Microsoft has acquired Beam, a Seattle-based company that offers a game livestreaming service where the audience can actually give challenges to the person playing the game on the video stream. Beam will be a part of Microsoft's Xbox division.
In a blog post, Microsoft stated
Bringing Beam, their award-winning team and their inventive technology into the Xbox family supports our ongoing commitment to make Xbox Live more social and fun. Using "Minecraft" as one example, with Beam you don't just watch your favorite streamer play, you play along with them. You can give them new challenges and make real-time choices that affect their gameplay, from tool selection to quests to movement; all through simple visual controls. In the highly anticipated "Sea of Thieves," which is all about emergent adventures in a shared world, you can watch the drama play out between different crews from multiple player perspectives.
The specific financial terms of Microsoft's acquisition of Beam were not disclosed. Beam currently has apps available for iOS and Android and it can also be accessed on the web via most browsers.