Twitch is being bought by Google, a multi-billion dollar company and easily the most powerful entity on the internet. Not only do they have the most popular search engine in the world, they also own the most popular video hosting site in the world.
Soon, they’ll own the most popular game streaming site in the world. If you genuinely think that Twitch will fight Google’s whims, I wish I had that much optimism. Twitch’s announcement with Google has been met with uproar from the community, starting innocuously with an admin taking an internet romance too far and annoying people and culminating with handicapping the content creators.The anger centers around the implementation of Audible Magic, a contentID provider, in videos which doesn’t work at all and led to game developers and streamers to have the game audio trigger the contentID alarms and ultimately muting the streams. The CEO can kick and scream that the contentID issues will improve with time, but streamers are an impatient bunch and are considering alternatives, which will pop up inevitably as time goes on.
Twitch has maintained a shaky reputation for quite awhile now ever since the battle with own3d ended, which established the dominating force for video game streaming sites. Eventually own3d was overwhelmed with Twitch’s massive bandwidth capabilities and interface and shut down, leaving Twitch the victor and sole provider for video game streams. Eventually the bandwidth began cutting back, with Twitch either making no effort to expand or cutting back due to cost, even worse European’s Twitch site is severely limited compared to the North American version.
Twitch becoming more restrictive wasn’t forced as the owners would like to repeat, but a matter of Google integrating it to become more in line with the rest of their sites. It is not forced because the owners decided to merge with Google, and there wasn’t a gun pointed to their heads. Just like anyone else would do in the same situation, they took the large sum offered by Google. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that, but there is something that’s wrong with admitting something is terrible and continuing onward with it.
There’s a lot of talk that perhaps Twitch will improve but that won’t happen, the same approach Google took with Youtube will likely be repeated for them. Perhaps there will be a massive influx in bandwidth and hopefully will lead to higher quality streams, but to think there will be anti-copyright improvements is foolish. Take solace in the fact that alternatives will surface over time which will offer more freedom for the content creator, but as long as Twitch maintains its Starcraft, MOBAs, and fighting game tournaments it will remain far and away the most popular video game streaming site on the internet. So here’s to a closed chapter for Twitch, rife with mediocrity and incompetence, but at least you tried.
Hell, you’ll still try, and good on you. Just keep in mind that the rest of the internet will likely hate you to an irrational degree for the rest of your existence. That’s the sort of thing the internet is really good at, after all.