Twitch has announced that the ability to buy games directly through its platform, a new feature that was first revealed back in February, is now live. The option will enable developers to make special offers to fans who are watching their games being played on the platform, and will also let partnered streamers earn money off of purchases made through their channel pages. Buyers will also be rewarded with free "Twitch Crates," which will contain randomized drops of items for Twitch including emotes, chat badges, and Cheer bits.
Beginning today and continuing over the next week, roughly 50 games and "related in-game content" will be made available for purchase through Twitch, with titles including For Honor, Ghost Recon: Wildlands, Smite, Tyranny, Atlas Reactor, Broken Age, Firewatch, and Warframe. Purchases can be made from live Twitch channels or a game's 'details' page, and can be downloaded and played through either the Twitch Desktop App or publisher-run services like Uplay.
A Twitch Crate will be awarded with every purchase of $5 or more, and Twitch will hold a weekly "Twitch Crates Gear Giveaway" draw throughout April as well, with a grand prize of more than $500 worth of streaming equipment. (You can also go for a "no purchase required" entry right here.) Games available through Twitch are currently only priced in US dollars, but Twitch aims to bring in "localized purchase experiences" soon.
Purchases made through Twitch are fulfilled by Amazon, and it seems to work smoothly enough once your accounts are connected appropriately; to buy For Honor, for instance, you'll need to connect both your Twitch and your Uplay accounts to your Amazon account. Of greater concern is the potential for abuse at the hands of unscrupulous streamers who now have a very real, and potentially very lucrative, incentive to hype up the games they're playing. Partnered streamers will earn five percent of every sale made through their channel, which means that they're almost literally being paid to promote games through their channels. It's a situation that, at a minimum, opens the door to sketchy behavior: how much of the fun a streamer appears to be having is driven by thoughts of percentages? That might be a cynical way of looking at things, but if recent history has taught us anything, it's that not everybody plays by the rules.
More information about buying games on Twitch can be found on the Twitch Blog.