Twitch has announced that it will end its service in South Korea in February.
Writing on its blog, the streaming giant’s CEO Dan Clancy said: “This morning, I shared with our community in Korea that we’ve made the difficult decision to shut down the Twitch business in Korea on February 27, 2024 KST.
“We understand that this is extremely disappointing news, and we want to explain why we made this decision and how we are planning to support those impacted.”
Clancy went on to credit soaring operating costs in the region. “The cost to operate Twitch in Korea is prohibitively expensive and we have spent significant effort working to reduce these costs so that we could find a way for the Twitch business to remain in Korea.
“First, we experimented with a peer-to-peer model for source quality. Then, we adjusted source quality to a maximum of 720p. While we have lowered costs from these efforts, our network fees in Korea are still 10 times more expensive than in most other countries.”
The company has been operating at a “significant loss,” in the region, he claimed. Later in the blog, Clancy said this was a “unique situation.”
“Operating costs in Korea are significantly higher than they are in other countries and we have been open about this challenge for some time.”
Addressing the thousands of Korean streamers, Clancy wrote, “Twitch streamers in Korea have devoted significant time and effort into building their communities, and we plan to help these communities find new homes — even if it’s regrettably not on Twitch.
“We will work to help Twitch streamers in Korea move their communities to alternative livestreaming services in Korea. We are also reaching out to several of these services to help with the transition and will communicate with impacted streamers as those discussions progress.”