Twitch Plays Pokemon is so popular it's breaking Twitch chat

"This has been a wonderful learning experience for us."

Twitch Plays Pokemon is too popular for its own good - it's starting to break parts of the video game streaming platform.

The stream, in which thousands of people are trying to play Pokémon Red at once, had over 100k peak concurrent viewers, but as a result it's put "enormous (and unforeseen) stress on Twitch's chat system", the company said last night.

"We're always working on improving the QoS of our chat system, and this has been a wonderful learning experience for us."

To combat this Twitch moved the channel off of its general chat servers and onto its own dedicated event chat server, the kind reserved for large eSports events such as the Dota 2 International. This helped, but it didn't fix the problem.

According to Twitch engineer Mike Osserah: "When a phenomenon like TPP comes along which increases load on the system many fold, it gives us a great opportunity to discover and fix new issues and issues that only raise their head under super high load."

Twitch vowed to keep plugging away at the chat issue: "We LOVE Twitch Plays Pokemon and we want to see where this grand experiment leads us all. While it plays itself out, we'll continue to hammer away at our chat system and make sure it holds up to the load."

Twitch Plays Pokemon is hosted by an anonymous Twitch broadcaster who created their own script that allows viewers to type out button inputs in the chat window. Progress, as you'd expect, has been slow.

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About the author

Wesley Yin-Poole

Wesley Yin-Poole

Deputy Editorial Director  |  wyp100

Wesley is deputy editorial director of ReedPop. He likes news, interviews, and more news. He also likes Street Fighter more than anyone can get him to shut up about it.


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