Twitch will start selling PC games this spring, with streamers getting a 5% cut – ExtremeTech
Steam is currently the undisputed king of digital game distribution. Valve is about to get some new competition, though. Game streaming platform Twitch (an Amazon company) will begin selling PC games directly this spring. Twitch will enlist its legion of game streamers to promote game sales on the platform by offering a cut of the sales to streamers. Twitch could become more of a money-printing machine than it already is.
There’s no question that Steam is the most popular game distribution service, but there are already competitors. There’s the Humble Store, GoG, and Origin, for example. Origin is the largest competitor to Steam, but it has to lean heavily on content from EA, the owner and operator of Origin. Without these titles, Origin probably would not exist.
Compare that with Twitch, which already has a viable business model that jives well with selling games. Gamers will be able to purchase titles and DLC from the video page while they’re watching someone else play. The video publisher will get a 5% cut of the sale (both base games and DLC) and the publisher gets 70%. The remaining 25% goes to Twitch. However, if a publisher channel sells the game on Twitch, it would get the full 75% share. Twitch also plans to have big sales events, like those on Steam that encourage you to buy games you never get around to playing.
Twitch won’t have a conventional game store at all, according to Twitch’s Ecommerce manager Robin Fontaine. All sales will be handled by streamers on their pages. Get ready for a lot of streamers to direct you to the Buy link under the video. A Twitch store might happen later, though. At launch, titles will be provided via a Twitch desktop client as well as third-party clients like Ubisoft uPlay.
One other feature that will be missing from Twitch’s game sales program at launch is pre-orders. This is something the company plans to add, though. Twitch’s live streams of gaming events like E3 would be a perfect opportunity to push pre-orders for new games. Not all games will be for available on Twitch, but the company has forged a number of big distribution deals with Ubisoft, Telltale Games, Paradox Interactive, and more. So, nothing from Sega, EA, Valve, or Activision.
Twitch game sales will launch in the US this spring, but there’s no exact date yet. It will expand to more countries later this year, but again, there are no specifics yet.