At least we got one -OTY out by now!
Have you ever been relaxing with a video game stream and gotten the urge to start playing the game yourself? Well, you’re in luck! Twitch, though primarily a service for streaming games, will begin selling games directly to viewers sometime this Spring. This change will also allow Twitch partners to sell the games they’re playing directly on their channels, cutting the streamer in on the sale for about 5%. This could also let tournament streams like Evo sell fighting games, or events like E3 or PAX to allow viewers to pre-order games right as they’re announced (though pre-ordering options won’t be available at launch of the store).
This is a massive change to digital sales of games given Twitch’s very large user base to sell to. Unlike a service like Steam, Twitch could also theoretically integrate console sales into their store with ease. Twitch has said they are mostly working with publishers directly, meaning not every game will be on their store, however if this does reasonably well it probably wouldn’t take long for others to jump on too.
However, this could mean streamers will be more incentivized to sell the game they’re streaming rather than being forced to beg for subscribers and donations. This new option will give streamers another avenue for cash, something that regular streaming doesn’t always provide. This is a strange road Twitch is going down, but providing more competition for services like Steam is almost always a very good thing.