Specifically, that country is South Korea, where Twitch announced it will no longer operate starting on February 27th, 2024.
In a blog post, Twitch announced it was ceasing operations in Korea due to unique, "prohibitively expensive" networking fees to operate there, which Twitch said is "10 times" higher than in other countries. Korean viewers will also no longer be able to access the platform either.
"I want to reiterate that this was a very difficult decision and one we are very disappointed we had to make," wrote Dan Clancy, Twitch's CEO. "Korea has always and will continue to play a special role in the international esports community and we are incredibly grateful for the communities they built on Twitch."
The news understandably gobsmacked Korean Twitch streamers, who were essentially just informed that their source of income would vanish in three months. English/Korean Twitch streamer Yummy_2 went viral for her reaction upon realizing she'd essentially lost her job.
— Twitch.tvcilps (@TwitchTvcilps) December 6, 2023
Meanwhile, others on social media felt the decision portended tough times for Twitch, feeling the company dropping out of one of the premier esports countries in the world meant they could be in deep financial trouble.
The decision seems likely to have been influenced by a recent South Korean law that significantly hiked prices on foreign websites attempting to operate in South Korea.
Twitch pulling out of the country will likely have a significant impact on the esports industry, as the streaming landscape for esports is about to look significantly different.