Microsoft Acquires Beam Interactive Livestreaming Service


Meet Beam, a company based in Seattle that enables users to influence and even interact with a video game which is being streamed by another person. Launched in January, Beam’s vision and mission was to compete against the giants in the industry such as Twitch and YouTube. Thereby, Beam has set itself apart by taking a core concept made popular by streamers which is the idea of letting players control a game from far away, and transforming that into a one of a kind streaming platform.

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For example, Beam allows viewers to make suggestions for streamers and even have the ability to modify in-game elements such as weapon loadout and quest selection. In addition, it also lets developers create special button layouts for those viewing to interact with games being streamed through Beam. All this would mean a hit on your internet connection right? Well, in order to maintain quality, Beam’s technology significantly reduces the lag between a player’s actions and what the viewers see on the stream, compared to competitors like Twitch have a roughly 10 to 15 second delay.

We also found out that Beam was the winner of TechCrunch Disrupt New York 2016 Battlefield. This in itself is something definitely worth bragging about by the developers and the team behind the product.

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Now comes the interesting part

Microsoft announced its plans to acquire the live streaming service for an undisclosed amount. Although it still remains unclear on as to how the Tech giant plans to incorporate Beam’s technology into their existing online gaming platform, fingers are pointing towards Minecraft, (which is now owned by Microsoft) as the type of game which would sit Beam’s technology to a T.

Chad Gibson, a partner group program manager at Microsoft’s Xbox Live division explained how the team at Xbox are excited about the merging 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. He went on to explain that the acquisition will help gamers enjoy the games they want, with the people they want, and on the devices they want.

What does it mean for Beam?

For the Beam staff, the acquisition gives their relatively small team the resources of Microsoft’s Xbox division to further develop the product. For now, CEO Matt Salsamendi says that Beam will continue operating even as he and his colleagues integrate into the Xbox engineering group.

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In a blog post on Beam’s website, Salsamendi explained how the humble service has grown now to around 100,000 users after launching in January of this year. He also went on to say that as they are now a part of Xbox, the opportunity is great to scale faster than they’ve ever been able to before. This also means that in addition to expanding the team and strengthening their infrastructure, they are most importantly, continuing to grow and support the amazing community at Beam.

If you want to learn more about Beam, click here.


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