Twitch is introducing a new program to help game developers engage with players as announced on their blog. The new program is called Drops and will let developers put special items into their games for players that are broadcasting their gameplay. This new self-service program will be showcased at the Game Developers Conference this year.
Twitch claims Drops will “increase your game's engagement and retention” by allowing developers to directly reward viewers and streamers. This is done by reporting game viewing activity to devs using Viewer Heartbeat Service and Twitch Identity. This service will allow developers to create unique experiences for their communities by running Drops on their own schedule and customizing things for the needs of a game’s players and economy.
Interested developers can start using Drops now by signing up for the Twitch developer portal and adding the program to their games. Hi-Rez Studios has already been using Drops for their titles SMITE and Paladin over the last few months. Partnering with Twitch for the launch, Hi-Rez showcased the service during the Hi-Rez Expo in January. They will also be running Drops in both Paladin and SMITE during the entire GDC week.
COO of Hi-Rez Studios Todd Harris had this to say about using Drops for their games,
We saw a dramatic increase in both the total number of viewers and time spent per viewer since we implemented drops. The increase in overall viewers and viewer average time was so material that we really want to build on the program going into this year.More news about Drops will be coming at the GDC February 27th to March 3rd, where Twitch will be showcasing the new program. There they will explain how it works, display the technology and help people sign up for the service. Developers can currently sign up to use Drops and begin leaving feedback.