Twitch’s Purple Screen of Death is now showing up in-game

Olivia Richman • February 6, 14:04

Twitch’s Purple Screen of Death is becoming even more invasive, and people aren’t happy about it.

PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds recently faced some complications due to Twitch’s newly implemented anti-adblock measure. Like many similar tournaments, the PUBG Invitational had a stream of the tournament embedded into the PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds game client. But Twitch’s Purple Screen of Death continued to pop up instead, a bad look for both the game and for Twitch. 

Esports insider Rod “Slasher” Breslau was one of the first to report the frustrating new development. He noted that it was probably “not great for the user experience.” 

Slasher added that the PUBG Invitational wasn’t the only event being affected by Twitch’s continued fight against ad blockers. MultiTwitch, Team Liquid, HLTV, Juked, individual streamer platforms, the home screens of popular esports titles, and charity websites were all getting negatively impacted by the Purple Screen of Death. All so Twitch “can make a little more ad money,” Slasher said. 

What is the Purple Screen of Death on Twitch? 

The Purple Screen of Death started popping up a few months back. The purpose is to stop Twitch viewers from implementing ad blockers on their browsers. The purple screen includes a message to viewers who try to circumvent ad viewing during a streaming session. 

“If you’re seeing this and you’re already on Twitch.tv, please review your third-party tools. Most likely, there is an ad blocker or script running on your browser making it look like you are watching from another site. As we update our service, these third party tools can affect Twitch’s performance,” the message says. 

The Purple Screen of Death has frustrated the Twitch community, not only because it’s defeating the purpose of ad blocking but because it seems to some like a greedy move from the popular streaming platform. Many viewers have said Twitch is prioritizing some extra money over its user experience, and that prioritization is now affecting some of the games themselves.

Ben Goldhaber, Twitch’s former senior manager of partnerships and gaming outreach manager, has even spoken out against his former company’s anti-adblock campaign. He said on Twitter that the Purple Screen of Death has evolved to impact almost every Twitch embed “everywhere, regardless of where you are viewing them and regardless if you use adblock.” 

Goldhaber added that the Purple Screen of Death would just be an inconvenience if it showed up for only the first 30 seconds. But it pops up “every 15 minutes,” interrupting big battles on stream and other hype moments during esports coverage and similarly intense streaming sessions. The disruption of PUBG’s Invitational is one prominent and concerning example of this new trend.

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