Last week, it was revealed in a Medium post from gaming streaming giant Twitch that they had agreed to acquire Huntsville gaming company Curse. Huntsville has been the proud home to Curse for years now, which easily makes this some of the biggest gaming industry news to hit the city in history. Many Curse employees call our city home, and have proudly worn shirts with the familiar flame logo to many of Huntsville’s most populated events.
While we’d point you to the detailed Huntsville Times article for the full report on the acquisition, we wanted to take a more in-depth look at what the news could mean for the gaming culture of our city.
About Curse and Twitch:
Since Hubert Thieblot founded Curse Inc in 2006, they’ve been valued toolmakers in the online gaming community. Curse has provided Wiki guides for many popular games, cross-platform VOIP services for gamers to stay connected to each other, and much more.
Twitch Interactive has been an increasingly large player in the online streaming industry, having carved a growing niche of focusing exclusively on gaming. Initially founded as the lifestreaming service known as Justin.tv in 2007, Twitch pivoted their business into focusing on streaming gameplay in later years. After proving they were capable of surviving Google’s attempts into the market, Twitch was purchased by Amazon for $970 Million in 2014.
It’s speculated that Twitch’s interest has been due to Curse’s increased popularity as a streaming tool. Tools such as Curse Voice have increasingly given popular functionality to players interested in streaming (0r “casting”) gameplay, which Twitch could potentially want to make proprietary to their service.
Curse in Huntsville:
Curse chose to make Huntsville their corporate headquarters in June of 2013, and haven’t looked back since. The company has been very involved in local Huntsville events, having been a great friend to Huntsville proponents such as Downtown HSV Inc. They’ve remained engaged sponsors to events like LIT, UAH ChargerCon, Madden Launch Parties, and much more.
Curse has made their home in the heart of Downtown Huntsville on Church Street for some time now, and still lists the address as their corporate headquarters. This is a great strategic location for the company that makes it possible for the company and their employees to be involved in our Downtown area, as well as to attract talent to a thriving neighborhood with Big Spring Park and local restaurants.
While Curse has moved much of their technical talent resources to their offices on the West Coast, much of the operations of the company remains in Huntsville.
What the acquisition means for Huntsville:
We’re choosing to look at this optimistically. Curse has set themselves up as a valued community partner through their involvement in local events, and their location sets them up as a wonderful tenant of the increasingly vibrant Downtown area of Huntsville.
Having a subsidiary of Twitch and Amazon right in the heart of Huntsville potentially sets the city up as a bigger player in the gaming industry. Having those two well-respected company names on the masthead of Curse can attract not only bright employees, but also a peripherally involved gaming industry in Huntsville. The Madison County area has already seen a wealth of entrepreneurial gaming efforts in the likes of Elysian Shadows and ACE Creative Engagement. More talent and related start-ups could easily spring up in Huntsville and local areas with a strengthened Curse in town.
It’s early in the game at the moment to dive too far into what the buyout could mean for Huntsville and the local gaming community. However, the fact that a Huntsville based gaming company is in widely reported gaming news is certainly a positive for the moment. It could potentially mean much more investment and talent coming to the area in the future, no matter the outcome with Twitch and Curse. Our hope is that Curse only continues to broaden their footprint in Huntsville.