Microsoft is throwing in the towel for Mixer.
On Monday, the computer conglomerate announced that it would close down its video game livestreaming platform on July 22. Microsoft also it would be partnering with Facebook to transfer Mixer’s partners and streamers over to the social network’s gaming platform.
Mixer was Microsoft’s attempt to enter the booming video game streaming market. The company acquired the platform in 2016 less than a year after it first launched. Microsoft already being a major player in the video game industry with PC gaming and, of course, the Xbox, it seemed like a game livestreaming service would be an obvious match.
While the service had promise, Mixer just never quite gained the necessary traction in the gaming or livestreaming world. Twitch is the undisputed leader in the industry. Millions of people watch tens of thousands of streamers everyday on the Amazon-owned site. YouTube also has a popular Gaming-dedicated platform on its own service.
What makes Microsoft’s decision to shut down Mixer a little shocking is that the platform actually made news less than a year ago for signing Twitch’s most popular livestreamers to an exclusivity deal.
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.
— Ninja (@Ninja) June 22, 2020
One of the biggest gaming headlines from last summer was that Microsoft Ninja, Twitch’s biggest star and one of the few mainstream Esports personalities, to a reportedly $20-$30 million contract which would see him leave Twitch and exclusively stream on Mixer. Ninja’s move actually set off shockwaves throughout the industry and sparked other platforms to so they wouldn’t lose viewership.
Microsoft was clearly attempting to build Mixer up to be a serious livestreaming contender. With its upcoming xCloud game streaming service, a sister-video livestreaming platform really did make sense. In fact, the launch is likely one of the reasons Microsoft didn’t just pull the plug outright. The company’s new Facebook Gaming partnership will see some of the interconnectivity that Mixer would’ve had with xCloud — like a one-click option to play the video game that you’re watching someone stream — come to the social network’s livestreaming platform.
When Mixer shuts down in July, the site and its apps will redirect to Facebook Gaming. Mixer Partners will be given partnership status with Facebook’s streaming platform and be granted monetization capabilities if they previously qualified with Mixer. Users of Microsoft’s soon-to-be-shuttered livestreaming site will receive Xbox gift cards if they have outstanding Ember balances or active subscriptions with the Mixer platform.