Live-streaming, esports, and gaming news highlights for the week of August 17, 2020

Twitch launches a fully rebuilt Drops program

TL;DR - Twitch has completely rebuilt its popular Drop program, giving game developers many of the features they’ve requested since the program first debuted in 2017. Among those is a self-service campaign dashboard, where game developers can jockey their Drops campaigns from start to finish. An “Enhanced Experiences API” makes it possible for developers to connect Drops to in-game accomplishments and events triggered by streamers. Time-based rules allow for rewarding viewers based on how long they watch a particular stream. And viewers will now have a place where they can monitor the Drops campaigns they’re participating in, and find other campaigns to join. Twitch will cease supporting the legacy Drops campaign beginning January 15, 2021.

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Burger King “has it their way” with Twitch streamers in new ad campaign

TL;DR - Burger King’s ad agency, New York-based Ogilvy, kicked off an ad campaign this week during which it dropped into streamers’ channels, made a low-dollar donation, and played a text-to-speech advertisement for Burger King. In many cases, the donation amount was only about $5. Ogilvy then went on to compile a video of streamers’ reactions to the donations which it later tweeted for added exposure. Many streamers “included” in the campaign expressed their frustration after the fact, claiming they were never contacted to participate and weren’t asked to become official sponsors.

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Twitch announces site-wide Chat’s Choice Awards event

TL;DR - Chat’s Choice Awards is a new awards show Twitch announced this week that will crown video game winners across thirteen different categories. Beginning September 3rd, any Twitch streamer can co-stream the broadcast of the event. The chat in all of these streams will be able to vote for the winner in each of these categories, effectively making this a site-wide awards event. Twitch has assembled a line-up of big-name streamers to appear on the show, with streamers like DansGaming, Swiftor, and Trihex making appearances. Some of the award categories include: The Next Twitch Blockbuster, The Savior of Quarantine, The Top of Twitch 2020, and Best in Show. Five titles are available in each of these categories, nominated by a select group of Twitch creators.

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Apple claims Epic CEO Tim Sweeney sought special deal on app store

TL;DR - The latest in the Epic Games vs. Apple / Google battle royale came from Apple last week, when it claimed it was approached by Epic CEO Tim Sweeney, seeking a special one-off deal for his company in the app store. Sweeney hit back on Twitter, claiming this isn’t true, despite Apple’s claims that it has email stating just that. In his tweet, Sweeney says Epic is looking to level the playing field for all developers and publishers on the platform. Epic has since asked for a temporary re-addition to the store since Fortnite’s new season is set to launch next week. Apple is refusing, and this looks like it will be headed to court.

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Huya and DouYu assemble committees to review Tencent merger proposal

TL;DR - The two top streaming platforms in China have gathered committees to review Tencent’s proposal that they merge this year into a single, streaming behemoth. Tencent’s proposal is a stock-for-stock merger, effectively converting all DouYu stock into Huya Class A shares, meaning Huya will be the surviving company in the deal. If the proposal is approved, the merger could happen as early as September 9th, granting Tencent 51% ownership of the newly formed entity, but with 70% of the total voting power.

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Fall Guys stands tall as it claims the most-watched crown on Twitch

TL;DR - Fall Guys may only be a few weeks old, but it has over 17M players and, this week, it took the most-watched game crown from its long-time keeper, League of Legends. This is due in no small part to the stable of popular streamers playing the game on the regular. Fall Guys’ social media made it a point to roast some of these streamers on social media until they secured their first victory - most notably TimTheTatman. LoL and Fall Guys carried on with each other over social media after the news was announced, in a friendly exchange where the previous king hinted that the newcomer’s reign may be short-lived.

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