Report: Amazon in talks to buy Twitch for $1 billion [Update: It's official]

Google could be out and Amazon could be in, according to reports.

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Update: It's now official! Twitch has confirmed the sale to Amazon in a letter from CEO Emmett Shear. The sale is for $970 million in cash. The issued statement reads:

Dear Twitch Community, It’s almost unbelievable that slightly more than 3 years ago, Twitch didn’t exist. The moment we launched, we knew we had stumbled across something special. But what followed surprised us as much as anyone else, and the impact it’s had on both the community and us has been truly profound. Your talent, your passion, your dedication to gaming, your memes, your brilliance - these have made Twitch what it is today. Every day, we strive to live up to the standard set by you, the community. We want to create the very best place to share your gaming and life online, and that mission continues to guide us. Together with you, we’ve found new ways of connecting developers and publishers with their fans. We’ve created a whole new kind of career that lets people make a living sharing their love of games. We’ve brought billions of hours of entertainment, laughter, joy and the occasional ragequit. I think we can all call that a pretty good start. Today, I’m pleased to announce we’ve been acquired by Amazon. We chose Amazon because they believe in our community, they share our values and long-term vision, and they want to help us get there faster. We’re keeping most everything the same: our office, our employees, our brand, and most importantly our independence. But with Amazon’s support we’ll have the resources to bring you an even better Twitch. I personally want to thank you, each and every member of the Twitch community, for what you’ve created. Thank you for putting your faith in us. Thank you for sticking with us through growing pains and stumbles. Thank you for bringing your very best to us and sharing it with the world. Thank you, from a group of gamers who never dreamed they’d get to help shape the face of the industry that we love so much. It’s dangerous to go alone. On behalf of myself and everyone else at Twitch, thank you for coming with us.

Original story: As it turns out, the rumored Google acquisition of Twitch may not go through, after all. A second competitor has swooped in out of nowhere, with reports surfacing that Amazon may wind up acquiring the company for the same $1 billion price tag.

Engadget (via The Information) notes that Amazon and Twitch talks are in the late stages. Should everything go through, Amazon will acquire Twitch for the full $1 billion price tag that was originally rumored to be the same price paid by Google.

Shacknews has reached out to both Amazon and Google for comment and will update if anything changes.

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?

Filed Under

From The Chatty

  • reply
    August 25, 2014 11:28 AM

    Ozzie Mejia posted a new article, Report: Amazon in talks to buy Twitch for $1 billion.

    Google could be out and Amazon could be in, according to reports.

    • reply
      August 25, 2014 11:37 AM

      Silverlight DRM which disables your second monitor is probably not much better than Youtube style content restrictions and muting/blocking of content.

    • reply
      August 25, 2014 11:38 AM

      This just in: Shacknews is rumored to acquire Twitch for $1 billion.

      Wake me up when there is an official announcement! I wish we could strike "a source close to the deal" from our collective language >:[

      • reply
        August 25, 2014 11:40 AM

        I can confirm that we are not in talks to buy Twitch for $1 Billion.

        • reply
          August 25, 2014 11:41 AM

          BREAKING NEWS: Shacknews is CONFIRMED to acquire Twitch for less than $1 Billion according to the man with the briefcase

          • reply
            August 25, 2014 11:41 AM

            NO NO NO, not what I meant. I give up.

            • reply
              August 25, 2014 11:42 AM

              BREAKING NEWS: Shacknews is CONFIRMED to acquire Twitch for MORE than $1 Billion according to the man with the briefcase

              • reply
                August 25, 2014 11:43 AM

                We are not acquiring anything. We are investing in our own website. NOT TWITCH.

                • reply
                  August 25, 2014 11:44 AM

                  FOX NEWS ALERT: Shacknews going out of businessq[?]q

                • reply
                  August 25, 2014 11:44 AM

                  Hahaha, this is great.

                • reply
                  August 25, 2014 11:49 AM

                  BREAKING NEWS: Shacknews developing branded Twitch competitor. Launch imminent sources say!

                  • reply
                    August 25, 2014 11:53 AM

                    We are gonna call it Mercury ;)

                    • reply
                      August 25, 2014 12:04 PM

                      Now hear me out... I've got this business idea that will fund the site forever. It's like Columbia House... but for physical copies of video games! 8D Netflix has it's head up its ass, no one will ever want to go digital or streaming only! People like to feel the disk in their hand, walk out to the mailbox. SKY's THE LIMIT JERRY!

                      • reply
                        August 25, 2014 12:07 PM

                        My idea is having people come to my house and watch me play video games, instead of streaming. That is cheaper and more secure than setting up a cloud based streaming service, right? I may have to buy another couch... Eh, screw it.

                        • reply
                          August 25, 2014 12:33 PM

                          I have 2 armchairs I can donate

                          • reply
                            August 25, 2014 12:35 PM

                            Problem is that I live all the way out in the Dagobah System. Transportation costs would be prohibitive. Unless SpaceX gets their act together.

                            • reply
                              August 25, 2014 12:43 PM

                              BREAKING NEWS: Shacknews to acquire space transport services company SpaceX

                              • reply
                                August 25, 2014 12:46 PM

                                Sweet Jebus, I need to go off comm.

                                • reply
                                  August 25, 2014 1:09 PM

                                  Breaking News: Principal Investor of Renowned Gaming Website 'Shacknews dot com' eschews Modern Communication

                                  LOS ANGELES -- August 25, 2014

                                  Following a rash of announcements regarding future acquisitions for the Shacknews brand, Shacknews owner Briefcase Man indicated today that he would no longer use the internet for communication stating "I need to go off comm". What this means for the future of Shacknews, a web site hosted on the internet and accessible by nearly 3 billion daily internet users, is unclear. Industry speculation currently points to a shift towards print media, as one commentator noted "If it's not going to be online, it's basically the only other option". Briefcase Man was not immediately available for comment due to being "off comm".

                            • reply
                              August 25, 2014 1:43 PM

                              You should look into Black Mesa Research labs, I hear they're on the cusp of some sort of breakthrough in rapid transportation.

                              Hell they even have an opening for a "consultant with a briefcase" on their Jobs page. Seemed oddly specific.

              • reply
                August 25, 2014 11:43 AM

                Man, journalism is easy. I dont know what people complain so much about

            • reply
              August 25, 2014 11:42 AM

              <3

            • reply
              August 25, 2014 11:47 AM

              hahaha :)

      • reply
        August 25, 2014 11:49 AM

        I've heard so many people in games journalism say that the Twitch deal was confirmed, 100% for sure and just waiting for the ink to dry.

        • reply
          August 25, 2014 11:50 AM

          Ugh, this was supposed to be a reply to Overload. Showing up in the wrong thread in WinChatty.

          • reply
            August 25, 2014 11:52 AM

            It is in reply to him. Something something technical, electroly knows what it is, but I don't remember.

            • reply
              August 25, 2014 11:54 AM

              Yeah, LC occasionally gets borked like that.

              And really, I was 100% convinced the ink was drying on this deal, based on what Variety, WSJ, and others were saying about it. Amazon must have a pretty sweet deal on the table if the brakes were suddenly hit and I feel like it has to be more than the money.

              • reply
                August 25, 2014 11:56 AM

                What did Variety, WSJ, and others say about it? From what I saw it was all based off of one outlet saying that a secret source "confirmed" it to them.

        • reply
          August 25, 2014 12:01 PM

          something something zoe quinn told them to write that something something

      • reply
        August 25, 2014 11:55 AM

        See also: "people familiar with the matter" (WSJ will repeat that several times in one story, in fact)

      • reply
        August 25, 2014 3:23 PM

        Wake up!!!

    • reply
      August 25, 2014 11:57 AM

      Shit like this makes games press look terrible.

    • reply
      August 25, 2014 1:06 PM

      UPDATE: It's official!

      http://www.twitch.tv/p/thankyou

      Letter from the CEO August 25, 2014 Dear Twitch Community, It’s almost unbelievable that slightly more than 3 years ago, Twitch didn’t exist. The moment we launched, we knew we had stumbled across something special. But what followed surprised us as much as anyone else, and the impact it’s had on both the community and us has been truly profound. Your talent, your passion, your dedication to gaming, your memes, your brilliance - these have made Twitch what it is today. Every day, we strive to live up to the standard set by you, the community. We want to create the very best place to share your gaming and life online, and that mission continues to guide us. Together with you, we’ve found new ways of connecting developers and publishers with their fans. We’ve created a whole new kind of career that lets people make a living sharing their love of games. We’ve brought billions of hours of entertainment, laughter, joy and the occasional ragequit. I think we can all call that a pretty good start. Today, I’m pleased to announce we’ve been acquired by Amazon. We chose Amazon because they believe in our community, they share our values and long-term vision, and they want to help us get there faster. We’re keeping most everything the same: our office, our employees, our brand, and most importantly our independence. But with Amazon’s support we’ll have the resources to bring you an even better Twitch. I personally want to thank you, each and every member of the Twitch community, for what you’ve created. Thank you for putting your faith in us. Thank you for sticking with us through growing pains and stumbles. Thank you for bringing your very best to us and sharing it with the world. Thank you, from a group of gamers who never dreamed they’d get to help shape the face of the industry that we love so much. It’s dangerous to go alone. On behalf of myself and everyone else at Twitch, thank you for coming with us. Emmett Shear, CEO

      • reply
        August 25, 2014 1:10 PM

        Sorry, Ozzie. We got outbid :)

        • reply
          August 25, 2014 1:12 PM

          Not hard when you only bid $10.

          • reply
            August 25, 2014 1:12 PM

            so they could still win all of phil fish's stuff then ?!?!!? badoom kshhhhhh

          • reply
            August 25, 2014 1:12 PM

            He watched too much "The Price is Right"

            • reply
              August 25, 2014 1:50 PM

              1 dollar bid by briefcase... just incase google and amazon went over.

          • reply
            August 25, 2014 1:52 PM

            you bastards. I bid 9.50!

          • reply
            August 25, 2014 4:40 PM

            Can we buy Fez instead?

        • reply
          August 25, 2014 1:13 PM

          LOL :) classic

      • reply
        August 25, 2014 1:12 PM

        RIP twitch

      • reply
        August 25, 2014 1:12 PM

        I like Amazon. I hope this goes over well.

      • reply
        August 25, 2014 1:12 PM

        Crazy, I really wonder what Amazon will do with its gaming vision as a company?

        Well we will see what Amazon does with it, I like the company a lot so I hope they do good with it.

        I actually prefer Amazon over Google in this case since Google has all those brutal content constraints I guess we will see what Amazon does/changes if at all.

        Huh

        • reply
          August 25, 2014 1:15 PM

          I get the impression Amazon bought twitch so google wouldn't have it AND youtube. I'm sure they have a basic plan to integrate twitch advertisements that go directly to amazon products. But beyond that I suspect the main driving factor was not to let google dominate the streaming web video content market.

        • reply
          August 25, 2014 1:19 PM

          We're having a talk about it as a staff. I've brought up the idea that they can roll Twitch Turbo into Amazon Prime, people can pay for their premium subscriptions with Amazon Payments, and instead of flagging and removing third-party music, Amazon can negotiate with record companies so that if a copyrighted song is spotted on-stream, a link to the Amazon music store can pop up, instead.

          There's ample possibilities here, far more so than if the Google sale had happened.

          • reply
            August 25, 2014 1:20 PM

            Seems reasonable. Google does this.

          • reply
            August 25, 2014 1:25 PM

            Nice ^^^^ that sounds really good, I bet hey will totally do something along those lines. Makes sense if you look at all their streaming services so this would be a great extension for sure.

            Huh we shall see I guess, they can do a tone with it hopefully it will be positive.

          • reply
            August 25, 2014 4:04 PM

            Why would Amazon be better able to negotiate with record companies than Google?

            Google has a music player and store too.

            • reply
              August 25, 2014 5:08 PM

              Maybe its because Amazon is more in the business of selling music and they would focus more on that than Google? I dunno. AmazonMP3 market share is around 25% while Google is only around 5%. Amazon puts a lot more effort into selling music so it makes sense that they would try and integrate sales into their pages.

              The most viewed clips on Youtube by a very wide margin are music videos. Now that I think about it its weird that they don't embed more links to Google Play in those.

              • reply
                August 25, 2014 11:41 PM

                Ok, so a link to the Amazon music store is more valuable than a link to the Google music store. Makes sense.

            • reply
              August 25, 2014 7:54 PM

              Yeah they do, and I don't think they sell anything close to the volume Amazon does.

              • reply
                August 25, 2014 8:03 PM

                They don't. Amazon has 25% share, Apple has 65%, and Google has 5%. Google is a small fry in online music sales, Amazon is much much bigger.

                Most important of all, they have much greater motivation to push online music sales since they're a storefront.

          • reply
            August 25, 2014 7:30 PM

            That is a very valid point Ozzie, I'd love for something along the lines of Twitch Turbo/Amazon Prime to come about. I know for a lot of streamers though the whole music thing hasn't been an issue, but it would be nifty to see more workarounds for users who have put so much time into their streams. Sometimes the only good Royalty free music is costly.

        • reply
          August 25, 2014 1:53 PM

          Amazon twitch kindle fire XDX edition

        • reply
          August 25, 2014 3:30 PM

          I guess they'll use it like they do DPReview. As a consolidated place for a community to take on purchasing suggestions with pages that just so happen to have lots of amazon links.

          • reply
            August 25, 2014 4:06 PM

            Damn, I didn't know that Amazon acquired DPReview back in 2007. I still have bad feelings about Amazon, but at least they allowed DPReview to keep hammering away at properly reviewing cameras.

            • reply
              August 25, 2014 4:25 PM

              Their lab space where they do their testing is pretty nifty.

            • reply
              August 25, 2014 5:08 PM

              I don't really go on the site ever any more, but when I started out taking pictures I scoured the site clean of information for years. IMO that particular acquisition gave DPR the shit ton of resources it needed to make it a genuinely good site. Even if it's community is a big bucket of bile.

      • reply
        August 25, 2014 1:16 PM

        Can we now sm RomSteady with twitch problems?

      • reply
        August 25, 2014 1:23 PM

        Now let me archive streams w/ music playing in the background

        • reply
          August 25, 2014 1:36 PM

          I was wondering how this would effect the recent changes made, too.

          • reply
            August 25, 2014 1:40 PM

            Maybe they can increase retention past 14 days? Amazon probably has a harddrive or two they can loan them, no?

          • reply
            August 25, 2014 1:51 PM

            I hope this means that twitch will get international servers.

      • reply
        August 25, 2014 1:57 PM

        How does this change my prime membership?

      • reply
        August 25, 2014 1:58 PM

        Basically the same thing woot said. Except that didn't happen :\

        • reply
          August 25, 2014 5:09 PM

          And Comixology. Oh well, it could be worse.

      • reply
        August 26, 2014 1:16 AM

        I feel like Google just got bitch-slapped :)

    • reply
      August 25, 2014 2:05 PM

      What bearing does this have on fish playing video games? This is all that matters to me now.

      • reply
        August 25, 2014 2:16 PM

        He's announced that he's quitting playing video games and is selling all his consoles to anyone who wants to take them off his hands.

        • reply
          August 25, 2014 2:33 PM

          But if he opens up a Twitch channel called "Fish playing Street Fighter," I'd bet he'll get a lot of views.

          • reply
            August 25, 2014 2:38 PM

            I think it would be interesting to construct inputs for video games from SHA-1 hashes of tweets.

          • reply
            August 25, 2014 4:58 PM

            One day I will attach a wii mote to my dog's tail and train him to play Wii Sports.

      • reply
        August 25, 2014 2:27 PM

        fish can now only play games on a firephone that gets dropped in his tank.

    • reply
      August 25, 2014 3:21 PM

      This is an M Night Shyamalan twist. It was Amazon all along!!

    • reply
      August 25, 2014 5:21 PM

      I figure Google had already drafted the press release announcing the shuttering of Twitch. I guess now they're going to kill some other service people love. Probably Maps.

    • reply
      August 25, 2014 7:27 PM

      So glad it's official that Amazon is buying Twitch. I've been a loyal user of Amazon for quite a few years now, and have yet to be let down. Hopefully this means an even brighter future for Twitch.

      • reply
        August 25, 2014 9:36 PM

        Yeah, I'm just wonder if Amazon is using this to encourage people to investigate Amazon EC2 or something

        • reply
          August 29, 2014 5:31 PM

          It's possible, but who really knows at this point. All we have is speculation, and a whole lot of it to go around.

    • reply
      August 26, 2014 3:50 AM

      I would be thrilled with this happening. Amazon would give game streaming way more prestige, and hopefully solve a bunch of their bullshit like the music licensing issues

      • Zek
        reply
        August 26, 2014 10:47 AM

        Funny how just a rumor of a Google acquisition was enough for them to shoulder the blame for the whole fiasco, but then Amazon actually does acquire them and suddenly the whole thing was just a misunderstanding.