After rumors swirled earlier this year about a Youtube buyout, popular game streaming site Twitch has been sold to Amazon.com in a surprsing flip-flop of fate. Initially reported with an acquisition price of $1 billion, Twitch confirmed today that the final closing price totaled $970 million, just shy of the rumored amount.
After being in existence for only three short years, Twitch’s sale is clearly a sign that Amazon sees enormous potential in video gaming. After purchasing developer Double Helix, known for Killer Instinct and the re-released Strider for Xbox One, Amazon’s end-game isn’t quite known yet, though video games clearly fit in their model.
“Amazon and Twitch optimize for our customers first and are both believers in the future of gaming,” said Twitch CEO Emmett Shear. “Being part of Amazon will let us do even more for our community. We will be able to create tools and services faster than we could have independently. This change will mean great things for our community, and will let us bring Twitch to even more people around the world.”
Whether Youtube and Google backed out of the deal, Twitch renegged, or there was no deal to begin with, but the weight and volume of the rumors earlier this year certainly lend credibility to the fact that something was happening.
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos commented, “Broadcasting and watching gameplay is a global phenomenon and Twitch has built a platform that brings together tens of millions of people who watch billions of minutes of games each month – from The International, to breaking the world record for Mario, to gaming conferences like E3. And, amazingly, Twitch is only three years old.” He continued, “Like Twitch, we obsess over customers and like to think differently, and we look forward to learning from them and helping them move even faster to build new services for the gaming community.”