The imaginative uses of Twitch in games marketing roll ever onward. This time it's Minecraft-creators Mojang with a new-old idea, setting up a system by which you can bet on bot matches of their new 2D action-platformer Cobalt in return for fame, glory, made-up currency 'volts' and very real copies of the game. It's as addictive to watch as it is to play.
Here for Mojang's other work? Here's the best Minecraft seeds there are.
It's a fairly simple concept you'll probably get the jist of just by watching a few seconds of the Twitch stream, embedded below.
A much longer description is available on Mojang's announcement blog, but it's basically about winning as many volts as you can through betting on the right team and what they might get up to. It's all done via Twitch chat, making it the first time that part of the service has been used for anything worthwhile. There are also various special commands that cost volts, but let you name bots or make them say things, or even donate to try to trigger 'special events'.
Obviously, it's all based off legendary good idea SaltyBet, the single best thing ever done on Twitch. Far from the void-screaming that is the various Twitch Plays over the years, SaltyBet is funny, different, entertaining and has an actually usable chat interface. That's part of what Mojang have got wrong here - betting using chat spam means there's no place for discussion or, more accurately, meme throwing. Building a site for it would probably be a bit more difficult, mind, and they're hardly expecting it to see use beyond the February 2nd release date, when they'll hand out some real-life prizes to those who do particularly well and anyone who goes over 100k will be in for a shot.
Meanwhile, I just watched 'Cornflakes Sagat' lose by having a road roller dropped on his head in SaltyBet, taking 10% of my fight money with him. I'll get you for this, Cornflakes Sagat.