In brief: The Sweden-based Internet Games Database company has been acquired by Amazon-owned Twitch for an undisclosed amount. The move will allow the latter to improve it's games search and discovery features while keeping IGDB's website operational.
The IMDb of video games, IGDB, was founded by Christian Frithiof in 2015 as a way to aggregate relevant information about video games in one place, just like Amazon-owned IMDb does for movies. The 10-person team of the Swedish startup that managed to raise 14.5 million kr (~1.5 million USD) in its last two rounds of funding has now been acquired by Twitch for an undisclosed amount.
IGDB maintained its database through community contributions and automation and its business model relied on selling API subscriptions. The API was free for small users, $99/mo for regular users with up to 50K requests, while bigger customers were offered custom-tailored pricing.
Information on the site includes all sorts of metadata about a video game such as its genre, supported platform, description, critic ratings and reviews, story-line, publisher, game modes, characters and more. With the acquisition, Twitch will keep the IGDB website up and running from Sweden while the company's free and paid API subscription tiers will roll into one free product.
"Millions of people come to Twitch every day to find and connect with their favorite streamers and communities, and we want to make it easier for people to find what they’re looking for,” a spokesperson told Techcrunch. “IGDB has developed a comprehensive gaming database, and we’re excited to bring them on to help us more quickly improve and scale search and discovery on Twitch."
It's expected that this strategic acquisition will help Twitch in improving its search and discovery features, which will now be fed with data from the new database. The streaming site previously used Giant Bomb as its data provider for search and discovery, a Twitch feature that CEO Emmett Shear had previously admitted in public as not always being the best experience.
"One wrong letter and your search results may come back empty, or direct you to a very different streamer than the one you were looking for. So we’re going to fix search so it actually works," he added. This latest acquisition by the streaming company is a major step forward towards that commitment.