Twitch has made a major decision when it comes to the streaming platform’s reach and availability, choosing to close down its business operations in Korea on February 27 2024.
This move comes as Twitch has determined its costs and efforts to grow in Korea are too high, especially considering network fees in Korea are 10 times those of most other territories.
This has meant Twitch’s services in Korea have been provided at a loss to the company - a "significant" loss - and Twitch has now determined there is "no pathway forward" to make the platform profitable in the region.
A tough decision
Streamers on Twitch play a vast range of games from all platforms, and of course there are plenty of mobile games among them, be they Marvel Snap, Genshin Impact or Among Us, which peaked at over 770,000 live viewers in one day back in 2020.
Twitch announced the decision to its Korean community first before releasing a blog post to the rest of the world, wherein CEO Dan Clancy has discussed difficulties in the region and the company’s experiments to reduce costs - such as reducing video quality to 720p maximum, or a peer-to-peer model for quality.
Since these attempts to cost cut have proven unsuccessful in turning Twitch around in Korea, the "difficult decision" has finally been reached to retract the platform from Korea, while remaining staunch that services will continue operations as usual around the rest of the world.
"To all of our global communities, we want to make it clear that this is a unique situation. Operating costs in Korea are significantly higher than they are in other countries and we have been open about this challenge for some time," Clancy clarified.
"Twitch streamers in Korea have devoted significant time and effort into building their communities, and we plan to help these communities find new homes - even if it’s regrettably not on Twitch. We will work to help Twitch streamers in Korea move their communities to alternative livestreaming services in Korea."
In November, the latest games streaming platform Noice launched in closed beta with the goal of seeing audiences "play the stream".