Microsoft announced today that it is acquiring Beam, an interactive live-streaming service. The service allows players to not only watch gamers play, but play along as well.
If you're not familiar with Beam, here's an interview between the CEO of the company and Larry Hryb.
As Microsoft says:
Using “Minecraft” as one example, with Beam you don’t just watch your favorite streamer play, you play along with them. You can give them new challenges and make real-time choices that affect their gameplay, from tool selection to quests to movement; all through simple visual controls. In the highly anticipated “Sea of Thieves,” which is all about emergent adventures in a shared world, you can watch the drama play out between different crews from multiple player perspectives.
Interestingly, Beam is designed to work with any game, and Microsoft promises that it will continue to stream across different platforms. The service also promises very low latency, as low as 200ms.
The Beam team will join the Xbox team, and it will continue to be run by CEO Matt Salsamendi. According to him, nothing will change for users of the service right now, but being part of Microsoft will allow it to scale faster and provide "epic new interactive game integrations".
Salsamendi promises that Beam will remain committed to its mission of "empowering users and streamers across platforms and will now be better positioned to grow and give more back to the community."
In all of the three blog posts that announce today's news, none of them mention a price that Microsoft paid for the service.