Twitch Hit By Layoffs Even as Company Plans 'Aggressive Growth'

Twitch Hit By Layoffs Even as Company Plans 'Aggressive Growth'

Twitch is planning for "aggressive growth" in 2018.

Twitch, the popular livestreaming platform owned by Amazon, has undergone some layoffs. While the exact number of employees who've lost their jobs are unknown, reports from esports journalist Rod Breslau says that more than 25 people were cut from Twitch Studios and marketing teams.

In a statement to GamesBeat, a Twitch spokesperson says that after a record-setting 2017 and strong successes with the Overwatch League and Fortnite, Twitch has "an aggressive growth strategy for 2018 with plans to increase our headcount by approximately 30 percent." Twitch calls the layoffs "team adjustments" and is prioritizing areas the company believes is important to the community.

It's unclear what exactly a headcount growth at Twitch will look like considering the exact number of employees at the company are unknown. GamesBeat reports that a source at the company revealed Twitch currently has 1,500 employees. At the same time, Twitch sources said that when news of the layoffs came, it was explained in part because Twitch "overhired."

Additionally Polygon has reported that some of those from Twitch laid off today were Ben "FishStix" Goldhaber and Justin Wong, vice president of Twitch community and social. Twitch could not confirm if a majority of layoffs affected the Twitch Studios division, which is a collaboration between Twitch's Live Production and Video Production teams.

Twitch is currently owned by Amazon and the acquisition has led to some partnerships in key aspects of Twitch. For instance having an Amazon Prime subscription also nets you a Twitch Prime subscription which comes with exclusive rewards for games like Fortnite Battle Royale, or a single subscription which drives revenue for some of the platform's biggest stars. Tyler "Ninja" Blevins for example, who is a popular Fortnite stream who recently played live with hip-hop artist Drake, makes $500,000 a month thanks to his 200,000-plus subscribers.

As Twitch becomes tied directly to the biggest games currently popular with those who go online for video content, it will be interesting to see in what direction Twitch chooses to grow after its 2017 year.

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Matt Kim

News Editor

Matt Kim is a former freelance writer who's covered video games and digital media. He likes video games as spectacle and is easily distracted by bright lights or clever bits of dialogue. He also once wrote about personal finance, but that's neither here nor there.

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