In a surprising announcement that many did not see coming, Microsoft has announced that it will be closing down Mixer, a popular video game streaming platform, on July 22, 2020. Consequently, existing streamers and partners will see themselves transferred over to the Facebook Gaming platform.
The choice boils down to Mixer’s inability to match against more established platforms like YouTube, Twitch, and Facebook Gaming. A failure that even the likes of Ninja and Shroud, streamers of millions of following, could not seem to offset.
Microsoft Top Brass Speaks
In an interview with The Verge, Microsoft’s Phil Spencer spoke up on what led to the decision.
As per Spencer, Mixer’s entry in the scene was a little late. Pointing to competitions that were already big in the business even before the Mixer’s arrival in the space. Furthermore, he admits that Mixer’s monthly active views are performing below expectations.
No matter where you choose to stream, the world is better with your gaming content in it. As the operations side of @WatchMixer is closing, we are inviting the Mixer Community to #FacebookGaming. More details: https://t.co/fRI2CBlTbZ pic.twitter.com/FVRTF9APVD
— Facebook Gaming (@FacebookGaming) June 22, 2020
Instead of abandoning ship and leaving everyone onboard, Microsoft struck a deal with Facebook Gaming to take over what they’re leaving behind. This means that all existing partners and streamers will see themselves handed over to a new platform over the coming weeks.
More than just merely transitioning people from one platform to the next, the shift will see each member retaining status at Facebook Gaming. Mixer partners will, therefore, remain partners with Facebook Gaming, similar to those who are under the monetization program.
However, even Mixer viewers are part of the consideration as well, especially those with “special” status. They include individuals with outstanding Ember balances, channel subscriptions, or Mixer Pro subscriptions. To compensate, Microsoft is giving away Xbox gift cards to the persons who meet the said profile.
We're thankful to those of you that shared your passions with us.
We hope to see your positive, welcoming, and inclusive communities on @FacebookGaming.
Mixer will remain online and running until July 22nd.
— Mixer (@WatchMixer) June 22, 2020
Arising from the closure, all applications and sites at that point to Mixer will automatically be redirected to Facebook Gaming.
A Strategic Partnership
The choice to collaborate up with Facebook Gaming, however, appears to be strategic than merely a saving grace from disgruntled users. Part of the partnership would also involve Microsoft providing a technology that will bolster Facebook Gaming’s edge with the xCloud streaming service.
The xCloud game streaming service is a technology that gives others access to games that other people stream. In concept, it is not too different from Google’ Stadia due to the remote play aspect. But one that didn’t see much traction with Mixer, considering its relative shortcoming in viewership.
Right now, it is not definite when the xCloud game streaming service will become integral to Facebook Gaming. But when that time comes, only then will we see whether Facebook Gaming has gained a competitive advantage against competing platforms.
Image used courtesy of Strix Clips/YouTube Screenshot