Twitch Interactive said today that it would shut down Justin.tv, the video-streaming website that was once the centerpiece of the company.

Twitch, which lets users broadcast live video of the videogames they’re playing, was spun off from Justin.tv in mid-2011. Earlier this year, it became the name of the whole company, a reflection of where the audience has gone.

The site is encouraging Justin.tv users to transfer their accounts to Twitch before Sept. 5. Video archives will not be downloadable from the site.

Justin.tv’s first incarnation, in 2007, was a 24/7 reality show broadcasting the life of founder Justin Kan, now a Twitch board member and partner at Y Combinator. Later that year, the site opened up to let other people try their hand at “lifecasting” and then broadened to accommodate all kinds of live-streaming video content.

The popularity of videogaming, in particular, led Justin.tv co-founder Emmett Shear to create Twitch, which in July reported 50 million unique viewers.

“It’s kind of counterintuitive, right?” Shear said in an interview with Re/code. “You want to be as big as possible as a startup, why would you pigeonhole yourself in just one kind of content? It took us a long time to realize that was a good idea.”

In an emailed statement, Twitch COO Kevin Lin said the company is “immensely proud of Justin.tv’s legacy.” As of last month, the company declined to confirm conflicting reports that it was in talks to be acquired by YouTube, and made no further announcement today.


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