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Twitch abandons Korea due to ‘prohibitively expensive’ operating costs despite being owned by one of the richest companies in the world Dot Esports

Twitch will no longer be offering its live streaming service in Korea in 2024 as growing operating costs become too much for parent company Amazon, owned by Jeff Bezos, one of the richest men in the world.

The service was operating in the country at a loss according to a statement shared by Twitch CEO Dan Clancy on Dec. 5. Streamers in the country who currently stream on Twitch will be offered support to transition their fanbases over to other platforms, but as of Feb. 27, the days of Amazon’s streaming service in Korea will be over.

Black and white Twitch logo on a purple background
Korean streamers will need to find a new home. Image via Twitch

While this move might come as a shock to users, Twitch claims it took significant steps to keep things running before deciding to shut it all down. Clancy says that despite lowering the maximum video quality to 720p, experimenting with peer-to-peer connections, and lowering costs more broadly, network fees in Korea continue to be up to 10 times more expensive than in other countries. With this being the case, Twitch claims that there is no sustainable way to go forward with the business.

Of course, this drastic move raises questions as to where Korean streamers will go, and with Korea being home to the LCK and pros including Faker, where exactly their fans can tune in remains a mystery. AftreecaTV seems to be the most likely place for these streams to live, but right now it’s too soon to say for sure. We expect Korean streamers to share news of their move in the coming weeks.

Given Amazon owns Twitch, it is surprising that operating costs were the reason for Twitch’s closure in Korea. If you’re elsewhere in the world and concerned that your country could be next, Twitch says not to worry, claiming that this was a unique situation.

If you are in Korea you can continue using Twitch as normal to close out the year, but from Feb. 27, you will no longer be able to access the streaming service.

Ryan Galloway

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