Amazon is buying video game streaming giant Twitch, the companies announced Monday.
"Amazon and Twitch optimize for our customers first and are both believers in the future of gaming," Twitch CEO Emmett Shear said about the sale.
"Being part of Amazon will let us do even more for our community," he continued. "We will be able to create tools and services faster than we could have independently. This change will mean great things for our community, and will let us bring Twitch to even more people around the world."
Article continues below
The news comes after The Information and Wall Street Journal reported Amazon was closing in on a deal to acquire the video game streaming firm. The Journal's initial report had the price of sale at more than $1 billion (about £600m, AU$1.07b), but according to the release Amazon will buy all outstanding Twitch shares for approximately $970 million (about £585m, AU$1.04b) in cash.
In July it was believed Google was set to buy Twitch for $1 billion; all that was missing was official word from the companies.
However, talks reportedly went chill over the last several weeks amid possible antitrust concerns, and it seems Amazon swooped in to take Twitch out from under Google's feet.
TechRadar asked Twitch whether users can expect any changes in the company's offerings with the sale and a spokesman replied: "It will enable us to accelerate all of the things we want to do for our community."
In a thank you note to the Twitch community posted to Twitch.tv, Shear said, "We're keeping most everything the same: our office, our employees, our brand, and most importantly our independence."
"But with Amazon's support we'll have the resources to bring you an even better Twitch," he continued.
Pending regulatory approval, the deal is expected to close in the second half of this year.
Amazon offered few details about what the sale means for Twitch or its other services moving forward. However, it did emphasize growth and new offerings.
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said, "we look forward to learning from them [Twitch] and helping them move even faster to build new services for the gaming community."
Twitch counted 55 million unique visitors in July who lapped up more than 15 billion minutes of content. The firm can hang its hat on one million broadcasters, among them amateur and pro players, publishers, developers, media outlets, conventions and esports organizations.
The growth of Twitch from Justin.tv spin-off to the game-streaming giant it is today has been well-documented, and it is impressive for a company that's just over 3-years-old.
Owning Twitch will likely be a boon for Amazon as it continues to break out of its traditional etailer confines. It dove headfirst into hardware with Fire TV and the Fire Phone, and now appears just as serious about getting into gaming, too.
You have to wonder though if this will ultimately be good for Twitch users, especially since Amazon relies heavily on, well, selling stuff. The Fire Phone features heavy Amazon purchasing tie-ins; could Twitch soon sport something similar for games?
Kevin Lee contributed to this report