Photo of two people holding video game controllers by Jeshoots on Unsplash

THE NEUTRAL ZONE

Microsoft announced that it would be closing down the operations side of Mixer on July 22 and transitioning that community over to Facebook Gaming, in a blog post on Monday. The company added that the change was part of a larger effort between Xbox and Facebook Gaming, specifically leveraging Mixer’s investments in “ultra-low latency video streaming, real-time interactivity, and video distribution technology” to accelerate the availability of video-first, virtual experiences. Xbox head Phil Spencer highlighted how Microsoft’s Project Cloud will be integrated as part of Facebook to offer “click-to-play scenarios” through Facebook Gaming and Instagram. MarketWatch described Facebook Gaming as the “clear winner” in teaming up with Microsoft, highlighting that Xbox and Microsoft will both direct former Mixer users to its platform moving forward.

In spite of signing exclusive deals with popular streamers, such as Tyler “Ninja” Blevins in August 2019 and Michael “Shroud” Grzesiek in October 2019, Mixer has struggled to gain significant market share in comparison to competitors such as Amazon-owned Twitch, which also signed a series of exclusive deals. Vivek Sharma, the head of Facebook Gaming, told The Verge that all Mixer Partners will be released from their contracts and can decide what platform they’d like to stream their content on. Amid the sudden transition, numerous content creators have offered to help Mixer streamers by “signal boosting” their handles.

The change-up at Mixer comes among several video game and streaming companies investigating allegations of misconduct. Over the weekend, former Mixer employee Milan Lee published a blog post detailing the incidents that ultimately led him to leave Mixer. More than 70 women within the gaming industry have also come forward with allegations of gender-based discrimination, harassment, and sexual assault on numerous platforms.

MEDIA PERSPECTIVE

Microsoft abandons Mixer app in Facebook deal – BBC News – 6/22/2020
rom 22 July, Mixer’s website and app will redirect users to Facebook Gaming. As part of the deal, Microsoft will work to bring its xCloud games-streaming service to Facebook. “This seems quite ruthless, but Microsoft’s strategy to reach more gamers is underpinned by its cloud business, not Mixer,” said Piers Harding-Rolls from the consultancy Ampere Analysis.

Microsoft is killing its game-streaming service, folding it into Facebook’s – Ars Technica – 6/22/2020
All of that work to build a system-level streaming interface may be for nought. Mixer’s help site about the transition instructs users to download and install the Twitch app, should they wish to continue natively streaming from their Xbox One consoles, instead of indicating that the built-in streaming service will redirect to anyone else’s API.

Microsoft shuts down Twitch rival Mixer, partners with Facebook Gaming – AdAge – 6/22/2020
Microsoft followed up on the Ninja deal by luring other big names to stream exclusively on its platform. But despite the splashy deals, Mixer has failed to gain ground on Twitch, even as video game streaming surged during the pandemic. 

Microsoft kills off Mixer four years after buying it, steers users towards Facebook – Neowin – 6/22/2020
Almost four years ago, Microsoft acquired Beam, a live streaming service focused on gaming, similar to the likes of Twitch. In the years since then, the company has renamed the service to Mixer, and integrated it with Windows 10 and Xbox One. However, today Microsoft announced that Mixer is being killed off next month.

INFLUENCER PERSPECTIVE

iamBrandon on Twitter, 6/23/2020: I have had a lot of respect for the people of Mixer since the Beam days. Imagine building a house to have it all destroyed by a tornado & you are left to start over. I feel for them. They were tossed out and treated like nothing Monday. These are people who deserved better.

Arekkz on Twitter, 6/23/2020: To all my Mixer friends who have been forced to start over, remember the community you built was because of YOU, and while Mixer was a great platform, YOU are the reason people tuned in. Rebuilding will take time, but YOU GOT THIS. I believe in you 🙏🏻

Grant Hinds on Twitter, 6/23/2020: Mixer shutting down is a very sad situation for livestreaming. More, competent competition in the space is needed. Sorry to everyone who have invested all their time and energy there. Really, really sucks.

James Whatley on Twitter, 6/23/2020: To be clear, Facebook is reportedly offering former Mixer ‘Partners’, around $2.5k to move over to the Facebook Gaming platform – offering the same status and options as they had at Mixer. With free money thrown in. Mixer Partners are saying no. They would rather start over.

GameCentral on Twitter, 6/23/2020: #ninja could’ve made a staggering $60 million to stick with #FacebookGaming but apparently he and #Shroud said no, and seem to be heading back to Twitch. #TwitchStreamers

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