YouTube Live Launching This Year With Focus on Video Game Streaming

YouTube is set to position itself against Amazon’s Twitch TV live streaming platform with the launch of YouTube Live this year, according to The Daily Dot. Though the scope of potential content is broad, reports suggest that Google-owned YouTube will be focusing on live video game streaming and eSports.

“Gaming and eSports in particular are going to be a big driving force for the new-look YouTube Live,” one source told The Daily Dot. “There’ll be huge opportunities for established streamers and organizations soon and I would say that the record numbers of esports viewers are only going to grow when Google start promoting and partnering with these events.”

Google narrowly missed out on buying Twitch last year, ultimately pipped by a $970 million purchase by Amazon, so it seems that it is using its existing video sharing service to create its own rival. YouTube already features limited live streaming services, which began in 2010 with live streams of Indian Premier League cricket, but the service failed to take off.

Since then, YouTube has recruited 50 new engineers with experience in live streaming to prepare for a relaunch, with sources calling it “a pretty big statement of intent.” They added, “The time is right as well, with Twitch moving into other areas such as music and so on. Google doesn’t want to be too far behind in the arms race.”

Though YouTube has declined to comment on the story, it is expected that the company will make an official statement at E3, which starts on 16th June.

Source: The Daily Dot

Twitch CEO Says Game Consoles Will Die with This Generation

The Xbox One and PlayStation 4 could be the last of their kind, if Twitch TV CEO Emmett Shear is to be believed. Shear, speaking to The Guardian at the Changing Media Summit in London, said that as the current console lifecycle is more prolonged than that of other technology, it will soon be abandoned.

“The problem is, the seven-year upgrade lifecycle doesn’t work in the face of the two-year upgrade cycles for every other hardware platform,” Shear said. “It’s so intrinsically built into how consoles get manufactured and made and the full business model, that I’d be surprised to see another generation.”

Twitch TV, the live video game streaming platform, was co-founded by Shear in 2011, and in that short time he has already seen console manufacturers try to accelerate the process.

“They’re going to have to change form,” he said. “You can already see this on both Xbox and PlayStation where there’s a tighter upgrade loop for both the operating systems and the games. This is the first step toward being able to iterate the hardware platform. I could imagine a version 1.1 product from both Microsoft and Sony which adds in slightly more speed and slightly more memory very similar to how phones and tablets work today. I think it’s going to look more like the mobile phone market over time.”

Shear’s opinion does not come from a sense of wish-fulfilment, though – he admits that game consoles have been a boon for his business:

“The consoles have been huge for us – they drive a tonne of broadcasting. We’ve seen the rise of a few games that have done very well because of consoles, notably FIFA and Call of Duty. The top end of broadcasting still tends to come from PC – if you want to produce high-end content you want more than is going to be prepared for you in any off the shelf set-up, but it’s gotten a lot of people started in broadcasting and that’s really important. It’s been a smashing success as far as integrations go.”

Shear, though, seems to have neglected poor Nintendo in this discussion. Only last week, Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata revealed that the company was working on a new console, codenamed the ‘NX’.

Source: The Guardian

Lizard Squad Take Down Twitch and League of Legends

Game streaming service Twitch.tv and online game League of Legends have been hit by notorious hacking group “Lizard Squad”, leaving both services offline for gamers and spectators alike.

The hacking group, or what ever we should be calling them, launch a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack in the early hours of the morning. The first attach hit Twitch and shortly after the team took down Riot Games League of Legends services.

https://twitter.com/LizardSquad/status/504416785194434562

I’m not sure what’s with this idiots ruining gaming services for people, but it was only last weekend that the same team took down the Sony PlayStation Network. PSN has since been restored, but is still suffering some minor network issues.

https://twitter.com/LizardSquad/status/504454145584427008

What ever will come next? Seems it is pretty common these days for online games and services to be bumped offline and there is little to nothing we can do about it.

Thank you Gamezone for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of Gamezone.

PC Gaming Is Leading The Way With eSports & Video Streaming

This Saturday will see 15,000 spectators descend on the Staples Centre in LA to watch the League of Legends World Championship Final Event. Gaming as a professional sport has been around for a long time and has enjoyed mass popularity in Asia for years. Now the phenomenon is breaking out of niche status in the West as well, attracting millions of game enthusiast followers. Sudden mass uptake over the past year has made game videostreams the fastest growing content on the web, including YouTube and specialized destinations like Twitch, who raised $20 million this week to support its explosive growth and global expansion.

While Western press focus their attention on the nextgen console battle between Xbox One and PlayStation 4, PC Gaming is leading the industry in eSports and video content as well as in number of gamers on a global scale with around 900 million players. From a screen perspective, games played on the computer screen also gross more revenues than games played on TV: $27.6bn or 39% versus $25.4bn or 36%. Worldwide that is. The PC platform continuous to shape trends and lead innovation in the industry in terms of game genres, free-to-play business models and now… eSports and video content. The new consoles Xbox One and PS4 will provide integrated functionalities allowing console gamers to follow the path originally carved out by PC gaming. Console-based eSports leagues do exist but not on the same scale as the PC franchises such as Starcraft, Dota2, World of Tanks and League of Legends.

Games played on a PC will generate $27.6bn this year, 39% of the total games market. This includes money spent on casual websites and social networks. Without these “casual” segments, the global PC/MMO market is worth $21.0bn. Approximately 40% of the 900 million PC/MMO gamers worldwide spends money on, or rather within, these games.

  • This year, American gamers account for $4.3bn in spending on PC/MMO games or 20.3% of the global PC/MMO market. The Asia-Pacific region represents $11.0bn or 52.6% of the PC pie.
  • Of all PC/MMO gamers worldwide, 19% or 230 million can be called an enthousiast or core gamers, based on a combination of variables such as time, spending behavior and genre preferences. This group of consumers is largely responsible for the growth of eSports and game video content.
  • Over 100 million Americans play PC/MMO games, almost two thirds of all gamers. 21% or 23 million of these gamers can be considered to be enthousiast or core gamers. Using the same variables for console gamers leads to a number of 24.1 million Americans. There is an enormous overlap between these two groups: 18.7 million gamers can be considered both console as PC/MMO game enthousiasts.
  • Game video community website Twitch saw its unique viewer audience grow from 3.2 million per month in June 2011 to over 44 million in August this year.
  • Early this year, Youtube reported that time spent viewing gaming content more than doubled from 2011 to 2012, making it the fastest growing content category. Almost half, 47%, was spent on content generated by consumers.
  • The largest international eSports league, the ESL, reports that 33 million hours have already been spent this year watching their eSports video content, up almost 100% since last year. Over 750,000 gamers visited ESL’s Intel Extreme Masters Series 7 events.
  • Global prize money for the bigger eSports events will be over $12 million this year, four times higher than in 2010. An increasing number of non-gaming companies are jumping on the opportunity to become partners of eSports events, including RedBull, Logitech and Plantronics.
  • The worlds’ largest payment service provider for games, GlobalCollect, reported that the fastest growing countries from Q1 2012 to Q1 2013 in terms of online payments for PC/MMO games were Malaysia, Thailand and Korea, each with over 100% growth.

Thank you Newzoo for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of eTeknix.