Gaming is becoming more and more integrated into mainstream culture. Players and viewership are rising, and nothing can say that better than the phenomenal 2015 streaming platform Twitch had. Larger companies have taken note too as Amazon jumps into the game development sector with their newest game engine, Lumberyard. Yahoo is also joining in the fun as they start developing their own eSports vertical.
Twitch Had a Good Year
Twitch’s 2015 retrospective was posted today with some interesting and impressive numbers. Twitch reports an average of 1.7 million streamers monthly, with an average of 550,000 concurrent viewers. In 2015, Twitch users watched 421.6 minutes each which blew competitor YouTube’s 291 minutes per user out of the water. According to The Next Web, the highest peak concurrent viewers was over 2 million users, attributed to the intersection of the League of Legends NA LCS Finals and ESL One: Cologne. If that’s not enough to show the platform’s promising future, Twitch also helped raise over $17.4 million for over 55 charities last year, reports Engadget.
Amazon Launches Lumberyard
This week, Amazon surprise launched their own free, 3D game engine called “Lumberyard”. As Forbes points out, Lumberyard has strong industry potential as a toolset capable of designing full AAA games. Though the engine is currently for PC development, all the necessary deals have been signed for Xbox One or PS4 support in the future. Currently, the beta build of tool is available, integrated with Twitch and Amazon Web services.
Yahoo! Gets into eSports
The eSports craze continues! Yahoo is reportedly launching their own dedicated eSports vertical, shortly after the news of sports network ESPN’s eSports launch. According to the Daily Dot, Yahoo will be hiring reporters to cover games like Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and League of Legends. Currently, the site covers games under its tech section, but has rarely posted eSports specific news in the past. But with the industry set for rapid growth estimated at $2 billion by 2018, it seems the internet giant doesn’t want to fall behind the times.