It was a weird day for Microsoft yesterday. Not only did it announce a complete redirection of their Teams app but they also dropped the bomb that its streaming platform Mixer would very soon no longer be operational.
Which is pretty shocking considering it was just under a year ago that Mixer announced high-profile exclusivity deals with major streamers Tyler “Ninja” Blevins and Michael “Shroud” Grzesiek as well as several smaller contracts with streamers seen as breaking into the market. Now, all those deals will be transferred over to Facebook Gaming, the company that’s acquiring Mixer.
As Brett says, “What Facebook can’t do, it either steals or buys.”
Mixer will thus be transitioning over to Facebook Gaming with all exclusivity deals either transferring over to the new platform or terminating depending on whichever route the streamer in question deems preferable. Great news for Ninja who managed to make an easy $30 million off his exclusivity deal only to become a free agent and lose nothing. All streamers partnered with Mixer will retain their partnership with Facebook Gaming.
“It became clear that the time needed to grow our own live-streaming community to scale was out of measure with the vision and experiences that Microsoft and Xbox want to deliver for gamers now, so we’ve decided to close the operations side of Mixer and help the community transition to a new platform”, said Mixer in a post last night.
It’s not exactly a surprise, given that despite the exclusivity deals, Mixer wasn’t exactly flourishing. Analyses of various streaming platforms painted a grim picture for Mixer, as its total number of viewers in April of this year topped out at 37 million viewers in comparison to Twitch which had 1.5 billion viewers and YouTube at 461 million viewers.
“It wasn’t as much about return on-sell, it was about finding a partnership that was the best thing for the community and streamers,” Xbox head Phil Spencer told The Verge. “We think this is it, and it gives us a great place to launch more xCloud content and give gamers the ability to play from there.”
Mixer will cease to exist from 22 July 2020 and will instead redirect to Facebook Gaming. Long live, Mixer. We hardly knew ye.