Despite years of heavy investment and even bringing in some huge streamers on multi-million dollar contracts, Microsoft’s streaming platform, Mixer, has been unable to catch up and compete with the bigger sites like Twitch, YouTube and even Facebook gaming. Now, Mixer will be shutting down, with the service set to go offline for good on July 22nd.
As part of this shutdown, Microsoft has partnered with Facebook Gaming, giving partnered-Mixer streamers a chance to transition over to Facebook’s streaming platform with most of their benefits still intact. Meanwhile, Mixer viewers that spent money on multi-month subscriptions, Ember or Mixer Pro, will receive Xbox gift card credit instead.
One of the big questions around this sudden change is what will happen to the huge channels that signed exclusive contracts with Mixer? Some of those, including Ninja and Shroud, will be bought out of their contracts and become free agents, which likely means they will end up back on Twitch. Shroud reportedly received a $10 million payout for his time on Mixer, while Ninja is estimated to have made around $30 million. Others, like Gothalion, will be transitioning over to Facebook Gaming instead.
This comes several months after reports of a hostile work environment at Mixer, in addition to more recent accusations of racism amongst the leadership team. As Phil Spencer, Microsoft’s head of gaming, explained to The Verge though, while Mixer is going away, Xbox will continue to partner with Facebook Gaming, which will include xCloud streaming integration in the future.
KitGuru Says: This is a pretty huge change and while many had assumed it would happen someday, the timing does seem sudden. Apparently, Mixer partners and even many employees did not know this was happening, but evidently, it is something Microsoft has been considering for a while.