for streamers and even alter in-game aspects like weapon loadout and quest selection. It also lets developers create special button layouts for viewers to interact with games being streamed through Beam. To maintain quality, the company’s technology drastically reduces the lag between a player’s actions and what the viewers see on the stream, whereas competitors like Twitch have a roughly 10 to 15 second delay. It’s unclear how Microsoft plans to incorporate Beam’s technology into its own online gaming platform. But the company points to Minecraft, now a Microsoft property, as the type of game well-suited to Beam’s technology. Microsoft did not disclose the financial terms of the deal.”

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