Twitch, the Amazon-owned service for watching real-time video game streams, has bought GoodGame, a company that manages talented gamers and teams.
GoodGame already worked with Twitch, so this won’t change its business much, wrote CEO Alex Garfield. So it’s sort of like the NFL buying one of the top agencies representing football players, or a Hollywood studio buying a top talent agency.
But the deal almost didn’t happen. That’s because Garfield almost gave up when a team of five players he was managing got drafted in the first-ever draft of professional gamers in 2007. He writes:
I wanted to help out a group of friends that I liked and respected – that’s what I was doing back in ’04. That’s why, when my Counter-Strike team was drafted into the Championship Gaming Series in the summer of ’07, my initial reaction was that it was time to move on. I didn’t really see a point in continuing if my players didn’t need my help anymore. I stayed, obviously – thanks in large part to my mum, who insisted that I’d built something valuable that would outlive the loss of five players. I still remember her lecturing me in the kitchen of her house (thanks, mum). Apparently, she was right.
Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed, but Garfield wrote, “There’s no doubt that being bought by Twitch means all of our employees will be taken care of very well. “
Amazon bought Twitch in August for $US970 million, reportedly outbidding Google, who was also interested in the service. Although not widely known outside video gaming circles, Twitch accounted for 40% of all Internet live-streaming traffic, and 2% of all Internet traffic total, when Amazon bought it.
So online video gaming as a spectator sport could become a huge business, and it looks like Amazon is trying to lock it up.
Disclosure: Jeff Bezos is an investor in Business Insider through his personal investment company Bezos Expeditions.