You may not agree that video games should be considered a “spectator sport” but if you look at the numbers, it is obvious that the masses enjoy them as such. According to data from 2015, 1.7 million people broadcast game streams every single month via Twitch. Owned by Amazon, Twitch, of course, is the world’s largest game streaming service.
More importantly, though, approximately 100 million people tune into these streams. By comparison, slightly more than 40 million people own Playstation 4 consoles. Of course, Twitch is now available for either watching or streaming on board every major video game console and, of course, computers, but also phones, tablets, and even set-top boxes (like Apple TV).
As a matter of fact, Twitch is the standard broadcast network for eSports tournaments all over the world.
What is most important, perhaps, Amazon foresaw the growth of video game spectating, as they bought Twitch in 2014 for a little under $1 billion.
Until now, though, nobody has been able to approach the kind of success that Twitch has had. But, it seems, Facebook is up to the challenge.
You may recall that earlier this year, in June, Blizzard Entertainment executive vice president of corporate operations, Gio Hunt, commented, “Blizzard games are best when played with friends so it’s important to us to provide our players with features and services that make it easy and fun to share their experiences with each other. We’re working closely with Facebook on this integration for Overwatch, as well as our other games, and we look forward to sharing further details on our plans as development progresses.”
Indeed, Facebook is looking to tap into that massive market of consistent users. Moreso, though, Facebook has its own population of approximately 1.6 billion (which, by the way, is about 25 percent of the global population), so launching a service like this—which would become instantly available to all of these people—could dramatically affect the video game streaming community.
Thus, Blizzard announced, on Friday, that the service is available now. Log in to Facebook and you could tap into streams of Overwatch, World of Warcraft, Hearthstone, Diablo 3, and more.