The alleged deal that would sell Twitch to YouTube for an even $1 billion, first reported by Variety, hasn’t been confirmed yet. That hasn’t stopped some gamers from taking to social media to express their displeasure with the proposed merger.
It’s an understandable stance considering that the Google-owned YouTube has done a few things over the past few years to either annoy or downright anger big chunks of the gaming community. The first was requiring Google+ to log in back in late 2011, essentially forcing Google’s social network on users.
Late last year, YouTube ratcheted up its automated Content ID system and instantly slammed the door on a bunch of people making (and monetizing) things like Let’s Play videos, game reviews and all kinds of other video game-related content, all in the name of preventing angry rights-holders from making claims that their copyrighted material was being used improperly. The key word here is “automated,” so the system sometimes flags things that it shouldn’t — like video of a game made completely from scratch and posted by the person who made it.
With those things in mind, it’s no surprise that on Sunday as word of the proposed acquisition spread, you saw reactions like this on Twitter:
— MyNameIsBonez (@MyNameIsBonez) May 19, 2014
And yes, the hashtag “#RIPTwitch” was indeed trending for a bit on Sunday as this kind of sentiment became widespread.
In fairness, not everyone is automatically assuming the YouTube-Twitch marriage is a bad thing:
Reading about the supposed talks of Google buying Twitch. Honestly? If Google can get @Twitch for only a billion, it’s a steal.
— Derek C. Tillotson (@PrivateEyeball) May 19, 2014
Re/Code’s Eric Johnson wrote a thoughtful piece comparing the deal to Facebook’s purchase of Instagram and explaining why it’s logical for both sides. The hardcore eSports community seems to think it will help boost the profile of their part of the industry and has largely reacted positively to the reports.
We won’t know for sure what changes await until the deal is officially announced, passes muster with the FCC and actually goes through. But there’s always a fear of the unknown, and in this case, it’s not completely unjustified. In other words, hold on, because this is going to continue to be interesting.