Twitch to take on Steam with new direct game marketplace

To sweeten the deal, Twitch says it will also reward buyers by offering them a free Twitch Crate, which includes a random selection of items like exclusive emotes, chat badges and Bits for Cheering - typically things that cost gamers money.

Twitch will start selling video games to viewers while they watch a stream. This includes companies such as Telltale games, Devolver Digital, Ubisoft, Double Fine Games, Blue Mammoth Games, Campo Santo, Digital Extremes, Fred Wood, Gambitious, Hi Rez Studios, iNK Stories, Jackbox Games, Paradox Interactive, Proletariat, Raw Fury, tinyBuild, Trion Worlds, Versus Evil, and Vlambeer.

In addition, if the streamer is a partner who has opted into the program then he or she will get 5% share of the revenue.

Viewers can buy games from Twitch starting this spring. That means Twitch streamers can make a cut of the profits from the sales of whatever game they're streaming. Notably absent at the moment are other big names publishers like Activision, Square Enix, and Bandai Namco. Companies like Ubisoft, Telltale Games and 11Bit are making their games available through Twitch stream.

Right now, this service is only for PC games. The revenue could be as high as 75% if a game is sold directly from a developer or publisher.

Gamers can buy games and in-game items on the channel page directly under the stream and also on the game detail pages. As a result, Valve-owned games, like Dota 2 and Counter Strike: Global Offensive, two of the most popular games broadcasted via Twitch, will not be available to purchase via the streaming service.

As you can see from the picture below, there will be a new button under videos where games can be purchased.

Digital videogame distribution platforms such as Steam and GOG have a reason to worry. "To ensure everyone benefits, we're also rewarding fans that purchase with Twitch Crates".

The games will be made available for download and playing through the Twitch launcher, software that now helps Twitch Prime customers redeem their games and loot codes.

Twitch said the service will begin this spring with pricing in USA dollars only; regional price tags will start appearing later in the year.

Vanessa Coleman

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