Microsoft buys videogame streaming service Beam

beam microsoftMicrosoft has agreed to buy Beam, a live-streaming videogame service that lets viewers watch and play along with other gamers in real-time.

The Seattle-based company, which launched in beta in January, claims to have evolved game streaming from a  passive, watch-and-chat experience into one with real-time participation by the viewer.

Viewers can perform tasks like choosing weapons, setting challenges, selecting quests and making movements using “simple visual controls”, with interactivity designed to work with any game.

“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,” said Chad Gibson, partner group program manager, Xbox Live.

Beam CEO Matt Salsamendi said that the Microsoft acquisition marks a “huge leap towards” being able to make an impact in the lives of gamers all over the world.

“As part of Xbox, we’ll be able to scale faster than we’ve ever been able to before. We’re expanding the team, bolstering our infrastructure, and most importantly, continuing to grow and support the amazing community at Beam.”

Salsamendi said he will continue to lead the Beam as part of the Xbox team and for users of the service nothing will change “right now”.

“We’re continuing our focus on providing streamers with the tools they need to create the most interactive broadcasts around,” he said.

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