Google and Twitch Introduce Streaming Game Play at GDC

Google and Twitch (an Amazon-owned company) made major splashes around streaming game play during Developer Day at the annual Game Developers Conference (GDC). Google's Video Recording API and Twitch's Stream First initiative demonstrated both companies' belief that streaming will play a critical role in the next evolution of gaming. In the announcements, both companies envisioned a new approach to game development that includes a singlular ecosystem of player, game, and audience.

"Game creators often ask us for help engaging Twitch users just as their game is launching," Twitch's PR Director, Chase, told ProgrammableWeb. "With Stream First, we're encouraging developers to design around the broadcaster-viewer relationship from the beginning, thereby building in audience from the get-go."

Stream First constitutes a new approach to game design. From the ground up, Stream First games are built for a live streaming experience. To highlight the approach, Twitch partnered with a collaboration of game developers to launch SUPERFIGHT, Wastelanders, and Streamline. All three games represent games that were specifically designed to invoke "cooperative community experiences." Twitch delivers the Stream First approach with supporting services (e.g. the Twitch Embed API) as part of its Developer Success program (an effort aimed at growing the Twitch developer community on the Stream First approach).

Similarly, Google announced its Video Recording API during Developer Day. Google's new API allows players to record gaming sessions. After Integration, any app can add recording functionality. Players can share sessions with friends or stream sessions to YouTube. Further, Google plans to add live streaming that allows fans to broadcast game experiences in real-time.

Google and Amazon remain fierce competitors over an ever-expanding range of services. Streaming gameplay represents the latest battlefield. Keep an eye out for both companies' game streaming services as the convergence of gaming and video continues. Both companies have major roles to play at GDC; be sure to follow the announcements.  

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