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Microsoft is pulling the plug on Mixer

4 min read
He’s dead, Jim

For years, Twitch has dominated the livestreaming space. Unmatched in size and scope, filled with many a memorable personality and fine-tuned to the max, it sat comfortably upon its throne as the resident juggernaut while many a challenger rocked up up at its doors and attempted to usurp its position as the default brand in streaming. Mixer was one of those contenders to the throne, a fresh and chipper new platform that had charm, style and even managed to woo a few of Twitch’s most famous faces over to its side.

Like many before it, Mixer failed in its bid to topple the titan that is Twitch, and is now officially dead.

Starting today, Microsoft has begun the process of yanking the Mixer plug from the wall, moving all of its streaming operations towards Facebook Gaming. “ It became clear that the time needed to grow our own livestreaming 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,” Mixer wrote in a blog update.

To better serve our community’s needs, we’re teaming up with Facebook to enable the Mixer community to transition to Facebook Gaming. This is a key part of a broader effort that Xbox and Facebook Gaming are embarking on, bringing new experiences and opportunities to the entire world of gaming. The Facebook Gaming team and Creators will help expand the vision that Mixer has always held around community and building a platform that is inclusive and supportive of each other.

For Mixer’s streamers, this opens up the opportunity to reach the vast audience of one of the world’s fastest growing streaming platforms. Every month, more than 700 million people play a game, watch a gaming video or interact in a gaming Group on Facebook. For Facebook Gaming’s Creators, this brings the ability to partner closely with the Xbox ecosystem, including future opportunities around Xbox Game Pass, Project xCloud and more.

So what of Mixer’s biggest personalities, such as Tyler “Ninja” Blevins, King Gothalion and Shroud? Having moved to Mixer this year in big-money deals, many of them were taken completely by surprise by this sudden announcement. For streamers such as Ninja and Shroud, their free agent status means that they’ll still be able to easily find a platform happy to have them, while other lesser-known personalities who had been eking out a living on Mixer are now in more precarious waters.

According to The Verge, Facebook Gaming will honour partner status for streamers coming from Mixer provided that they sign a new contract with them. Facebook Gaming also seems to be a bit more relaxed on the whole idea of streaming, with many a gamer such as Jeremy “DisguisedToast” Wang having the option to stream both there and on Twitch at the same time.

Facebook Gaming, for its part, will honor partner status for streamers coming from Mixer, though they will have to sign a new contract with Facebook. It’s also worth noting that Facebook Gaming hasn’t been emphasizing exclusivity when it signs new streamers. Jeremy “DisguisedToast” Wang, Facebook Gaming’s most prominent American face, is still able to stream on Twitch.

It’s the end of an era in the brief Streaming Wars. Since its inception in 2017, Mixer was always battling on the backfoot despite it having some brilliant features and ideas woven into its design. A plucky underdog, Mixer just couldn’t match Twitch and its established dominance in the industry and even with the biggest names in streaming signed to its brand, Twitch continued to be the be-all and end-all of live broadcasting.

Mixer’s demise has begun, as all operations will cease by July 22 when Facebook Gaming takes over completely.

Last Updated: June 23, 2020

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