Tech

Amazon aims to blur lines between game, real life

On Amazon's game streaming platform Twitch, gaming is being intermingled with real life.

A feature unveiled on Thursday by US online retail giant Amazon called IRL, the acronym for "in real life", lets people broadcast moments from their lives as part of gameplay.

Amazon called this feature "a new content category designed to both enable and encourage Twitch's creators to step outside of their traditional gameplay content, and share content captured from their everyday lives" .

The new feature ramps up the capabilities of Twitch, a recent Amazon acquisition known for social gaming, e-sports, and competitive gaming.

Twitch chief executive Emmett Shear said the introduction comes because users "are interested in sharing their everyday lives, thoughts and opinions with their communities".

Meanwhile, Amazon Game Studios launched an alpha version of Breakaway, its first new title in the hot e-sport arena of gaming as spectator sport.

The game features heroic characters from myth and legend teaming up to compete in a sort of "game of the gods", and is inspired by ancient Olympics and Aztec ball courts, studio head Patrick Gilmore said after giving AFP an early look at the game.

Two teams of four players face off online, each represented by a champion ranging from a gunslinger, mage or a knight to a "nuker" named Victor. Being able to build traps or defences, and having time between rounds for players to huddle, enhanced the strategic element of the otherwise fast-paced game, a hands-on demonstration showed.

"We look at it as way more of a sport than anything out there," Mr Gilmore said, referring to the competitive array of e-sports that draw viewers with play streamed in real time.

MILLIONS

Amazon snatched up Twitch and its huge audience for live-streamed gaming in 2014. The purchase was one of the largest in Amazon's history - US$970 million (S$1.4 billion) in cash for the three-year-old Internet company.

Twitch claims the crown as the world's leading social video platform for gamers, with more than 100 million people using the service to watch and discuss games being streamed live or on-demand.

Twitch.tv lets anyone broadcast game-related content and allows them to connect with publishers and advertisers. - AFP

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