This week, YouTube took up arms against Twitch and Mixer, China placed heavy video game restrictions on its minors, and recent video game sales prove that software is king to hardware in 2019.

YouTube joins the battle for streamers; signs CouRage to exclusive deal
Twitch lost another big-name streamer after Jack “CouRage” Dunlop, known for his Call of Duty and Fortnite content, announced on Twitter that he will be streaming exclusively on YouTube Live starting this week. CouRage is the third well-known streamer to jump ship from Twitch, following Tyler “Ninja” Blevins and Michael “Shroud” Grzesiek, who recently signed exclusive deals with Microsoft’s Mixer. CouRage explained that he has a better opportunity to create content and engage with his fanbase on YouTube, reports Variety, Heavy, and The Daily Dot. The Verge commented, “YouTube has benefitted greatly from hosting replay content from other streaming sites like Twitch, meaning that it hasn’t had to focus as much in the past on attracting content creators exclusively to the platform. That strategy appears to be changing with the recruitment of names like Dunlop and Lachlan, though, indicating that YouTube is looking to try to make its way as a live-streaming site again.”

China to combat video game addiction in minors with new play restrictions
As of November 5, minors in China will no longer be able to play video games after 10 PM or before 8 AM, and gaming during weekdays cannot exceed 90 minutes. The new restrictions were implemented by China’s General Administration of Press and Publication in order to curve the effects of video game addiction. The new regulations force China’s top gaming companies to place strict security systems on their platforms that will fact-check the identity of registered users against China’s national database. IGN stated, “This means the Chinese video game market will be one of the most heavily regulated in the world – but since it’s worth $33 billion in annual revenue, it’s also one of the most valuable.” The New York Times, VICE, USA Today, and more reported on the news.

New report shows software sales are keeping the gaming industry afloat amidst hardware sales decline
In a recent press release, industry-tracking firm NPD Group reported that U.S. consumers spent $9.18B on gaming software in Q3 of 2019 alone, attributing to a whopping total of $27.9B since the start of this year. The spending comes amidst a decline in hardware sales, with players opting to spend on microtransactions across popular titles such as Fortnite, Pokémon GO, Minecraft, and more instead of purchasing new consoles or accessories. “This is creating more stability for an industry that is prone to volatility. In turn, that could enable studios to provide more consistent employment to game creators,” said VentureBeat, who remains optimistic about the ever-evolving future of the video game industry. The Hollywood Reporter, TechSpot, MXDWN, and more shared the news.