Posts Tagged ‘Here’s’

Here’s How To Explain Amazon’s $970 Million Twitch Acquisition To Your Parents

Quite simply, it’s a portal to the young gamer’s wallet.

Riot Games

In 2011, the first World Finals of League of Legends, the preposterously popular online multiplayer fantasy game, were held in Sweden as part of a computer festival, for a grand prize of $ 100,000.

Last year, the third World Finals were held at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, for a grand prize of $ 1,000,000. I was there, and I was flabbergasted by the extravaganza created by Riot Games, who make LoL. At the time, I called it “a half rock show, half sporting event…a dress rehearsal for the future.”

And this October, the fourth World Finals will be held in South Korea, where competitive gaming is a religion, at Sangam Stadium, which hosted the 2002 World Cup Final between Brazil and Germany. That's how big we're talking.

In three years, LoL has gone from hobbyist sideshow to world-renowned spectacular, and if you want to know what Amazon invested in when they bought the livestreaming service Twitch for nearly a billion dollars today, that exponential curve is a good place to start. Twitch, which has experienced a similarly explosive growth (their CEO, Emmett Shear, wrote in a letter announcing the sale that “It's almost unbelievable that slightly more than 3 years ago, Twitch didn't exist”) is the leading place for fans of LoL, and games with similarly ravenous fandoms, like Defense of the Ancients 2 and World of Warcraft and Hearthstone, to gather to watch their favorite players of their favorite games, well, play. When I visited Staples last year, I was struck most by the sense of a new, collaborative culture being created on the fly by a tide of passionate, young, international gamers. Honestly, it's a movement that is so specific and siloed from contemporary culture that it is almost impossible to describe to somebody who hasn't grown up online.

It's a culture with its own celebrities (most famously the Swedish game commentator, or “shoutcaster”, PewDiePie, who hosts the most popular channel on YouTube and makes millions of dollars a year in advertising) and mores and there is no question that it's booming. Yes, it's also inchoate and rough around the edges and beset by all the problems of the open internet.

But that's not really the point. Even though though many of the people who stream and play games on Twitch don't pay directly for the privilege, they've proven themselves to be a remarkably profitable audience for both Twitch and game developers through the sale of advertising and the purchase of special in-game items. To Amazon, those millions of gamers (Twitch gets 55 million visitors a month) watching games for thousands of hours represent the digital consumers of the future, people whose entertainment connects effortlessly via a computer or Amazon phone or enhanced television to purchase prompts. For gamers, Twitch is a portal to other gamers. For Amazon, its a portal to their wallets even if we don't yet know exactly how it'll happen.

That's not to mention, of course, the games Amazon is building for their FireTV, which could themselves be tailored to game streaming. But even if a hit game for that device never comes to fruition, by buying Twitch, Amazon has neatly bought into the lives of a booming segment of the consumer culture of the future.


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Here’s another ‘PlayStation Phone’ that Sony could have made

Sony may have given up on its Xperia Play, but Chinese gaming companies 78point and Much think there’s still a demand for Android phones with built-in gaming buttons and joysticks. Funnily enough, both brands ended up sourcing their hardware from the…

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Here’s the Leaked ‘Deadpool’ Test Footage

deadpool-test-footage-2.jpg Our sibling site I Watch Stuff has the leaked Deadpool movie test footage and it’s pretty fantastic. And by pretty fantastic I mean it’s really fantastic. And by really fantastic I mean why are you even still here? Just head on over and watch it. If it doesn’t make you tingle on the inside you’re either not a fan of Deadpool or not a fan of awesome things. Either way, your parents are probably ashamed of you.

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Here’s what our readers are saying about the Surface Pro 3

With the Surface Pro 3, Microsoft tried yet again to build a tablet that can replace your laptop, but critics found it fell just shy of that goal. Engadget’s own Dana Wollman said that despite being “easier than ever to use as a tablet,” the Surface…

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Here’s the first teaser art from the new ‘Fight Club 2′ comic book series

Chuck Palahniuk’s long awaited sequel to Fight Club is coming in the form of a 10-issue comic book series, and today we’re getting our first idea of what that will look like. Set ten years after the events of Palahniuk’s novel, the comic book will apparently feature the wedding of Fight Club’s narrator — who now goes by the name Sebastian — and Marla. Tyler Durden is also featured in the artwork; just take a look at the stained glass window behind the expecting couple.

Continue reading…

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Engadget took over Austin for a night and here’s what happened

Bombs were dropped on our Editor-in-Chief while he innocently drove away in a Jeep. Engadget readers enjoyed alcohol in both vaporized and brewed form. A totally retro retailer crashed the party with its unique helmets. Those are just some of our…

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Here’s The First Hands-On Video Of Android Wear In Action (Spoiler: Lower Your Expectations)

gwatch The video above is a hands-on report with a beta unit of LG’s upcoming Android Wear smartwatch. Not a lot is shown. Hopefully that’s because it’s in beta and not the true depth of Android Wear. Google Now’s card-based UI is prominently featured. Apparently, like earlier shots also show, users scroll through a list of cards. However, even if this is just a beta unit,… Read More

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Here’s The First Hands-On Video Of Android Wear In Action (Spoiler: Lower Your Expectations)

gwatch The video above is a hands-on report with a beta unit of LG’s upcoming Android Wear smartwatch. Not a lot is shown. Hopefully that’s because it’s in beta and not the true depth of Android Wear. Google Now’s card-based UI is prominently featured. Apparently, like earlier shots also show, users scroll through a list of cards. However, even if this is just a beta unit,… Read More

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Here’s The First Hands-On Video Of Android Wear In Action (Spoiler: Lower Your Expectations)

gwatch The video above is a hands-on report with a beta unit of LG’s upcoming Android Wear smartwatch. Not a lot is shown. Hopefully that’s because it’s in beta and not the true depth of Android Wear. Google Now’s card-based UI is prominently featured. Apparently, like earlier shots also show, users scroll through a list of cards. However, even if this is just a beta unit,… Read More

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Here’s The First Hands-On Video Of Android Wear In Action (Spoiler: Lower Your Expectations)

gwatch The video above is a hands-on report with a beta unit of LG’s upcoming Android Wear smartwatch. Not a lot is shown. Hopefully that’s because it’s in beta and not the true depth of Android Wear. Google Now’s card-based UI is prominently featured. Apparently, like earlier shots also show, users scroll through a list of cards. However, even if this is just a beta unit,… Read More

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