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Twitch Sings will close its doors on January 1

January 1, 2021 will be the day the music dies for Twitch Sings.

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This is a sad day for a large portion of Twitch's music community. Twitch brought joy to many singers when it opened the doors to Twitch Sings, a karaoke-like game created in conjunction with the music lovers at Harmonix, back in April of last year. Sadly, it doesn't appear that the game will even survive to its second birthday. On Friday, Twitch announced that Twitch Sings will be shutting down on January 1, 2021.

Let's hear the bad news directly from the Twitch Blog:

As we look to the future, we have decided to invest in broader tools and services that will help support and grow the entire music community on Twitch. Because of this, we have made the difficult decision to close Twitch Sings on January 1, 2021. This community has inspired us with their talent and passion, and we thank you all for what you've given to Twitch Sings over the years.

So what happens now? We are grateful for all the streamers and singers who contributed to the Sings community, making it one of the most inspiring groups within Twitch. Today, we are releasing our entire backlog of over 400 new songs and hope you continue to enjoy Twitch Sings for the next few months. On December 1, we will begin removing Sings videos and clips per our contractual obligations, and on January 1, the game will stop working. Looking ahead, we're excited to share more about the future of music on Twitch and how we're working to make Twitch the best place to bring you closer to the artists and music you love.

While Twitch notes that removing the game was a difficult decision, they haven't actually noted why they're taking this drastic step and why they're doing it now. Twitch's reasoning is ultimately up for speculation, but it's reasonable to assume that growing pressure from record labels is playing a big factor into this decision. In recent months, Twitch has been much stricter with copyright warnings and takedowns. Having a fully-integrated music game filled with copyrighted songs was likely threatening to be a legal and/or costly nightmare going forward, so it can be reasoned that Twitch simply threw up their hands and decided to pull the plug. The Twitch Sings FAQ appears to support this theory, noting that all VODs, past broadcasts, and clips relating to the game will be removed starting in December.

As one might imagine, the Twitch Sings community is taking this news hard. Some are pointing to Twitch Sings are a form of anxiety therapy, others are talking about the like-minded people they've met during their time with the game, and more than a few people have pointed out that there's still a pandemic happening right now and Twitch Sings was one of the few ways people could gather for a virtual karaoke night.

Having attended the most recent TwitchCon, the Twitch Sings community was out at that event in force. Twitch even held a special singing competition called Twitch Sings: Stream Star, which proved to be one of the most memorable events of the weekend. We even spoke to one of the finalists that weekend.

Where the Twitch Music community goes from here is anybody's guess. But the prevailing mood appears to be skepticism, because the Twitch Sings shutdown appears to point to a Twitch that's more concerned with avoiding rattling record label cages than providing a positive experience for its community. Twitch Sings will shut down on January 1. It's still available for download now, so enjoy it while it lasts.

Senior Editor

Ozzie has been playing video games since picking up his first NES controller at age 5. He has been into games ever since, only briefly stepping away during his college years. But he was pulled back in after spending years in QA circles for both THQ and Activision, mostly spending time helping to push forward the Guitar Hero series at its peak. Ozzie has become a big fan of platformers, puzzle games, shooters, and RPGs, just to name a few genres, but he’s also a huge sucker for anything with a good, compelling narrative behind it. Because what are video games if you can't enjoy a good story with a fresh Cherry Coke?

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