Beam Pro

The live-streaming market is really blossoming these days. With Amazon acquiring Twitch and Google running YouTube Gaming, it was just a matter of time before Google got into the game, and they're doing so with a little known start-up streaming company called Beam.

Over on the official Microsoft blog, they announced that they have acquired Beam, the interactive live-streaming service. Now keep in mind that the "interactive" part is what Microsoft is hedging their bets on as being the big selling point for the new acquisition.

Beam, based out of Seattle, Washington, will allow gamers to not only watch their favorite live-streamers play the sort of games they enjoy, but there will also be functional tools made available for viewers to better interact with the live-streamer. For instance, they mention that there will be visual controls that will allow gamers to highlight challenges and real-time choices that may help influence the live-stream.

But it's not just about viewers being able to take control of the live-stream, it's also about enabling the live-streamer to take control of how they interact with their community. Unlike Twitch or YouTube Gaming, Beam will supposedly allow the player to customize what sort of controls and GUI options will be available to viewers as they watch the stream.

Beam's tech will also be integrated into the Xbox family, and Microsoft notes that this will increase their commitment to Xbox Live, but they don't exactly say what sort of specific features Xbox gamers can expect from Beam.

They do mention that for games like Minecraft there will be special options and real-time choices to influence and affect the challenges of the live-streamer, but beyond that they mostly spend the blog post simply talking about the acquisition.

Nevertheless, this could definitely open up some interesting opportunities for some games, especially where various choices or dynamic interactivity are a part of the core gameplay. I can imagine this could easily raise the interactive appeal for games like GTA V, Skyrim, or even some of Telltale Games titles, such as the recent Batman: The Telltale Series or other choice-driven games like Game of Thrones.

Telltale has already started to experiment with more community-driven options and features with Batman: The Telltale Series, so a service like Beam could basically just increase that level of interactivity between streamer and viewer.

They don't mention if some of these special interactive controls and options will be available across other games played on other platforms, but I would assume that they would.

The Xbox One already has integration for Twitch using an app, along with YouTube, so the options for the competition will still be there. Beam will simply offer gamers an additional outlet in which to view and interact with live-streamers.

The only challenge is now is getting prominent live-streamers to take up and utilize Beam in order to bring in and maintain the growth of an audience. You can check out Beam right now over on the website to see what all the fuss is about.

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