Microsoft Acquires Beam

Seattle-based interactive game streaming service Beam has been acquired by Microsoft. Beam is an 8 months old startup company with 24 employees started by an 18-year-old Matt Salsamendi. Beam allows viewers to play along with the streamers as they watch. Beam takes the most passive interaction model that streaming fans use from services like YouTube and Twitch and lets viewers able to interact with the streamer via crowdsourced controls.

This step will support Microsoft’s growth strategy around one of the globally popular social gaming platforms, Xbox Live. The company announced its excitement about beam’s ability to meet “playing and watching” which helps the Xbox Live “more social and fun.” Players can direct the play of the person streaming by interacting through Beam. For example, players can do things like setting selected weapon to load for a multiplayer shooter.

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It was launched at TechCrunch Disrupt NY 2016 and won Startup Battlefield competition. Viewers can help players pick quests, and can even assign challenges that alter gameplay.

Beam will be joining Xbox team, but ensures its commitment towards its mission of importing users and screamers across the platforms. The focus of Xbox’s community is specifically made them a good fit for the young company.

“I’m really excited about Xbox’s focus on community, Beam is fundamentally built on a connected group of passionate individuals that love gaming, and Xbox is super in tune with that. Right now it’s business as usual! We just launched three brand new interactive integrations, and we’ll continue to focus on making the Beam platform an awesome place for gaming communities that want to interact with their audience.” wrote Salsamendi regarding product plans.

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The terms of the deal were not disclosed. The company has got its launch on 5 January this year, and the official debut of interactive tools was made at Disrupt in May. The team will be lead by Salsamendi from Microsoft’s Redmond campus where Xbox engineering department operations take place.

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