Thousands of people use services like Twitch and Ustream to broadcast live gameplay video to the Web, and one of the biggest social networks for gamers is looking to improve its livestreaming and recording tools to increase its appeal with PC gamers.
Raptr revealed today that it is upgrading its PC app and adding new features to its Game Video Recorder that enables you to share live video of your gameplay to the Twitch broadcasting site. Raptr is also providing a suite of tools that enables players to quickly and easily upload and share their videos to sites like YouTube. Raptr is far from the only company offering these kinds of features, but it is likely hoping that it can keep its millions of registered users engaged in its product by offering updates to its service. The company makes money by having people use Raptr to discover and install new games, and livestreaming is one way to get people to use the service regularly.
Livestreaming grows larger every day. Twitch alone has 50 million monthly viewers and over 1 million broadcasters on the PC, consoles, and mobile. A big part of that growth is due to the surging popularity of e-sports competitions as well as dedicated communities like speedrunners, which is a group that streams video of themselves beating games in as little amount of time as possible. Xbox One and PlayStation 4 also both have built-in broadcasting, which has also contributed to the rise of Twitch and live gaming video.
“Watching recorded and live-streamed PC gameplay footage has quietly become a massive trend involving tens of millions of viewers and billions of hours spent watching,” Raptr chief executive officer Dennis Fong said in a statement. “But to date, only a modest fraction of gamers actually record and stream some of their gaming exploits, because the tools haven’t been easy, accessible, or resource-efficient enough.”
Raptr didn’t specify exactly how many of its members livestream gameplay, but it clearly sees an opportunity to get more than the “modest fraction” involved through its service.
Competition to Raptr’s video-streaming and recording capabilities includes top-end software like Xsplit as well as the free Open Broadcasting Software. Both of those can also use AMD and Nvidia hardware for high-quality results. Raptr is hoping to set itself apart from that crowd by making the process easy for anyone to use while still offering them all of the features and options that pros would want without the cost of an Xsplit license. Raptr, like those other services, also doesn’t include any ads in the livestream.
Raptr, Xsplit, and OBS all enable players to stream just about any game at a high resolution. This is different from many games on PC that have built-in Twitch streaming. Minecraft enables anyone to start broadcasting without any extra software with the click of a button, but the options and quality are lacking.
Raptr started in 2008 as gaming network that tracked gameplay and more across PC and consoles. In March, however, the company rebooted with a focus entirely on PC. The company has more than 22 million registered users, and it wanted to narrow its efforts where it made the most sense. The company makes money by working with developers and publishers and surfacing their game to the millions of people who use Raptr. That’s why something like gameplay livestreaming is important because it will get more people regularly opening and engaging with the Raptr program, which will then potentially put more eyeballs in front of discovery app.
“This marks another big step forward in our ongoing effort to help make PC gaming consistently awesome,” said Fong.
Twitch’s popularity recently led to YouTube agreeing to pay $1 billion to acquire the company.