Today, in a blog post on Microsoft News Center, it was announced that Microsoft has acquired Beam, an innovative and interactive livestreaming service that gives viewers the ability to watch and play along with their favorite game streamers in real-time. Beam has evolved game streaming from a passive, watch-and-chat experience into one with real-time participation by allowing the viewer to directly influence a streamer’s gameplay and live broadcast.
“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,” wrote Chad Gibson, Partner Group Manager for Xbox Live. “This acquisition will help gamers enjoy the games they want, with the people they want, and on the devices they want.”
Bringing Beam, their award-winning team and their inventive technology into the Xbox family supports our ongoing commitment to make Xbox Live more social and fun. Using Minecraft as just one example, with Beam you don’t just watch your favorite streamer play, you play along with them. You can 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. In the highly anticipated Sea of Thieves, which is all about emergent adventures in a shared world, you can watch the drama play out between different crews from multiple player perspectives
One of the best parts about Beam is that interactivity is easy for streamers to enable and customize, regardless of the game or platform. Beam is designed to work with any game, and will continue to offer broadcasts across all gaming platforms, just as it does today.
Beam remains committed to its mission of empowering users and streamers across platforms and will now be better positioned to grow and give more back to the community. “As part of the Xbox team, we’ll be able to scale faster than we’ve ever been able to before,” wrote Beam CEO Matt Salsamendi in a Beam blog post. “We’re expanding the team, bolstering our infrastructure, and, most importantly, continuing to grow the amazing community we’ve been lucky enough to build at Beam.”
We look forward to sharing more about Beam and our vision for interactive game streaming in the future.