Update: The Wall Street Journal reports the talks are at an early stage and a deal is not yet imminent.
Variety reports that Google has reached a deal to acquire the video game streaming platform Twitch for $1 billion. The move could provide YouTube with the resources to bolster its current live streaming platform, which doesn’t seem to be all that popular among its users. The entire amount will be offered in cash, according to the report.
Twitch has the distinct benefit of being the only live streaming platform built directly into both Microsoft’s Xbox One and Sony’s PlayStation 4 consoles. A YouTube buyout would essentially bring all of those next-gen streaming customers to YouTube’s platform, along with the countless users already streaming PC games.
Sony initially promised YouTube streaming would be available on the PS4, but later noted that the feature would not be ready when the console launched.
Earlier this year, the “Twitch Plays Pokemon” channel was created, which brought the streaming service to even more users that had previously never heard of it. The channel, which allowed viewers to collaboratively play Pokemon games by entering commands in the stream’s chat box, is still running to this day and has had over 60 million views so far.
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