Microsoft’s ‘Mixer’ shuts down and partners with Facebook Gaming


Mixer
Photo by Zac Wolff on Unsplash

After failing to attract a considerable global audience, Microsoft announced that it will be shutting down its Mixer video-game streaming service and will be partnering with Facebook Gaming instead.

As from yesterday (July 22) users who visit Mixer will be redirected to Facebook Gaming. The software company also revealed its plans to partner with Facebook on Microsoft’s xCloud mobile game service, which will be widely available toward the end of September.

The surprise news comes after Microsoft spent a considerable amount of money luring famous Fortnite streamer Ninja (Tyler Bevins) only less than a year a go from Amazon.com’s Twitch. The deal reportedly set off a battle for top gaming talent in the $152bn video-game industry.

Ninja and other gaming stars signed like Michael “Shroud” Grzesiek who are currently signed to Mixer are under no obligation to join Facebook Gaming. According to reports, the social media giant has spoken with Ninja and others – Vivek Sharma, Facebook’s vice-president and head of gaming said the company is going to let them announce their own plans, though Facebook would love to welcome them on board.

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Xbox CEO Phil Spencer said Monday in an interview that while they are proud of the community that Mixer has built, it simply wasn’t achieving the scale goals that had been set and that popular gaming stars were not making enough money on the service.

According to Bloomberg, Microsoft had already begun talking with Facebook about this move when the US went into lockdown related to the Covid-19 outbreak in March. Still, user data showed that even as more gamers were confined to their homes amid the global pandemic, Mixer’s 15% growth in hours watched in April from the prior month didn’t compare to gains at Twitch and Facebook, and fell short of the 45% growth for the overall streaming sector, according to StreamElement.

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However, other Microsoft gaming brands, such as Minecraft and the GamePass subscription service, saw larger increases linked to the pandemic stay-at-home orders.

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