Live streaming video platform Twitch (a subsidiary of Amazon) is doubling down on video games with the acquisition of a significant player in the world of video game communities: Curse. The terms of the deal are undisclosed and Twitch declined to comment beyond the official announcement.
Curse operates myriad websites and services — some of them were created in-house over the past few years, others were acquired. In 2006, Curse started with a website that offered mods for World of Warcraft.
While World of Warcraft is past its prime time, the company managed to create new communities for new games with huge audiences. For instance, Curse operates database and guide websites for League of Legends, World of Warcraft and NFL games, video game news sites, many different high-traffic forums around Minecraft, Pokémon, Diablo III and Hearthstone, and all the GamePedia wikis. The company also has various mod databases. That’s quite a lot — more than 30 million people visit Curse’s properties every month.
In addition, the company has recently launched a product for computers simply called Curse. This is a TeamSpeak competitor so that you can meet up with your online buddies and play together. It integrates an IRC-like chat feature that lets you chat with your teams, a VoIP feature so you can coordinate with your teammates while you play and, yes, streamer tools to make it easier to stream on Twitch or YouTube Gaming.
Twitch could use some parts of this app to work on an in-house broadcasting solution. Right now the company tells you to install third-party software.
And, of course, Twitch is acquiring big video game communities, as well as people who know how to foster those communities. At heart, Twitch lives and dies by its community of streamers and watchers. Interestingly, Curse and Twitch share the same niche.
Curse isn’t competing with mainstream video game news sites. The company carefully chose to focus on competitive online video games. And if you look at Twitch’s top games right now, you’ll see a lot of overlap with Curse’s communities — League of Legends, Hearthstone, Dota 2, Counter Strike, Overwatch… I’ll interview Twitch CEO Emmett Shear at TechCrunch Disrupt SF next month, so we’ll definitely talk about this acquisition.