Microsoft strengthens e-sports presence with acquisition

Microsoft’s Xbox has signed an agreement to acquire Beam, a Seattle-based interactive live-streaming services which gives viewers the ability to watch and play along with their favourite game streamers in real-time. The acquisition was announced in a blog post.

This is not the first time a brand giant has made such a foray into live-streaming gaming sites, with Amazon buying over in 2011 and spinning it off as, a direct competitor to Beam.

Through the new acquisition, Microsoft hopes to strengthen its Xbox social capabilities. It aims to utilise the interactivity of the platform to make it easier for streamers to enable and customise, and is designed to work with any game. Using the game “Minecraft” as an example, players will be able to play alongside their favourite gaming streamers, give them new challenges and make real-time choices that affect their gameplay, from tool selection to quests to movement; all through simple visual controls.

“As part of Xbox, we’ll be able to scale faster than we’ve ever been able to before. We’re expanding the team, bolstering our infrastructure, and most importantly, continuing to grow and support the amazing community at Beam,” Matt Salsamendi, co-founder & CEO of Beam said in a separate blog post.

“We at Xbox are excited about this convergence between playing and watching, and want to provide gamers with the freedom and choice to have great multiplayer experiences across all of Beam’s platforms. This acquisition will help gamers enjoy the games they want, with the people they want, and on the devices they want,” Chad Gibson, partner group program manager, Xbox Live, said.