If you’re paying for Twitch Prime, you’re going to be getting free stuff in Blizzard’s biggest games thanks to a new deal between the two companies.
Twitch announced today that it will have the exclusive third-party streaming rights for some of Blizzard’s biggest tournaments through 2018. As part of the deal, Blizzard is also giving Twitch Prime members in-game content for Overwatch, Hearthstone, and Heroes of the Storm. These are some of the most popular competitive games in an esports industry that’s projected to reach $1.5 billion by 2020.
Blizzard games are among the most viewed on Twitch. Overwatch and Hearthstone are both in the Top 5 most-watched games of 2016 (based on minutes watched) on the streaming site. World of Warcraft isn’t far behind at No. 6.
The deal gives Twitch the broadcasting rights to 20 Blizzard esports events, including:
- Heroes of the Storm Global Championship (HGC)
- StarCraft II World Championship Series (WCS Circuit)
- Hearthstone Championship Tour (HCT)
- Hearthstone Global Games (HGG)
- World of Warcraft Arena Championship
- Overwatch APEX League
- Overwatch Premier Series
Twitch has detailed the plans for Overwatch goodies coming to its Prime subscribers. Twitch Prime is included with Amazon Prime, an $11 a month subscription that gives Amazon users discounts and free shipping. Twitch Prime offers ad-free viewing and game content promotions like this.
From June 20 to August 10, Twitch Prime subscribers will get a golden loot box in Overwatch. This will guarantee at least one legendary item, the rarest cosmetic drop in the game.
Overwatch’s loot boxes each contain four random cosmetic items, with one at least rare or better. You can unlock them slowly by playing the game, but you can also buy them in bundles with real cash. It’s a monetization method that other games, including Injustice 2 and Blizzard’s own Heroes of the Storm, have started to adopt. Twitch also notes that Prime members will receive 10 more Overwatch loot boxes during the coming months.
We’re already seen Blizzard offer Twitch Prime members content before, specifically with the Tyrande hero portrait for Hearthstone.
“We founded Twitch as a gaming platform heavily based on our community’s reaction to games like Blizzard’s StarCraft II,” said Kevin Lin, chief operating officer of Twitch, in a press release sent to GamesBeat. “Since then, our large, but tight-knit community, our constantly evolving suite of interactive features, and a native emote-driven chat language celebrated by viewers enable us to support and grow Blizzard esports in a manner that best serves our collective fans. This includes providing Blizzard fans with exclusive in-game content for those who subscribe to Twitch Prime, another defining and cherished component of our brand.”