Caffeine expands content offering beyond gaming

TL;DR - Caffeine, now being referred to as a “social broadcasting platform”, is taking on Twitch by diversifying the scope of its content - just as Twitch is taking similar steps.  The platform is heavily backed by 21st Century Fox and Disney, giving Caffeine access to exclusive content Twitch can’t touch. Last month, Caffeine experimented with 10 hours of X Games content through its relationship with ESPN, a subsidiary of Disney.  So while Twitch has access to Thursday Night Football, Caffeine is exploring just how deep it can push the ESPN angle to bring more interactivity to live sports content. With Fox, Caffeine could have access to MLB games thanks to a $5.1B, seven-year broadcasting deal.  Viewers can expect exclusive access to athletes and influencers through Caffeine as well with the backing it has from these massive entertainment conglomerates.

Full story - https://www.sporttechie.com/espns-new-social-broadcasting-partner-caffeine-taking-on-twitch/

Twitch announces upcoming co-streaming schedule

TL;DR - Co-streaming is a way for a broadcaster to essentially host another stream on Twitch and bring his or her entire audience along for the ride.  Twitch will enable co-streaming for specific events and licensed content throughout the course of the year including the NBA G League, Impact Wrestling, the Crunchyroll Anime Awards, Inspector Gadget, and the Shaw Brothers Kung Fu Marathon.  Streamers interested in co-streaming this content are encouraged to sign-up with Twitch (see article) for a chance to get their stream featured in an official Twitch announcement.

Full story - https://blog.twitch.tv/co-streaming-on-twitch-92c49ece7293

The Overwatch League All-Access Pass is back on Twitch for the 2019 season

TL;DR - The next OWL season kicks off on Feb 14th, and league superfans will be able to purchase the All-Access Pass once again.  Passholders can expect an enhanced viewing experience on Twitch, along with behind-the-scenes features like individual player feeds during matches.  Other perks include ad-free viewing, merch discounts, 200 OWL tokens to be used in-game, and likely more goodies throughout the season. Twitch Prime members buying the pass will also receive 500 Bits as a bonus incentive.  The pass costs $14.99 and will expire 12/31/19.

Full story - https://dotesports.com/overwatch/news/twitch-and-blizzard-are-bringing-back-the-overwatch-league-all-access-pass-for-2019

Twitch rolls out new moderation tools promised at TwitchCon

TL;DR - One of the most anticipated and celebrated announcements at TwitchCon last year was the roll out of enhanced chat moderation tools.  Promised for delivery in early 2019, Twitch has come through. Channel moderators can now pull up a moderation panel on a per-user basis to view a history of that viewer’s infractions and notes from other moderators.  Things like account age, timeout and ban history, and total messages sent are available in the first pass.

Full story - https://blog.twitch.tv/channel-moderation-tools-in-chat-4188af21dbf9

Fnatic and Twitch ink new partnership deal

TL;DR - The new partnership arrangement between Twitch and the popular EU esports organization first means all Fnatic players will stream exclusively through Twitch.  In exchange, Twitch will work to boost the engagement and following of Fnatic’s roster on the platform. Fans and viewers should likely expect to see exclusive content created around this deal like additional access to the players - should it mirror similar arrangements in the past.

Full story - https://dotesports.com/business/news/fnatic-unveils-partnership-with-twitch

Discord currently testing server discovery feature

TL;DR - A screenshot of the new feature was posted to r/discordapp on Reddit to which Discord staff responded, confirming it’s being testing with select servers.  The feature can be accessed through “experiments”, and is available to the public. Only verified, opted-in servers are currently available for discovery.

Full story - https://www.reddit.com/r/discordapp/comments/am2tqa/discord_is_releasing_a_server_discovery_feature/

Twitch kills big name streamer ads on smaller channels

TL;DR - In response to widespread criticism from the community, made up primarily of “smaller” streamers, Twitch is pulling the plug on its ad campaign for some of its larger channels.  The events at the heart of the controversy are Pokimane’s Pro Bowl event and Ninja’s New Year’s Eve event. Twitch pulled the ads and issued a statement that it will refrain from such advertising down the road.

Full Story - https://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2019-01-29-twitch-no-longer-advertising-big-streamer-events-on-smaller-channels

In case you missed it…

EVE Online was first unveiled in May of 2003.  Since then, many of the game’s most epic player-driven events have made gaming news, and history.  Among those are the Bloodbath of B-R5RB (part of the Halloween War), a battle that saw over 400 Titan class starships and almost 4,000 players fighting over a space station, and a massive betrayal that netted the culprit 1.5 trillion ISK (~ $10,000).  There are several more of these kinds of stories floating around out there.  So if you like these definitely spend some time on Google finding others.

Kotaku recently published an article detailing a year-long plot to bring down one of the most well-known space stations in the EVE universe.  I’ve never played EVE, but these stories are fascinating regardless. Reading about the lengths people will go in the game to screw someone over or to get ahead, you can’t help but draw parallels to elements of the real world while respecting the effort it takes to be successful.

So grab a snack, refill your water, and enjoy.  You could write books around this stuff and it wouldn’t be as interesting.