Twitch (Amazon Property) has made a small but strategic acquisition to improve its search capabilities and better direct viewers to just the right content. The company acquires IGDB, the Internet gaming database (unrelated to Amazon's IMDb), a website that aggregates all relevant information about games into a comprehensive resource for gamers around the world. As a result of the acquisition, the IGDB database will now be fed into Twitch's search and recognition features. However, the IGDB website itself will not be closed.
Founded in 2015 by Christian Frithiof and a small team based in Gothenburg, Sweden, the IGDB draws its game content from both community and automated sources.
The site contains useful information information for each game, including the genre, supported platforms, reviews, reviews and reviews from members and critics, storyline, game modes, publisher, release dates, characters, and more , You could also find less common details, such as: How long would it take to play the game in question, or what would the player's perspective of the game be?
And, much like IMDb's mission to organize everything related to the entertainment industry, IGDB allowed spokespeople to claim their profile on their site and additionally listed the full credits for a specific title.
To generate revenue, IGDB provided a Developer API that could be used free of charge for smaller stores or $ 99 per month for up to 50,000 requests. Interested partners (eg ASUS) can request special prices. So far, IGDB has worked with several thousand API users.
Twitch confirmed the acquisition of TechCrunch in a statement.
" Twitch comes to millions of people each day to find and connect with their favorite streamers and communities, and we want to make it easier for people to find what they are looking for," a spokesperson said. "IGDB has developed a comprehensive game database, and we look forward to evolving it to help improve and scale the search and discovery of Twitch more quickly."
The contract terms were not disclosed, but it was probably a small thing, from a financial perspective. IGDB is only a 10-member team and, according to Crunchbase, has so far only raised $ 1.5 million.
From a strategic point of view, however, the takeover is far more effective.
Twitch CEO Emmett Shear has publicly talked about the problems with Twitch's search function and how to improve it.
"We want everyone on Twitch to help you get discovered. Today, almost every third person who joins Twitch uses the search function to find what he is looking for. Now, I'm the first person to admit that our search function was not always the best experience, "Shear said earlier this year at TwitchCon in Berlin, directing you to a streamer other than the one you were looking for. So we'll correct the search to make it work, "he promised.
In the last weeks there was evidence that something was going on at IGDB.
IGDB announced in a blog post dated August 19, 2019 It has started a "large-scale migration of our backend, database and hosting" and it has been announced that the service "will undergo some changes, some temporary and others permanently. " To allow users to log in or update their profiles, Pulse Messages, Feeds, and Recommendations features are disabled.
As part of Twitch, IGDB's free and premium APIs are brought together in a free tier and adjusted for other features and migrate infrastructure. The IGDB website remains online.
"Our mission has always been to build the most comprehensive game database in the world. Such a monumental endeavor can be quite a challenge for a small start-up team, "says an IGDB blog post. "By joining Twitch, we will be able to leverage their experience, resources and capabilities to accelerate our progress and deliver the version of IGDB that we all have always dreamed of. Not only that, our companies share the same culture, core values and passion for gaming – it fits in perfectly. "
It was common in the industry that Twitch previously used competing data provider Giantbomb. As so often, the company may have been in talks with the IGDB about a change that led to the acquisition. (The company declined to say how it can handle it.) What sets IGDB apart from other API providers, such as Mobygames, is that it commercializes its API, even for competing projects, and caching and storing data on local level allows databases.
The entire 10-person IGDB team remains based in Sweden, but reports to Twitch about its Viewer Experience organization.