Twitch has announced the difficult decision to cease its operations in Korea, with the closure effective from February 27, 2024 KST.
This move comes as a response to the prohibitively high operating costs in the country, despite the platform’s efforts to minimize these expenses.
The decision to shut down in Korea is rooted in the significant financial challenges Twitch has faced in the region. Despite experimenting with a peer-to-peer model and reducing streaming quality to 720p, network fees in Korea remain substantially higher — nearly 10 times more — than in most other countries.
Operating under such financial strain has led to substantial losses for Twitch in Korea, with no viable path to sustainability.
Twitch acknowledges the impact of this closure on its Korean community, particularly streamers who have invested time and effort in building their channels. In an effort to support these creators, Twitch is actively working on facilitating their transition to alternative live streaming services within Korea.
The platform is reaching out to several local services to assist with this process and will keep the affected streamers informed about the progress.
The company emphasizes that this situation is unique to Korea, where operating costs are significantly higher than in other markets. Twitch assures its global communities that this decision is specific to the challenges encountered in Korea and is not indicative of its operations in other regions.
Twitch remains grateful for the Korean esports community’s contribution and acknowledges the special role Korea has played in the international esports arena. The company plans to host a live stream on /TwitchKR and /Twitch to address questions and provide further information regarding this decision.
Twitch’s withdrawal from Korea highlights the complex financial realities of digital platforms operating in different global markets. This decision, while difficult, underscores the importance of sustainable business practices in the tech industry. It also brings to light the challenges faced by digital platforms in balancing operational costs with community building.