Twitch Starts Selling Games — And Bitch Slaps the Streamers

Helloo there! I guess you may have already heard about the new coming up Twitch Starts Selling Games thingy that everyone like PcGamer, Gamerant or Polygon is buzzing about? Before we get to the part where this might be a REALLY HORRIBLE thing and a total Bitch Slap for streamers. Here is a little quote about the new upcoming feature.

So, how does this all work?
People already use Twitch as a way to ‘demo’ games and get a feel for what they’re all about before committing to a purchase. Soon, when you watch a stream, you’ll see an option to purchase below the video on the channel page if the game or in-game content is available on Twitch.
When you buy, if the streamer is a partner who has opted into the program, he or she gets a 5% share of the revenue. So now you can help support your favorite partnered streamers just by getting a game on their channel. And, purchases come with a special digital Twitch Crate filled with surprises!
Surprises!?
Indeed. Any purchase over $4.99 will earn you a Twitch Crate, a digital loot box with a special reward like a game-specific emote, a chat badge, or some Bits. The contents of each Crate are randomly generated so you never know what surprise will be inside.

So what is good about this?

I think it’s pretty good that Twitch is improving the platform and we get competition for example Steam. More competition usually means better deals for us all. I haven’t yet tried out the Twitch Launcher but possibly will soon and hopefully there would be an option to redeem games through other platforms also. I don’t mind a separate launcher though. More the merrier! :D

Let the Bitch Slapping begin! That is hidden in the last spot

Usually when big companies make announcements they make it super awesome looking at the start and then they add something on the end that defines some rules so that people get only hyped about the start. Here is a picture of the thing that worries me the most..

Bitch Slap 1: You lose the control and freedom of speech to promote what you want

Okay so when this thing comes it will appear on all streamer channel pages and only partnered streamers will get revenue from this. This means that you are most likely going to get less affiliate revenue from other sources you have already deals. Maybe you have already made a deal to promote a small dev or your a little gaming store near you? Well that banner that supports both non-partner and partnered streamers is going to be hidden in the panels.

I’m pretty sure that they are going to use the “Bits part” that comes on top of your chat to promote that game also. So then it’s basically the same as having straight up automatic link to your chat. That you as a non-partnered streamer don’t earn any money. Also partnered streamers just direct folks for using Twitch services not the sponsors and partners that they already have deals and possible contracts with.

So basically when this comes you have no or very little control where people buy their games. Even if you like GreenmanGaming or some other service and have a deal with them. That most obvious buy now button spot is taken already. Or maybe you don’t want to have any donate or affiliate programs at all? That option is also long gone.. You just don’t have any saying in the matter what product or products will be promoted on your stream.

Bitch Slap 2: What would the internet be with this kind of enforcing

Of source there already has been AD:s and AD:s are really important to keep the servers up and going like my little blog also. AD:s are what keeps many websites rolling and without them the services and websites can’t function. But i think it’s important to think how they are added. Twitch has already showed AD:s and since the new player the ad:s are unblockable. So the money part from ad:s should be increasing and partners should be getting more income also. Witch is pretty awesome!

Even though the launch for the ads hasn’t been worldwide yet it’s coming at some point. I blogged about a better ads, affiliate and analytics system earlier if you want to have a look about that. But since we see ad:s all the time we already know what kind of ad:s are global and just random. And then there is the “Products, services etc.” that “Content Creators” promote and when pressing those links the content creator earns some money. It may be big or small commission but it goes straight up to the content creator. Witch means he or she can produce more content for everyone.

If this same kind of enforcing would happen in YouTube:

youtube-selling-games

If this same kind of enforcing would happen in Imgur:

selling-games-on-imgur

Bitch Slap 3: Sneaky way to insert ads as a feature and for Twitch Prime customers

Okay, so earlier on this article we discussed already about the ads that are already unblockable. There has been a way to get Twitch Prime as a monthly fee and you don’t see any ad:s on the page. You would then only see the things that the streamer promotes so you can straight up support him/her. I’m like 99,9% sure that doesn’t count for “Buy now buttons” even though they are “ads” they are not normal ads. So even Twitch Prime customers will see these.. Pretty sneaky ehh?

Also when they are added as a normal feature for every stream adblock can’t be used for those either. I’m pretty sure that BTTV is going to add a feature to remove those but not that many people that actually support the streams with IRL money use BTTV. So these “Buy now” buttons get quite a lot of click and sales.

So who is actually paying about this feature?

Little and non-partnered streamers are going to lose the most since there will be “Buy now” buttons on the best place to buy and it’s going to be really easy for the people to buy them. For viewers it is pretty good though! Easy is always good! But at the end of the day when you as a streamer are doing the daily grind and streaming 6h daily, 5 days a week which is 120h per month.

What do you think is the best option? a) The income for sales goes to support you and your stream when you are the face or voice of streaming that actual game or b) You just wait until you get the Partnership and just wonder how many monies have you actually lost to support the big guys?

Awesome read: Twitch will let streamers sell games, raising loads of ethical questions — Mashable

What is going to happen if this is enabled by default?

It gives out false image about the streamer. Let’s say you start to play a new game as a streamer and play it for couple hours just to test out would you like to promote it or say it is a good game? Then you think it’s not a good game and someone already bought it directly under your stream?

You promoted a bad game and someone bought it straight from a link under your stream. You might be a partner and get some income. Is that good? Well yea.. But the person is going to say example: “I bought this game from Liriks stream since he was playing it”. Although some folks are just going to buy the game if they like it but the implementation is just wrong in my opinion.

I hope there is an opt-out option

Since many streamers test out new games etc. And there is also streamers that do not want to promote anything they just stream for fun. There should be an opt-out option from the whole feature when the “Buy Now button” appears. Since the streamer knows better what kind of products they want to promote for their viewers not Twitch. There should be some kind of moral line what kinds of features are added so everyone can keep creating content, play fair and support the kind of content they want to support.

What do you think? Is it pitchfork time or FeelsGoodMan?

Let me know what you think about this kind of implementation as it looks now it’s going to be enabled by default. IMO it sounds horrible addition since Twitch style has been straight up truth from streamers about the game. This sounds more like a money hungry grab than actually helping out all the streamers to create more content. What do you think?


Originally published at Nikitheliger.com.

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