Steam and Gaming Live are launching new services that will make streaming games more accessible and hopefully more popular all around the world.
For a long time Twitch was considered to be the only streaming service for games. There were some alternatives for sure, but mostly there was nobody to throw a real challenge. Times are changing. A couple of cool streaming alternatives were launched this January. Let’s try to figure out whether these services have what it takes to push Twitch from the top.
Gaming Live is the latest contender for the crown of Amazon’s Twitch. This Polish startup is launching a beta of its streaming project on Feb. 1. It’s focusing on European market and is aimed at amateurs and professional alike. This new platform will allow users to broadcast video games, e-sports, and related content.
Gaming Live boasts greater “transcoding efficiency”, which means better quality and faster download speed. The service will provide all users with free 480p transcoding. It also accepts livestreams in 2K quality with no limitations. Gaming Live puts emphasis on Android, iOS devices, Smart TVs, consoles and DVB-T decoders. All these technologies will be supported by the Gaming Live software client. The service also has interesting monetary options. There will be other ways to earn money.
Meanwhile Steam launched its own streaming service in a little different way. The service is called Broadcasting and it is integrated into the Steam Client. Users can watch and stream games. There are some limitations and borders, but overall it works fine. You can peek at a game your friend is playing (you’ll have to send a request). There’s even an integrated chat to share your thoughts and comments. Valve believes that the service will become a reasonable alternative to Twitch and Ustream. It’s easy, it doesn’t require additional software or additional fees. There’s no way to monetize these streams also. So far it doesn’t look like a Twitch killer, but it will certainly draw some people in.
How will these things influence YouTube and the letplayer scene? Well, there seems to be very little correlation between streaming and letsplaying.
Streaming is great for new games. Some never before seen demo will definitely shine during a stream. It’s also a great tool for online games with multiplayer and surprising events. Battlefield, Call of Duty, Starcraft 2 – these games are fun to watch during a stream. The other games just don’t work this way. With single-player experience you can always record your session, add some cool effects or overlays and create a sort of a real show for Youtube. A lot of users who publish their games or walkthroughs online don’t really need streaming.
Edward Kozadaev, PlayClaw
EEDAR’s reports actually support this idea. The organization recently published a list of the most streamed games at Twitch. League of Legends (26%), Dota 2 (12%), Hearthstone (9%), Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (9%), and World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor (5%) collectively take 60% of the streaming in Twitch. All these titles are multiplayer online games. Just goes to show you that streaming services really need some fresh blood and new games.
Author: Michael Kim