Mark this moment: Watching people play video games has become a big business, with Amazon, Google, Disney, and others vying for a piece of the action.
Call it livestream gaming: Top players record themselves playing popular titles and delivering commentary—or compete against each other in big, live, arena-style events.
By turning video games from a solitary living-room obsession into shared events, livestream gaming is letting advertisers tap into a hard-to-reach demographic of mostly young men.
The Game Is Afoot
That means a huge influx of money into the video-game world: It’s changing from a hardware-and-software business into a Hollywood-like media operation, complete with its own celebrities, agents, studios, and networks.
The big event in livestream gaming was Amazon.com’s announcement that it will acquire Twitch, a site which specializes in livestream gaming videos, for a cool $970 million, after rumors that Google’s YouTube might be interested in buying it, too.
Gaming as a spectator sport has already attracted audiences of millions of online users, most of whom watch it on gaming-dedicated YouTube channels or on Twitch. It’s no longer an online subculture: For many teens, it is their mass media.
And the wars to capitalize on livestream gaming and its personalities is underway. Maker Studios, a Disney-owned Web network that operates like a talent agency for popular YouTube stars, has just partnered with one of YouTube’s top gaming channels, The Diamond Minecart.
The Diamond Minecart joins two other Maker-represented gaming channels, PewDiePie and Stampylonghead. That means Maker Studios now has the top three most-subscribed gaming channels on YouTube. And it means Disney and Google have partnered up against Amazon and Twitch. It’s on like Donkey Kong!
Livestream gaming grew along with YouTube. Video-game streams were just one more genre of YouTube’s early bedroom-webcam confessionals. What else would teens talk into the camera about?
While Twitch specializes in gaming, the topic is no stranger to YouTube. PewDiePie, YouTube’s most-subscribed channel, is the online-video home of Felix Kjellberg, a 24-year-old Swede. He has 19 million subscribers, but he’s just at — For more information read the original article here.