Microsoft acquires a live streaming gaming platform owned by a Teenager

Microsoft’s Xbox division announced the company’s acquisition of Beam. Beam is an interactive live streaming platform for gamers. Matt Salsamendi, an 18-year old, owns the Seattle-Based startup, Beam. Microsoft has not been as generous as to disclose the terms of the deal.

Microsoft efforts to expand Xbox Live, one of the most popular social gaming platforms, yielded this acquisition. In a recently published blog post, Microsoft indicated it is happy with the purchase. Beam is a gaming social gaming platform unique for its ability to combine playing and watching. With Beam, Xbox Live will become “more social and fun”.

Beam first hit headlines when its articulate young owner presented it at TechCrunch Disrupt’s Startup Battlefield challenge in May. Salsamendi sold his start on the fact that “traditional gaming platforms fail to focus on viewers’ participation.”

Beam, a modern gaming platform, does things differently. It allows gamers crowdsource gaming control enabling viewers to participate. For instance, viewers can change the gaming weather, change the player’s weapon and also warn them of oncoming enemies. All this is done in real time, without delays. This aspect is what makes Beam unique as other platforms have several seconds of delays.

Beam won the competition, and the owners walked away with $50,000. A month later, in June, Thiel Organization named Salsamendi together with Beam’s co-founder, 20-year old James Boehm, Thiel Fellows. Thiel’s organisation rewards young entrepreneurs and innovators as much as $100,000 over a period of two years. The entrepreneurs have to skip college and work on their brilliant concepts and ideas.

Salsamendi notes that the journey to making Beam what it is today was nothing close to easy.  “I remember all the sleepless nights spent writing lines of code,” he says. The young entrepreneur explained how he had to spend millions of hours streaming content when Beam was in beta mode.

Nonetheless, Salsamendi is proud of Beam. He claims that he knew they were building something “unique and exciting”. During an interview with CNN Money, He said that “The acquisition comes at a very opportune time. We have created an incredible gaming platform, attracted a huge following, so it is just about time we became bigger.”

Salsamendi is positive that selling was the best course of action considering Beam’s focus on the Xbox community. Currently, Beam has over 100,000 members. Salsamendi will continue to head Beam in Redmond, Washington at Microsoft’s headquarters. He will be part of Xbox’s team of engineers.

He hopes the Beam team will grow. “Lots of new people will be joining the community as the platform grows.”

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