My Interview with Emmett Shear, CEO of Twitch

I had the chance to chat with Emmett Shear, CEO of Twitch about the partnership we announced today at E3. Here is more information about the partnership, what Twitch offers gamers, and Shears’ favorite games.

Major Nelson (MN): What does Xbox One integration of Twitch mean for the future of live broadcasting?
Shear: This is our chance to break into the console space in a big way. To date, PC games have been the biggest things on Twitch, mostly because it’s incredibly difficult to broadcast console games today. The Xbox One integration means that Twitch users are going to be able to broadcast their console experiences even more easily than they can broadcast from PC. Live broadcasting your game is going to be for everyone in the future, not just people who can afford a capture card.

MN: What excites you most about coming to the Xbox platform, specifically Xbox One?
Shear: The Xbox One platform combines the best parts of console gaming with the best parts of PC gaming. Dedicated hardware for high level performance, combined with multitasking to run broadcasting and chat at the same time. The platform melds gaming with other activities in a way that we’ve never seen before. There’s no way we could have accomplished what we’re doing with the Xbox One on any other platform.

MN: In your wildest dreams, did you expect Twitch to blow up like it has over the last 18-24 months?

Shear: Well, probably in the wildest ones! In seriousness, I did not expect this amount of growth so fast. I always thought that game streaming was going to be big, but to see it take off the way it has is really gratifying. Of course as you grow you have all kinds of new, bigger, more interesting problems. So at the very least, it’s never boring!

MN: If I’m a gamer that has never experienced Twitch, how would you convince me that it is worthwhile?

Shear: It depends a lot on what kind of gamer you are. If you love Call of Duty multiplayer, Twitch offers you the chance to see some of the sickest kill streaks you’ve ever seen and watch tactics from the very best. If you love Minecraft worlds, Twitch lets you see all the mods you could be using and get inspiration for new creations. If you love League of Legends, Twitch is your chance to watch the top teams in the entire world battle for supremacy.

MN: What’s your favorite game to play?
Shear: I love all kinds of games. I’m kind of a game omnivore. Most recently I’ve actually been playing a lot of board games and card games. Magic: The Gathering, Small World, Coup. On the computer, usually Heart of the Swarm. My all-time most played game is almost certainly StarCraft: Broodwar. Close second to Super Smash Brothers.

MN: What’s your favorite game to watch other play?
Shear: Of course I enjoy watching games that I play, so Starcraft and Magic obviously rank highly. I actually love watching DOTA 2 and League of Legends as well, even though I don’t really play either. The strategic depth is really high and the games are super tense but it’s a genre I haven’t ever put the time in to learn myself.

MN: What has surprised you the most over the last 24 months?
Shear: The generosity of the Twitch community. I am continually surprised to see that not only will gamers on Twitch pull together to support each other and the broadcasters they love, they’ll find ways to support good causes around the world.

MN: Twitch is often associated with eSports, but there is a lot more being streamed than competitive gaming. Can you elaborate on what other types of content people are tuning in to Twitch to view?
Shear: While eSports is obviously an important part of what’s on Twitch, it’s actually a minority of the total content on the site. The other three major categories are educational, creative, and interactive content. Educational content is made from streams that people watch to learn from, like coaching or just detailed analytical commentary. Creative content is all about showing off exciting new things that people have figured out they can do in a game, stuff you never would have expected. And interactive content, the biggest set of content, is all about the viewer interacting with the streamer live in the middle of the stream. Obviously these categories can overlap, so you can have creative educational content, or interactive eSports content, but most things fall into one or the other.

MN: What has changed to make video games so popular among spectators?
Shear: Put simply: it’s now possible. Internet connections are fast enough and video encoding is widespread enough that it’s possible to create this content. Live video is a lot more bandwidth intensive than clip-based video, so it makes sense that it’s taking off later.

MN: What’s next for Twitch now that you’ve conquered the gaming space?
Shear: I wouldn’t say we’ve conquered the gaming space yet. We have a good start, but there’s a long way to go still. Until every single gamer on every platform knows they can catch the best gameplay and coolest new streams on Twitch, we’re not done.

*Available with supported games.

Comments

  • Jung Lee

    Microsoft better do something quick or this console launch is going to be a major disaster.

    Like

    • Chuck

      best they could do is start back peddling and I don’t think they will do that until March after they see they haven’t sold any consoles.

      Like

  • xboxoneforlife

    Sony won. No doubt in my mind. Good job to you

    Like

  • Chuck

    MS, what does it feel like to be pwned?

    Like

  • Realmusik Recordz

    U might be right… I’m a Xbox man tho. I’m here till the wheels fall off

    Like

    • GmailIsDown

      the wheels already fell off

      Like

    • xboxoneforlife

      Me too. I will call it as i see it. Sony won in the last few minutes to win most of the casual and people who was on the fence. There is no denying that.

      Like

    • Dylan

      I was for a very long time as well.
      You don’t owe Microsoft anything. They’re trying to screw us. Don’t let them.
      The only thing you’ll lose is gamerscore, and you’ll have an extra 100 bucks in your pocket.

      AND YOUR GAMES WILL BE WORTH THEIR PRICE

      Like

    • Steve Jr.

      I’ve had a long history with MSFT. I’m on the same boat here.
      I’ll buy the PS4 too, but I’m an xBox guy.

      Like

    • jlh

      The wheels are not going to fall off. The Xbox One is going to be successful, very successful, but I don’t think the first couple of months are going to be pretty unless MS do something about the price. In the long run the 24 hour check in and game trading will not be an issue (most 360 owners don’t even know about the whole controversy because they don’t spend their time hanging out on gaming forums and blogs) but the price is barrier for a lot of people.

      Like

  • wrestlefan01

    microsoft claimed the developers pushed for the dmr and used game bs.but meanwhile sony isnt going that rout and they stil have top developers on board.seems like microsoft lied

    Like

    • xboxoneforlife

      They did. If the publishers are allowing sony to do this. Microsoft is screwed. They need to come out tommorow and say no DRM and no used games restrictions now. Otherwise its game over for majority of the market. You can’t put restrictions on something that someone else is clairly not.

      Like

      • jlh

        I don’t think publishers are allowing Sony to do anything. I think that they are just doing it under the belief that they will establish a lead that can’t be ignored. So that even if the publishers wanted to retaliate by not putting their games on the PS4 they financially couldn’t make that decision. It’s a risky move but it may work.

        Like

  • Realmusik Recordz

    Sony selling lies…time will tell. 399 is the only real thing they said

    Like

    • Dylan

      You’re in denial.
      That would be false advertising if it wasn’t true.
      It is. Get over it.

      Like

      • Dwight Power

        Dude… accept it. Microsoft sucks. $399 with no restrictions and no forced online check ins is all they had to say.

        Like

      • Dylan

        Preaching to the choir man.
        I’m guessing you replied to me by accident haha

        Like

    • ikari_paul

      how butthurt does one have to be to be in such denial

      your a sad person. go see a doctor. no wonder M$ thinks it can get away with murder, if theyre fueld by loyal sheep like you

      Like

  • fantomena

    Sony just killed you, MS,

    Like

  • Kieran Tsao

    Everyone at MS is crying salty tears right about now.

    And they deserve it.

    Like

    • billy middleton

      everyone at MS are now screaming “WWWWWHHHYYY DID WE LISTEN TO EA, WE SHOULD HAVE KNOWN THEY LIED”

      Like

      • Steven K

        Where are Bill Gates and Jay Allard when we need them?!

        Like

  • ikari_paul

    ahahaa…
    ahaaaa..

    ahahaha….

    im not going even to say anything…

    cya

    Like

  • Realmusik Recordz

    Ms needs to respond

    Like

    • Dylan

      How are they going to respond to this. Sony has marketing out already (hilarious 30 sec video, watch it)

      http://www youtube com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=kWSIFh8ICaA

      Like

  • dibils

    Ms respond with every game released at £25

    Like

  • billy middleton

    xbox one $499 / £430
    ps4 $399 / £350
    xbox loses
    ps4 = unrestricted game trading, unrestricted offline,
    xbox one = no comment
    xbox loses
    yup I can see the trend EXCEPT one thing, ps4 promoted the heck out of cloud gaming and cloud this and that which I am a tad nervous about

    Like

  • Bry

    I’ll keep my 360, enjoy the XBLA games I have invested in and let my gold membership expire.

    But next gen…
    IT’S ALLLLLLLL SONY BABY!!!
    Cheaper, no drm, better specs, no forced Kinect, no always online.
    PS4! PS4! PS4!

    Like

    • JuanCabrera

      It looks like their version of Kinect will be required to tell gamers apart (that’s what the lights on the controllers are for). Other than that, completely agree!

      Like

  • Realmusik Recordz

    I’ve seen ms bounce back plenty of times..numbers want lie come November.

    Like

  • billy middleton

    ME needs to react and react fast by dropping the price and dropping the DRM issue, they could have just kept the authorization code on the disc and keep the disc in the tray like they do with the xbox360, that way theres no need for resale fee’s on pre-owned games,
    the leak about now is the prices EA are planning, i’m taking this with a pinch of salt but EA might charge 20-30 for a pre-owned title

    Like

    • Andy

      *EA will also accept payment in kidneys or other symmetrically-paired vital organs of which you can function without one. We offer bonuses for testicles, since at EA the demand for them is high but supply is nonexistent.

      Like

  • Dein Vater

    RIP Xbox!

    Like

  • Rob

    How did that suck? Seemed better than the MS one, at least through the lens of live blogs.

    Like

    • jlh

      They showed five exclusives and everything else was multiplatform. They spent a ton of time talking about indies that will gain more attention and sales on Steam than on either console. They spent a ton of time on two Ubisoft games (again multiplatform) that we’ve already seen before and that lagged like crazy for no apparent reason. The only two major Japanese games they showed FF XV & KH III are not even exclusive to their console. And the best game they showed all night is by a developer whose fanbase will buy the game in droves, on the 360.
      The conference was bad. It was too long & it was boring but they did all they needed to do by playing to the internet gaming crowd’s drm fears so they won.

      Like

      • Chris Grub

        On content I agree with you. In terms of presentation there was a clear cut difference with the way Microsoft spoke to the consumer versus other brand presentation at E3.

        Time and time again I feel like MS thinks I’m stupid and will buy into anything they have to tell me.

        I’m not brand loyal to anything – I just flock to where the deals and good content are.

        Like

  • Hugoku

    @Major Nelson USD$399, no DRM, no always-online. Will we hear reactions?

    Like

    • billy middleton

      the only reaction will be the tears in his coffee

      Like

    • Andy

      I’d say something to the effect of a noose tightening, followed by the sound of a chair being knocked over. Possibly the crunching of cervical vertebrae and the distinct sound of somebody’s bowels unplugging.

      Like

    • ryder4life22187

      its gonna be a sad day though. What are we looking forward to next gen possibly another behind the times nintendo system and a PS5. Cuz after this BS it will be hard for me to go back to MS

      Like

    • Z4M0

      I hope we see positive reactions and some changes… I loved what I’ve seen at this E3, exciting stuff not just the halo-forzafable and that’s it thing It’s been going on for the last 2 years.

      Bet they have to rethink the concept of always online gaming wich is a dealbreaker for most consumers (based on their opinions).

      People hasn’t just to pay more for their system but also being subdued by anti-consumer restrictions.

      Can’t still believe what Microsoft did with ONE. An America based company, a country proud of freedom, limiting so badly user’s liberty. Can’t really get it.

      Xbox 360 back at the day did good stuff but also benefited from Sony’s mistakes; arrogancy, greed, etc.

      Now feels like Microsoft is falling into that and Sony just had to sit, wait and benefit from MS’s mistake.

      Like

  • ryder4life22187

    looks like it might as well be the year of the sony console. Got the One on preorder should sell it and buy the PS4 with money back to spare.

    Like

    • Andy

      With that extra hundred bucks you could afford…ONE GALLON OF GAS.

      Like

      • ryder4life22187

        ONE gallon make it a half.

        Like

  • BostonSup

    This isn’t good for Xbox. #RIPXbox

    Like

  • Luih

    from an ex-xbox fan: Bye bye microsoft, you showed good games, but disastrous policies aswell, you are an anti user friendly company

    Like

  • chavafx

    omg microsoft you really show better games but you are crazy if you think that a weaker system with drm and $100 more expensive system is going to win
    yes you may sell good in the initial luch but you will get destroy ober all
    please fire whoever think that this is ok

    Like

  • Dean Gallop

    You guys had the best conference games wise. I’ll be getting one.

    But dun goofed with your policies and price. Please reconsider.

    Like

    • Dennis Crosby

      They They need to announce a Xbox that will allow you to play offline for people who want that and without the kinect

      Like

    • Andy

      Master Chief dressed in Tusken Raider garb, and Dead Rising 3 with smartphone activated artillery strikes? Sounds legit.

      Like

  • Andy

    Who will make Bender waffles just the way he likes them now?!?! #Butthurt #XboxDone #DealWithIt

    Like

  • Andy

    Kinect 2.0: Introducing a whole new era of public exhibitionism! #Kinexhbitionist #Fap

    Like

1 2 3 4
blog comments powered by Disqus