Amazon explains why it bought Twitch

Yesterday's surprising news that Amazon had acquired Twitch led to some rather immediate and obvious questions: What could Amazon possibly want with Twitch, for one, and what happened to the deal with Google ? As it turns out, Amazon sees very big things ahead for gaming, and Google was never quite as close to claiming the throne as we thought.

Speaking to Time , Twitch CEO Emmett Shear made fairly conventional comments about "shared vision" and "culture," and said, "Amazon thinks about problems and solving those problems in the same way we do at Twitch. They think about how you can build things for customers, and how to do that in the long run." He also noted that as a fully-owned subsidiary, "I get to remain the CEO, we keep our office, we keep our culture, we keep our strategy," which is no doubt a big plus too.

But the more interesting comments came from Amazon Games Vice President Mike Frazzini, who explained how Amazon ended up in the Twitch sweepstakes in the first place. "If you look at Amazon fairly high-level, what you end up with is, we have a commerce business, and games are a very important part of the commerce business," he said.

"I think it's fairly safe to say at this point that on anything with a screen, games are the number one or two activity," he continued. "Obviously if we're going to be in the devices business, we have to be thinking hard about games. And at the center of that is the customer experience, which is what's so interesting about Twitch for us. Twitch has that same point of view. They think long term. They think a lot about invention."

As for Google, Forbes says its efforts to buy out Twitter were scuttled by concerns about potential anti-trust issues arising from its ownership of YouTube. The two companies were reportedly unable to reach an agreement on a "breakup fee" if the acquisition couldn't be completed.

It's clear that Amazon is serious about moving into gaming in a very big way, although what it will ultimately do with Twitch is anybody's guess at this point. Luckily, Evan Lahti has some ideas about how to make the service better for PC gamers, which you can read right here .

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.