Microsoft to Acquire Beam for Interactive Xbox Livestreaming
Instead of passively watching livestreams, Xbox gamers may one day be able to jump right into the action, thanks to Microsoft's acquisition of Beam Interactive.Redmond, Wash., tech giant Microsoft announced on Aug. 11 that it signed an agreement to acquire nearby livestreaming specialist Beam Interactive for an undisclosed amount. Instead of passively observing gamers as they broadcast their exploits, the Beam platform offers visual controls that enable viewers to interact with the game world. The Seattle-based company's software development kit (SDK) allows developers to enable interactive streaming in their game titles with as little as 25 lines of code, according to Beam. A real-time, HTML5-based streaming protocol pipes interactive game footage to web browsers and native apps for Android, iOS, Apple TV and Kindle. "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," Chad Gibson, partner group program manager for Microsoft Xbox Live, said in an Aug. 11 announcement. "This acquisition will help gamers enjoy the games they want, with the people they want, and on the devices they want."
Although Microsoft is acquiring Beam and folding it into its engineering division under the Team Xbox banner, the company plans to continue to support the platform as a stand-alone offering, according to Matt Salsamendi, co-founder and CEO of Beam.