Amazon is taking another step towards becoming a one stop shopping destination for everything imaginable with their rebranding of the Curse App to the Twitch Desktop App. Is this the beginning of the end some of the smaller PC game portals, and a real threat to Steam?
The Curse App
CurseGaming.com got its start in 2006 with its core feature being the distribution of mods and addons for World Of Warcraft. The site gained popularity, and spent the next few years developing its own gaming community sites. At the same time, they were acquiring other sites and garnering corporate investment for their efforts. With a thriving community behind them, Curse, Inc. released Gamepedia, further expanding up from mods, addons, and community pages to full blown information distribution, with the goal of being a hub for gaming information. As time went by, Curse, Inc. continued to expand into all sorts of different branches in gaming, with the Curse client, CurseForge, CurseVoice (a part of the Curse client/app), Union for Gamers (a content creation aid for gamers), and BukkitDev (a hub for Minecraft plugins, one of their many sites).
Of course, something like this can only go on for so long before catching the eye of the corporate world. Curse, Inc. was acquired by Amazon on August 16 2016 in a quiet sale for an undisclosed amount of money.
Enter: The Twitch Desktop App
Fast forward a few months to now, and the connection between Twitch and Curse is revealed, as the Curse App is rebranded to the Twitch Desktop App.
At this point, it is the Twitch Desktop App by name, but it’s still the Curse App at heart as the communities merge together, and the app further develops. Nonetheless, this is likely a move by Amazon to create their own exclusive gaming ecosystem through their game sales on Amazon, as well as streaming and now addons/mods with Twitch.
Amazon first bridged the gap between themselves and Twitch by introducing Twitch Prime in September 2016. In doing so, they made it so that members of Amazon with a Prime subscription would be able to support their favourite streamers at no extra cost to themselves, apart from the Prime subscription. This is an incentive for streamers to step up and continue producing quality content in hopes of receiving those Prime subscriptions, and makes it that much easier for many of us to support our favourite streamers. Prime members also receive exclusive deals on games as well as some free game loot.
The connection of Curse to Twitch adds another component to the one stop gaming service that Amazon is developing, and one could speculate that the system they have in place will be pretty slick. The assumption is that Amazon will start to run their game sales through the Twitch Desktop App as well, so they could take advantage of the more impulsive nature of gaming purchases.
Amazon For Everything
For example, right now your favourite streamer on Twitch is streaming a game that you’ve never played before. If you’re curious about it, you’ll likely open up Steam to check it out. Maybe you’ll look into it on a separate reviewing site altogether. The point is, you’ll be navigating away from Amazon’s “jungle” so to speak to another site to get your information. At that point, you’ll buy and download the game from Steam, and pick up some mods down the road through the Steam Community or a service like NexusMods.
With the potential Amazon gaming ecosystem that’s coming, that can now be integrated through the various Amazon services. As you’re watching your favourite streamer, you notice that they’re playing a game that you’ve never seen before. You see that they have the game linked in their description ticker, so you click the link which then takes you to an Amazon store page for the game. That page is complete with reviews, better prices for Prime members, and lots of links to similar games that you’ll be interested in. Once you’ve purchased the game and gone back to Twitch to tell your favourite streamer that you’re on your way, the Twitch/Curse integration could tell you exactly what mods your favourite streamer is using, and provide you a one-click link to download and update each of these mods for your game. This is all in theory of course, but it’s difficult to see them going any other way with it.
Before you know it, you’ve done all this stuff and you haven’t left Amazon’s services for a single thing. Oh, and while you’re in there, could you get me a tub of ladybugs and some lube? They’ve got everything here!