Twitch megaleak reveals secret Steam competitor codenamed Vapour

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(Image credit: MARTIN BUREAU via Getty Images)

Twitch has been compromised in an enormous data leak, which includes the site's source code, several unannounced and unreleased projects, and information such as how much individual streamers are being paid. The company has yet to make any official comment but, regardless, this is a hack on a simply catastrophic scale.

Among the unannounced projects included is software codenamed Vapour or Vapor. This appears to be a humorous title for what is intended to eventually be a competitor to Steam. Essentially: imagine just buying and having your games library on Twitch, with all of Twitch's features.

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It's a move that makes obvious sense, and one that will have Valve (nevermind the rest of the competition) concerned. Whatever form Vapour eventually takes, it will launch to a captive audience that already has Twitch as part of their gaming life, and straight out of the gate could become very big, very fast.

Further assets from the 'Vapeworld' element suggest something akin to Playstation Home (don't all run away at once!). Data-diver Sinoc reckons it's "some sort of VR chat thing" and dug up, among other things, a 3D Bob Ross chat emote and a Hearthstone card.

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The first hints of what Amazon was up to emerged with a patent filing back in 2017, three years after its initial acquisition of Twitch. US patent 20170001111a1, 'Joining Games from a Spectating System', describes a UI used to "order, purchase, or otherwise obtain demo or full versions of games." This patented software will also feature a spectator UI that can be used to "view broadcast streams, join live game session and start new game sessions".

It will be some time before the fallout from this Twitch leak settles, with the first tranche of material ominously labelled 'twitch-leaks-part-one'. So there's more to come in future, and it's also worth noting that the hacker/s have released everything: there may have been a ransom demand behind-the-scenes we don't know about that wasn't met, or it may be that these people are just out to 'get' Twitch in the most public way possible.

PC Gamer will keep you abreast of the latest developments: meantime, even though the passwords in the leak are encrypted, change your Twitch password.

Rich Stanton

Rich is a games journalist with 15 years' experience, beginning his career on Edge magazine before working for a wide range of outlets, including Ars Technica, Eurogamer, GamesRadar+, Gamespot, the Guardian, IGN, the New Statesman, Polygon, and Vice. He was the editor of Kotaku UK, the UK arm of Kotaku, for three years before joining PC Gamer. He is the author of a Brief History of Video Games, a full history of the medium, which the Midwest Book Review described as "[a] must-read for serious minded game historians and curious video game connoisseurs alike."