Amazon Games Studio announced at TwitchCon on Thursday that its latest offering, sports-brawling multiplayer game called Breakaway, will feature a new online currency for Twitch called Stream+.
Amazon have designed Breakaway to integrate with Twitch seamlessly on several levels, including the new virtual coins. How Stream+ will work exactly was not explained, but the announcement will surely raise concerns from gambling watchdog groups who are feeling extra vigilant following recent scandals. As happens frequently when popular games issue a trade-able virtual money, users found workarounds to monetize their online assets in the real world and eventually found a ‘black market’ of sorts. In the recent example of the Steam ecosystem, unauthorised online wagering sites using ‘skins’ (cosmetic items for avatars) as currency sprang up as well.
With 1.5 million ‘broadcasters’ – video game players who can be watched by any of Twitch’s 100 million ‘viewers’ – Twitch certainly has the scope to become a major focus for gamblers. With star gamers often being compared to sports superstars, the potential for Twitch to attract the same sorts of problems that plague football, baseball, and cricket are obvious.
The launch of Stream+ on an Amazon Game Studio title is no accident, however, as Twitch itself is a subsidiary of Amazon.com. With the backing of the largest ecommerce firm in the world, Twitch will certainly not lack the resources to deal with any problems brought on by the online currency.