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Microsoft just bought a company that live streams games to boost Xbox

Microsoft announced Thursday that it has acquired gaming company Beam, as the technology giant looks to continue to bolster the social aspect of its Xbox video game console.

Beam is just a few months old and boasts a community of over 100,000. The platform lets user watch others playing video games, but it also lets those viewers impact the game by giving players challenges or even making real-time choices that affect their gameplay. For example, if you are playing a shooting game, a watcher could select the weapon.

Microsoft did not disclose the price of the deal or how it would fit into its strategy but said that the acquisition "supports our ongoing commitment to make Xbox Live more social and fun", in a blog post announcing the deal on Thursday.

The acquisition comes nearly two years after Microsoft bought Mojang, the Swedish firm behind Minecraft, for $2.5...