The streaming platform will start selling games this week.
Video game streaming service Twitch will soon begin selling PC Games and in-game content on their site, according to a company announcement. The site, which is owned by Amazon, has been a top destination for video game live-streamers for years now, so it is perhaps not surprising that they’ve taken the leap to become a retailer as well. The announcement was made earlier this year, with promises of a spring release, and now it seems that their game store will arrive imminently, potentially with a roll out beginning today.
Twitch is hoping to set itself apart from competitive online stores by offering incentives to their customers. Anyone who buys a game from Twitch will receive a ‘Twitch Crate’ containing an assortment of items that can be used on the site while watching streams and interacting with other users. Contents may include exclusive emojis or chat badges, which would otherwise cost money. Twitch Crates are sent out to anyone who makes a purchase, game or otherwise, costing more than SGD 7 (USD 4.99). Whether this is actually enough to incentive purchases remains to be seen.
The games will be sold not through a standard store page, but through the channels of various Twitch streamers, turning the content creators into a sales force. At launch, the store will debut with over 50 titles, including Ubisoft’s For Honor and Ghost Recon: Wild Lands, and Telltale Games’ The Walking Dead and Minecraft: Story Mode. The titles will begin appearing today and will continue to be rolled out over the next week.
The store’s model aims to help streaming channels by providing a source of revenue. Sales from the Twitch store will return 70% of the profits to the publisher, take a 25% cut for Twitch itself, and then send 5% of game sales to any partnered streamers who have opted in for their commerce program. This may end up being a much stronger incentive to buying games from the store. If you can make a purchase and at the same time support your favorite streamer, it offers an alternative to supporting them through, e.g. Patreon.