Twitch Korea to shut down in February 2024

06 December 2023


Image credit: Twitch

Amazon-owned livestreaming platform Twitch will shut down its operations in South Korea on February 27th, 2024, the company has announced.

Twitch CEO Dan Clancy explained in a blog post that the reason for leaving the South Korean market is the cost of operating in the country, with no clear way for the company to offset these costs.

The changes will take effect in February 2024 and Twitch said it would help Korea-based streamers move their communities to other services available in the country.

According to Twitch, operating costs in South Korea are up to 10 times higher than in most other countries, which it said said was ‘prohibitively expensive’.

“Twitch has been operating in Korea at a significant loss, and unfortunately there is no pathway forward for our business to run more sustainably in that country,” Clancy said in the blog post.

The high prices are due to local regulations that require foreign companies to pay high network usage fees to operate in the country, The New York Times reported. Since foreign content providers need to pay additional fees for data usage, the numbers quickly added up with the large volume of traffic that comes from livestreaming.

Other services livestreaming options continue to operate in the country, including AfreecaTV and YouTube. Meanwhile Naver, one of South Korea’s leading telecommunications companies, announced a closed beta test of a new game streaming service, with a full rollout expected sometime in 2024.

Twitch had previously made moves to decrease its internet traffic in the country in an effort to stay active, with a reduction in source quality to 720p and peer-to-peer experiments taking place. According to the company, though, none of these efforts decreased the costs enough.

It is not yet clear how this will impact the local esports industry and communities, however many local leagues and events such as the LCK use Twitch for their esports broadcasts. South Korea is a major esports market, particularly for League of Legends.

Ivan Šimić
Ivan comes from Croatia, loves weird simulator games, and is terrible at playing anything else. Spent 5 years writing about tech and esports in Croatia, and is now doing it here.