Monday, 8 July 2013

Steam About to Get A Little More Twitchy

I am still the master of inane title puns. Go me.

Although it's not the most groundbreaking news in the entire world to report, I believe that it's still of note to document the fact that recently Valve and Twitch TV have entered into an agreement that allows users to link the accounts between the two services. At the moment the game that is integrated with both is Defence of the Ancients 2, which can now be watched officially using a joint account.

Of note is that "This link makes you eligible for tournament item drops while watching Twitch streams as long you own the ticket for that tournament." which means that you can get items essentially just from watching the game being played, under the right circumstances of course. I would assume that the item gains for such things wouldn't be huge, but would provide users with yet more incentives to buy access to watching matches taking place.

Even though the partnership only extends to one particular game at the moment, this newly formed bond has me thinking of other applications, and I doubt that I'm the only one. There are plenty of famous Team Fortress 2 players that stream on Twitch from time to time, and things like Counterstrike and Portal 2 co-op could also draw in crowds.

Another legitimate question to ask is whether or not this will be extended to non-Valve games that are available through Steam as well. If the answer is ultimately yes, then the possibilities are quite large indeed. Thinking of things like tournaments, video walkthroughs, live let's plays, and other applications for a gamut of games is quite tantalizing. Certainly one could argue that Twitch already provides these things, but if offered through the official Valve connections, then a much greater possibility for integration exists.

I suppose that how far that ultimately gets depends mostly on how well it's received right now, since this is likely a testing of the waters by both parts of this co-operative to see whether or not people will actually care. I would imagine that neither of them are going into this blind, so there must have been some interest expressed on one or both sides already, but just how much of a boon each will have to see to consider it "worth it" is up for debate. It's hard to say who might benefit more, although I'm inclined to say Twitch TV, depending on how things go. Still, if everything goes well, then this is a situation where no one really loses.

As for what I'd like to see, well, again, Team Fortress 2 would certainly be nice, but some Magic related content certainly wouldn't hurt either. But perhaps right now I'm getting ahead of myself. It's nice to think of where it could go though, isn't it?

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