Live-streaming, esports, and gaming news highlights for the week of November 25, 2019
Twitch Watch Party beta severely limits streamers’ monetization opportunities
TL;DR - The Twitch Watch Party beta is underway but there are several key restrictions that are dampening streamers’ enthusiasm. The email sent by Twitch to participating streamers was shared via Twitter, and it outlines the rules they must follow. Basically, most monetization options are disabled since they’ll be streaming Amazon Prime content. The includes subscriptions and Cheers, but naturally they can’t outright block donations. Ads, Raids, and VoDs aren’t allowed either, effectively removing many of the engagement vehicles streamers rely on for their audiences. Overlays are also forbidden, meaning chat is the only means of interaction. It’s likely some of these limitations will be lifted once the feature is fully released.
GiantWaffle sets new most hours streamed in a month record on Twitch
TL;DR - Andrew “GiantWaffle” Bodine has broken and set the new record for the most hours streamed in a month on Twitch. The previous record holder was the streamer JayBigs. Bodine set out on November first to complete the task, streaming for nearly nineteen hours daily straight up to the last day of the month. In the end he broke the record at 570 hours but kept streaming for a bit longer just to be sure. He later tweeted some stats, indicating he racked up over 3M hours watched during November alone. To ensure every hour counted, Bodine set up cameras throughout his house so that even when he was up and moving about, he remained live for his audience.
Custom streamer emotes coming to Streamlabs compliments of Mojichat partnership
TL;DR - Mojichat and Streamlabs have teamed up to bring full-body, animated emojis to streamers’ audiences. With the partnership, viewers will be able to create custom emoji they can display in chat overlays either through chat or donations to streamers. Viewers will need to download the Streamlabs app to create their emoji, and can then use them on Twitch, Facebook Gaming, Mixer, and YouTube. Streamers seeking more monetization opportunities can then set donation thresholds for their viewers’ emoji to be displayed to the entire channel.
Streaming technology firm Genvid raises $27M in Series B round
TL;DR - The fundraising round was led by VC Galaxy Interactive, and included capital from Makers Fund, OCA Ventures, Horizon Ventures, and March Capital Partners. Genvid intends to put the money to work adding features to its streaming SDK, as well as operational and integration services for its stable of partners. The company also plans to move beyond gaming and into sports and general media. Genvid’s tech was recently used by Twitch during the CS:GO finals. It now has six offices around the world, with the addition of Berlin and Irvine, CA. The company previously raised $6M in April of 2018 during its Series A round.
Prague-based Beat Games acquired by Facebook
TL;DR - The development studio behind the wildly popular VR title Beat Saber has been acquired by Facebook. Oculus Studios will absorb the Beat Games team, which will continue to operate independently from its home in the Czech Republic. Facebook’s head of AR/VR said in the announcement that the company intends to deploy its resources to help the Beat Games team continue to push new content, specifically on the social side, as well as new game modes and music.
Google taps two more Assassin’s Creed vets to head up Stadia efforts
TL;DR - Assassin’s Creed executive producer, Sebastien Puel, has joined the Stadia team as the director general of its development studio - Stadia Games and Entertainment. Puel served at Ubisoft on the Assassin’s Creed team from Assassin’s Creed 2 all the way up to Unity. The company also hired Francois Pelland to head up Google’s first-party game strategy. Previously, Pelland served as the executive director of development at Ubisoft Quebec. Stadia launched on November 19 to mixed feedback, with Google announcing plans to include more features over the coming months.
Fandom joins forces with State Farm and Riot Games for weekly Teamfight Tactics tournament series
TL;DR - Fandom has teamed up with Riot Games and insurance provider State Farm to launch the Fandom Legends: Teamfight Tactics weekly tournament series. The first series of four events will launch on December 1st, with 16 competitors vying for a prize pool of $2,000. Everyone participating will have an opportunity to qualify for the State Farm Championship Finals, occurring on December 21st and featuring a $5,000 prize pool. All matches will be live-streamed on Twitch from Fandom Studios in Los Angeles
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