Microsoft is shuttering its Mixer streaming platform and releasing its major streamers from their contracts.
This means the likes of Ninja and Shroud can return to Twitch if they wish, or move to another platform.
Microsoft isn’t just closing Mixer’s doors and waving goodbye to the community, however. It is trying to redirect its streamers and viewers to both Facebook Gaming and Xbox.
In an announcement post on the Mixer blog, the Mixer team said in a statement: “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.
“Thank you, Mixer community, for your engagement and passion on this journey. We have accomplished so much together, and we want to thank you all – partners, streamers, moderators and viewers. And we hope to see your continued positive, welcoming and inclusive ideals continue on at Facebook Gaming.”
Mixer also said that Facebook Gaming’s creators will be able to ‘partner closely’ with the Xbox ecosystem, including ‘future opportunities’ around Xbox Game Pass, Project xCloud and more.
While Mixer partners will now be granted partner status with Facebook Gaming, with the platform matching all existing partner agreements ‘as closely as possible’, major streamers on exclusivity deals with Mixer (like Ninja and Shroud) will be released from their contracts, reports The Verge.
Microsoft said it’s up to each streamer where they go from here.
“It’s up to them and their priorities,” said Vivek Sharma, head of Facebook Gaming. “We don’t think this is a winner-take-all world.”
Microsoft also explained the reason for Mixer’s closure.
It said: “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.”
Prominent esports journalist Rod ‘Slasher’ Breslau said that Facebook offered the big Mixer streamers a lot of money to move over to Facebook, but they refused, forcing Mixer to buy out their contracts.
This news has got the streaming community talking as to where these huge content creators will end up next, with many expecting it to be Amazon’s streaming giant Twitch.
Mixer’s service will switch off on July 22nd 2020. From then, Mixer.com will redirect to fb.gg and Mixer broadcasting on Xbox One will be disabled.
The news comes after a former business development exec at Mixer posted a Twitlonger recounting a racist experience at the company, which caused him to leave.
Milan Lee said on Twitter: “One of the main people calling the shots has zero respect for any partner not their platform. She believes you all are slaves and she owns your future and content. I stood up to her because I refused to let anyone be classified as such and I hope no partners feel bad I did so.
“I do not care about how big a company is or their market share. If we do not have the same values, if you cannot be intelligent enough to know racism isn’t tolerated then I will not work for you or your company.”
Head of Xbox Phil Spencer said on Twitter the ‘decision on the future of Mixer was not caused by the post from Milan Lee’, after speaking to Milan directly about the incident.
Dom is an award-winning writer who graduated from Bournemouth University with a 2:1 degree in Multi-Media Journalism in 2007.
As a long-time gamer having first picked up the NES controller in the late ’80s, he has written for a range of publications including GamesTM, Nintendo Official Magazine, industry publication MCV as well as Riot Games and others. He worked as head of content for the British Esports Association up until February 2021, when he stepped back to work full-time on Esports News UK and as an esports consultant helping brands and businesses better understand the industry.