Blizzard has launched Blizzard Streaming, a new feature for Battle.net that will initiate a live stream on Facebook with just a single click.
The feature, which was first announced a couple of months ago, allows players to broadcast on Facebook Live while they play Blizzard games on their PC. The user's friends will be able to watch the live-streamed footage and post comments in real time, with the streams focused on games such as Overwatch, Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft, Diablo 3, World of Warcraft, Starcraft 2 and Heroes of the Storm.
Upon updating their Battle.net client, gamers will see a camera icon in the upper right corner beside their username. The first time that the icon is clicked, gamers will be asked to log in with their Facebook accounts and allow the permissions necessary for the feature.
After linking their Facebook accounts, gamers will see a streaming window pop out. In the window, there will be options and controls for things such as changing the title of the live stream, enabling or disabling the microphone or webcam, and choosing the gamer's Facebook friends that the live stream will be shared with.
Once the settings are all good to go, including the advanced settings if gamers want to dive into even deeper tweaks, initiating the live stream is easily done by hitting the "Start Stream" option.
Blizzard Streaming, which is now available for gamers living in the Americas, Australia, Southeast Asia and New Zealand, will also be getting a global release soon. The feature is currently only available for Windows PC users, but it will also be rolled out to Mac computers in the future.
When the feature was first announced, Blizzard Streaming is seen as a shot by Facebook against the popular video game streaming service Twitch. While the Amazon-owned service will likely stay on top of the video game streaming industry, the space is now suddenly crowded with the addition of Blizzard Streaming on Facebook Live and YouTube Gaming, which was launched a year ago.
Facebook Live, in partnership with Blizzard for Blizzard Streaming, has the potential to overtake Twitch though, as while Twitch boasts of a user base of 100 million, Facebook currently has 650 million users playing games linked to the social network.
While Facebook's video game streaming function will need to catch up with the years of development invested by Twitch, Blizzard Streaming will offer streamers a much wider audience compared with broadcasting on Twitch, immediately setting up a rivalry between the two services.