Your favorite streamer is about to become the game industry's favorite salesperson. That's because Twitch announced a new game marketplace, Twitch Games Commerce, that will give streamers 5% of the revenues generated when their audiences purchase a title after watching their videos about it.
Twitch Games Commerce is based on the simple idea that many people will decide to buy a title after they watch someone else play it. Right now those people have to watch a stream on Twitch, buy the relevant game from another company, and then head back to Twitch for their own streams. This new marketplace will simplify this process by allowing people to discover, purchase, and stream games on the same platform instead of bouncing around.
Here's what Twitch said about its decision in a blog post:
Viewers have always used Twitch as a way to ‘demo’ games before they buy. Now we’ll be giving them a way to close the loop and buy a game or in-game items they’re interested in, when and where they discover it. It works like this: an offer to purchase will appear below the video when a streamer is playing a game that’s available through Twitch. Partnered streamers who opt in will receive a 5% rev share for these purchases, and viewers who buy will receive a digital Twitch Crate that contains a randomly generated reward like an emote, badges, or Bits for Cheering. That’s pretty much the definition of a win-win-win.
Twitch said that Twitch Games Commerce will debut this Spring with games from Paradox Interactive, Ubisoft, Vlambeer, and other developers. Partnered streamers will receive 5% of the revenues drawn from sales originating on their pages, while developers will receive 70%. That leaves Twitch with 25%--less than the reported 30% cut taken by Steam and GOG, though developers simply have to share the remainder with streamers instead.
The company said games will be downloaded and launched via the Twitch launcher and will be discovered on streamers' pages. Those pages will contain links to "a game detail page that includes trailers, description, hardware requirements, etc." where people can buy the game. Twitch Games Commerce will globally debut later this year, and sales will be processed via Amazon, which acquired Twitch for approximately $970 million in cash back in 2014.
Twitch's announcement comes shortly after it published a gamified Year In Review that revealed that 2016 was a banner year for the service. It had record streams, added more than 1 million Twitch Prime subscriptions, and introduced new tools to help streamers manage their communities. Now it's getting into the commerce game (pun intended) to take on Steam, GOG, and other marketplaces. Looks like it's officially part of Amazon's flock.