Live-streaming, esports, and gaming news highlights for the week of December 16, 2019

Facebook Gaming and Mixer post strong year-over-year viewership growth

TL;DR - According to a new report from Arsenal.gg and StreamElements, Facebook Gaming and Mixer managed to capture 3% of the streaming market in 2019. On the whole that’s a paltry amount, but compared to the 1% they owned last year, it’s encouraging progress. Hours broadcast on Twitch this year have surpassed 9 billion, 20% more than 2018. YouTube posted a 16% increase, growing to 2.7 billion hours. Facebook Gaming and Mixer managed to reach 356 million and 354 million hours respectively.

Full story - https://reclaimthenet.org/mixer-and-facebook-gamin...

Facebook drops $78 million to acquire cloud-based PlayGiga

TL;DR - PlayGiga, a Spanish cloud-based gaming platform, was acquired this week by social media platform Facebook for $78M. PlayGiga’s services have been available in Europe and portions of the Middle East, and it’s unclear how that will change with this acquisition. Most recently, on the gaming front, Facebook acquired the developer of the popular VR title Beat Saber, and Instant Games, making it easier to play browser games in Facebook Messenger and its News Feed.

Full story - https://www.thegamer.com/facebook-snags-cloud-gami...

Thursday Night Football racked up 1.2 million views on Twitch last week

TL;DR - The recent Baltimore Ravens vs. New York Jets football game managed to pull 1.2M views Thursday night on Twitch. This is in stark contrast to the 321K that caught the opening Thursday night game of the 2019 season. Making this feat more impressive, is the fact that these Thursday night games are also broadcast on television and cable networks, where people have been tuning in for years. The NFL teamed up with Twitch in 2018 to counter the aging of its audience, hoping to reach a younger demographic through a more familiar medium.

Full story - https://gamefreaks365.com/twitch-achieved-nearly-1...

Twitch streamer Tfue was the most watched streamer of 2019

TL;DR - Fortnite viewership for the year may have been down, but the game still ranked second most-watched on Twitch with nearly 885M hours. A big driver of those hours in 2019 was Turner “Tfue” Tenney, who managed to pull almost 88M hours by himself. Granted, these weren’t all Fortnite-playing hours, but Tfue is known for his Fortnite gameplay and streams primarily. Shroud took second with almost 66M hours, and summit1g claimed almost 61M hours to round out the top three.

Full story - https://fortnitetracker.com/article/869/tfue-confi...

Russian ISP files suit against Twitch for $3 billion then quickly drops claim

TL;DR - Rambler Group, Russia’s third-largest ISP, filed suit against Twitch for $3 billion, claiming the streaming platform facilitated illegal streams of Premiere League soccer matches. The core of the lawsuit was the claim that Twitch breached Rambler Group’s exclusive broadcasting rights of the soccer matches more than 36,000 times just in the last few months of 2019. Rambler Group also wanted Twitch completely banned in Russia. Just a few days later, the lawsuit was dropped after Twitch brought down all of the illegal streams. Twitch was quick to add that no financial compensation was given or requested in this latest development.

Full story - https://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2019/12/18/technol...

Google continues to ramp up Stadia with Typhoon Studio purchase

TL;DR - Typhoon Studio is a Montreal Canada-based triple-A game dev shop, headed up by former Warner Bros. Games and Ubisoft employees. The studio is yet to release a game, but is working on its first title, Journey to the Savage Planet, which is set to launch in late January of next year. Typhoon co-founder Reid Schneider, was the executive producer on the original Splinter Cell as well. Google doesn’t intend to change anything with the studio’s work on its launch title, but sees the acquisition as an important addition of new innovation for a growing Stadia lineup of titles.

Full story - https://venturebeat.com/2019/12/19/google-buys-tri...

Streamlabs rolls out new charity tools for streamers

TL;DR - Streamlabs’s new charity and fundraising tool is built to make it easier for streamers to host charity streams while ensuring the donations go where they’re supposed to. To kick off, Streamlabs is teaming up with several charities including Make-A-Wish, the American Red Cross, and the American Heart Association. Streamlabs will not be taking a cut of the donations, which is a major differentiator between it and Tiltify, another platform that handles routing donations to charities and keeping everything above the table. Streamers can schedule their charity streams and Streamlabs will update their settings accordingly to comply with fundraising rules. The program is in beta and should broaden early in 2020.

Full story - https://www.theverge.com/2019/12/17/21026148/strea...

Channel Points are now live for Twitch Partners and Affiliates

TL;DR - Channel Points were first announced at TwitchCon in San Diego this year, and now the program has come to all Partners and Affiliates. Those streamers can set goals and thresholds for viewers to earn points in their channels, with anything ranging from just watching to chatting and following the channel. Points can then be redeemed to highlight chat messages, and even unlock sub-only emotes even if the viewer isn’t a subscriber. Mixer released a similar feature earlier in 2019, which it calls Embers.

Full story - https://dotesports.com/streaming/news/twitch-relea...

Apex Legends Global Series announced by EA and Respawn

TL;DR - The new competitive series for the hit battle royale title will feature both online and live events for PC players. The Apex Legends Global Series will span twelve events, and features a $3M+ prize pool. The series will be open to anyone in more than 60 countries, assuming they’re of age and have suitable PCs. Points will be earned throughout the series, with the top players receiving invitations to any of four Majors. The top sixty teams will be invited to compete for the World Champion title and more than $1M in prizes.

Full story - https://esportsobserver.com/apex-legends-global-se...

Tencent becomes next big player to enter cloud gaming arena

TL;DR - Tencent Start is the latest cloud gaming service to arrive. The service is currently in soft-launch mode in China and features a small selection of titles including Fortnite, Path of Exile, and NBA 2K Online 2. Access is limited to users with an internet speed of 20 Mbps+ and is powered by Nvidia.

Full story - http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2019-12-19-t...