Microsoft Announces Shutdown of Mixer, Its Competitor to Twitch
Microsoft announced Monday that they are shutting down Mixer, their streaming service to compete with Twitch. They have partnered with Facebook Gaming for the transition. Partnered users can move with the company, or return to Twitch. Come July 22, all Mixer sites and apps will take users to Facebook Gaming.
“Ultimately the success of Partners and streamers on Mixer is dependent on our ability to scale the service for them as quickly and broadly as possible,” said Xbox’s Phil Spencer in a post on Xbox Wire. “It became clear that the time needed to grow our own livestreaming community to scale was out of measure with the vision and experiences we want to deliver to gamers now, so we’ve decided to close the operations side of Mixer and help the community transition to a new platform. To better serve our community’s needs, we’re teaming up with Facebook to enable the Mixer community to transition to Facebook Gaming.”
The History of Mixer and the Future With Xbox
Mixer began as Beam.io before Microsoft purchased it. However, it struggled to gain mass viewership the company hoped for, particularly with Xbox users. Especially with Xbox Series X and xCloud, Xbox’s on-demand streaming service, coming out soon. Ninja and Shroud are big names in the streaming community. Even they could not bring enough viewership to maintain the service.
Spencer explained that the decision had more to do with Xbox’s future strategies. Not so much about a return on investment. He told The Verge, “When we think about xCloud and the opportunity to unlock gameplay for 2 billion players, we know it’s going to be critically important that our services find large audiences and Facebook clearly gives us that opportunity.”
Facebook Gaming is another alternative to Twitch. With Facebook’s massive user base, it already had more viewers than Mixer.
xCloud does not have a release date yet, but is expected to launch later this year, with an upgrade already planned for 2021.
Microsoft is taking the Mixer technology to Microsoft Teams.
Where Are Their Streamers Going?
Mixer partnered streamers have options. They can move to Facebook Gaming with the company, or they can return to Twitch. The two big ones, Shroud and Ninja, have both opted out of Facebook Gaming.
Richard Lewis tweeted on June 22, “Sources familiar with the deal have informed me that while Facebook did try and negotiate to keep their big partners both Shroud and Ninja opted out. They have received their full payments and as of midnight yesterday were free to engage in talks with other platforms. Game on.”
Ninja left Twitch for an exclusive deal with Mixer. He wrote on Twitter, “I love my community and what we built together on Mixer. I have some decisions to make and will be thinking about you all as I make them.”
No word yet on where Ninja or Shroud intend to go. Another streamer, Gothalion, chose to remain with Microsoft, and will move to Facebook Gaming.