News Article

Success of Twitch Plays Pokémon Raises Possibility of Gaming Platform

Posted by Samantha Sofka

Twitch may be evolving

Unless you've been hiding under a rock recently, you've probably heard of the social experiment known as Twitch Plays Pokémon. In short, thousands of players are able to control trainer Red in a streamed version of Pokémon Red via command input in the chat section. It was originally developed as an experiment to test the viability of the Twitch format, the way people interact with the input system and the way they interact socially. Due to the success of Twitch Plays Pokémon and several other spin-offs it is now being suggested that Twitch could evolve into its own games platform.

Twitch Plays Pokémon recently hit the 100,000 concurrent user peak last week and completed the goal of beating all eight gym leaders and reviving the Helix fossil; it also amassed enough participants to disrupt messaging systems across the service last week. Players involved in the series have erected a Google site to monitor the game's progress.

Matthew Di Pietro, Vice President of Twitch stated:

It has delivered a huge and sustained audience for days on end and captivated the attention of the entire Twitch community.The incredibly high volume of chat activity has helped us to hone our chat system to deal with massive loads like we’re experiencing. It has also made us all think deeply about creative social experiments that can be done on Twitch. This is one of the most interesting things we've seen on Twitch since we launched, and we hope to see more experiments like it

As for the idea of Twitch becoming a games platform he said:

You never know. Twitch Plays Pokémon is an interesting proof-of-concept though. We encourage everyone to think about new ways to leverage Twitch’s platform and community for creative gaming endeavors. This is unique in the history of Twitch. And when you consider how game developers might capitalize on features and functionality like this, the sky is the limit.

The idea is certainly a hot topic at the moment. Do you think something like this is likely to draw in developers or more enthusiasts and pave the way for another form of social gaming?

[via polygon.com, mcvuk.com]

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User Comments (31)

UnknownNico

#1

UnknownNico said:

Y'know, if Nintendo did this, and struck up a deal with Twitch, they could make a crapton of money!

DefHalan

#2

DefHalan said:

Who ever put together this Twitch-Plays-Pokemon thing deserves a lot of praise.

Folkloner

#7

Folkloner said:

As long as these 'Twitch Plays' don't interfere with the smooth running of VGCW on Tuesday's then i'm all for them.

Fazermint

#8

Fazermint said:

ಠ_ಠ just another internet fad. Then again, there's great money in internet fads.

GalacticMario28

#9

GalacticMario28 said:

I do think this could become a big thing if it gets fine-tuned a bit; right now I think it's a little too rough around the edges to be popular for more than a few weeks, maybe a few months at the most. I would like to see more things like Twitch Plays Pokémon, though; I got way more pleasure from seeing Lord Helix's epic sweep of Bruno than I should have.

andbap

#11

andbap said:

I think the most likely thing to happen is that they'll try it with a couple more games until people lose interest and move on to the next thing. But I'm all for trying, I'm loving TPP.

ChessboardMan

#12

ChessboardMan said:

As I said in the Twitch Plays Zelda topic… this idea only works for Pokemon, unless the original game is going to have some Heavy changes. Most games require simultaneous button presses (like right And jump together). The other issue is lives/continues. Pokemon has no death, whatever they do, there is at least some Progress. Each time they fail, they end up just back at a Pokemon Centre, stronger than the last time, as they amass more and more EXP.
With say… the original Final Fantasy, they would be constantly dying, and Losing progress, probably by the bucket load, considering how hard it is to Even Save The Game, LET ALONE SELECTING CONTINUE AFTER DYING!

It May be possible for specially designed games or Heavily modified games to work though, but I doubt it'll have the same magic.

ChessboardMan

#13

ChessboardMan said:

That said, here are some ideas that might be interesting for a laugh:
Two TPP channels, one for red, one for blue, the trick being that Red accepts inputs from Blue's chat, and vice versa. See how long it takes people to figure it out.

TPP: Monarchy Mode. One Random person in the chat is crowned the King, and becomes the only person the game will accept inputs from. Meanwhile the rest of the chat votes to keep the current king or replace them, with cries of "Loyal" and "Revolt".

vattodev

#14

vattodev said:

Wow, another article about using roms and ilegal content being talked about as if it was a good thing.

10000mario

#15

10000mario said:

Twitch plays: "Super Mario Bros. The Lost Levels"
Maybe your great grandkids could finish that one up.

skywake

#16

skywake said:

@vattodev
How isn't it a good thing? Nintendo could have pulled this on day 1 if they wanted to. If it's so horrible why haven't they?

Transdude1996

#17

Transdude1996 said:

@vattodev
According to Nintendo, ROMs aren't considered illegal unless you didn't make copy that you're using.

So, if the guy who made TPP made the ROM from his own copy of the game, then he's perfectly fine. But, if he downloaded the ROM from the internet, then Nintendo can sue him.

TreesenHauser

#22

TreesenHauser said:

This has been a great experiment, but I can't imagine doing this kind of thing with any other games really. Maybe. It would be... interesting.

And @10000mario LOL

Fandabidozi

#23

Fandabidozi said:

Just watched the final rounds, missed em in real time, and it was great! Bring on Gen 2 :)
This is a great time to be a Pokefan!!!

Melkac

#24

Melkac said:

@yuwarite Crappy Bird is exactly what it says on the title, TPP is a much more creative social experiment, not some crappy smartphone game.

vattodev

#26

vattodev said:

@Transdude1996 Roms are made as backups. Playing a rom using an emulator is ilegal. And no one that is playing through twitch owns the original game that might have produced that rom and are not using a gameboy color to play it. Are you really saying that playing a game that doesn't give any money to the guys that made the console or the authors of the game, but instead gives money to someone that is receiving advertisement rights, is legal somehow?

Gioku

#27

Gioku said:

That... could be a pretty cool idea! ...like, make a game specifically meant to be played by thousands of people at the same time? That could be interesting!

Geonjaha

#28

Geonjaha said:

People are joining it because its a new concept and the idea sounds interesting. People preferring to play a game with thousands of other people, most of whom are trolls though? Not going to happen. It takes hours for them to make any progress in that game.

Interneto

#29

Interneto said:

@Geonjaha And yet we accomplished the great success of nothing in 16 days and 7 hours. Only we know how fantastic that is. We. WE! WII!!!!!!!1

JJtheTexan

#30

JJtheTexan said:

I give a lot of credit to Twitch.TV for embracing this. While some sites would have responded to the stress on their servers / chat applications by shutting down the channel, Twitch used it as an opportunity to improve their overall product. That's a sign of a good company!

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