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Microsoft buys Seattle video-game streaming startup for Xbox Live

Microsoft said Thursday it has acquired Beam, a Seattle startup that builds video-game streaming tools.

The companies didn’t disclose the purchase price. On its website, Beam lists 15 employees.

Beam’s software, launched in January, lets people who watch streams of video-game play interact more easily with the player doing the streaming, like changing the game play or creating challenges for the player.

Beam participated this spring in Techstars Seattle, an accelerator program that gives resources to startups.

Video gaming is increasingly a spectator sport, making advertising and streamer-product endorsements big business.

Amazon.com bought San Francisco game-streaming service Twitch for $1 billion in 2014.

This week, thousands of fans of “Dota 2,” the multiplayer-battle arena game from Bellevue ‘s Valve, traveled to Seattle’s KeyArena for an annual tournament that features professional teams competing for a $20?million prize pool. The event runs through Saturday.

“We at Xbox are excited about this convergence between playing and watching,” Chad Gibson, a partner group manager with Microsoft’s Xbox team, said in a blog post.

Microsoft said it would use Beam’s technology to beef up the Xbox Live multiplayer service.


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