Back in 2016, Amazon acquired Curse, a gaming company that among its numerous wings had the Curse App, an application focused on communication between players and some limited matchmaking and streamer support. As announced at the recent town hall event, Twitch will be relaunching the Curse App as the Twitch Desktop App, a new client that takes all the features that were already present in Curse App and adds in complete integration into the site’s rapidly growing social features and its upcoming games marketplace.
Coming March 16th, the Twitch Desktop App Beta!
— Twitch (@Twitch) March 10, 2017
At launch, the app will feature many of the same features that Curse already has available. Much like Discord, you’ll be able to join servers, and streamers will be able to link an official server to their stream so that it acts as a base for fans when the broadcast is live. Servers support the existing Twitch text chat you can see on the website as well as voice servers. You’ll be able to sync your friends list between several different third party accounts, and once they’re integrated into Twitch, you can use Twitch’s messaging service to reach them. You can use the app to install and manage mods on supported games, and Curse’s existing screen sharing, in-game overlay, and video chat features will also make the jump.
Looking ahead, the app has already been confirmed to be the home of any games that you purchase from the service going forward. Acting in a similar fashion to Steam, the Twitch app will let you download any games and DLC you purchase or acquire through Twitch Prime. As for how this will work with the newly released Pulse social services, we’re not sure at this time and have reached out to Twitch for further information and will update this article if we learn more. The new client will be available in open beta starting on March 16th.
The possibilities for this program really are endless. With a company like Amazon providing both funding and unlimited cloud servers, Twitch’s push into the client space could provide stiff competition for upstart Discord. In addition, if their games store takes off at all, the client could also function as a replacement for Steam and the home base of a new social network. Considering how lackadaisical Valve has been over the past few years with adding new features to Steam, I’m very hopeful that this new competition will spur some great innovation that we can all enjoy.