Microsoft Acquires Livetream Startup Beam to Boost Xbox Live

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Microsoft has acquired Beam, an interactive livestreaming startup that lets viewers watch and play along with game streamers in real time.

The Seattle-based firm will join Microsoft's Xbox team to help make Xbox Live "more social and fun," according to a blog post from Xbox Live Partner Group Program Manager Chad Gibson.

By pairing Beam and Minecraft, for example, users can not only watch their favorite streamer play, but join the game, introducing new challenges and making real-time choices.

"We at Xbox are excited about this convergence between playing and watching, and want to provide gamers with the freedom and choice to have great multiplayer experiences across all of Beam's platforms," Gibson wrote. "This acquisition will help gamers enjoy the games they want, with the people they want, and on the devices they want."

In the meantime, Beam promises business as usual. According to CEO Matt Salsamendi, the company will continue offering streaming tools and broadcasts.

As the two teams merge, "you'll see awesome new features, epic new interactive game integrations, and a huge influx of new community members," Salsamendi wrote in a blog post.

"It's always been a dream of mine to make an impact in the lives of gamers all over the world, and I'm extremely excited to announce that we're taking another huge leap towards making that dream a reality," the company co-founder said.

"As part of Xbox, we'll be able to scale faster than we've ever been able to before," he continued. "We're expanding the team, bolstering our infrastructure, and most importantly, continuing to grow and support the amazing community at Beam," which boasts more than 100,000 members.

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