“All the world’s a stage,” Shakespeare said, but he couldn’t have envisioned Twitch, which is looking to expand into streaming karaoke with Twitch Sings, a game the company is creating with Rock Band developer Harmonix.
Twitch Sings is part of what Twitch CEO Emmett Shear calls a new kind of game, one “where the audience isn’t just nice to have, it’s crucial to the experience.” Shear announced the game during the opening keynote for TwitchCon Friday.
Teaming up with Harmonix for the streaming karaoke project makes a lot of sense: Harmonix is responsible for social music games like the Rock Band series and Dance Central. They’re incorporating Twitch chat into the experience, so viewers will be able to activate stage light effects, suggest songs, and (it seems likely) contribute to some kind of performance-measuring meter akin to Rock Band’s Band Meter.
It’s a pretty smart idea for a couple reasons. First, karaoke is the ideal activity for Twitch, given that it’s all about mugging for a crowd of friends. Second, it’s just as much – if not more – fun when it’s done terribly. Twitch says the game will feature hundreds of songs” and tons of ways for streamers and their audiences to interact, such as singing “duets” together, Shear said.
Here’s the full TwitchCon keynote. The part about Twitch sings begins around 38:13.
Twitch Sings is entering closed beta, and the company says it’s inviting new streamers in “as we have room.” You can sign up at the official site. Later this year, Twitch says it will expand the closed beta to iOS, and an Android version is currently in development.