Microsoft Shutting Down Mixer, Partnering with Facebook Gaming

Microsoft’s Twitch competitor Mixer has seen floundering success since its inception in 2016, and today the conglomerate announced that the livestreaming service will shut down on July 22nd and will transition to Facebook Gaming as part of a broader partnership with the Xbox brand.

Microsoft states that Mixer is closing down in order to “better serve our community’s needs” and 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.”

Starting on July 22nd, Mixer will redirect to Facebook Gaming, and Partners and streamers involved in Mixer’s open monetization program will be honored both through Facebook Gaming’s partner program as well as their Gaming Level Up program. Mixer’s also encouraging those with remaining Ember and Spark balances to spend them as Partners will receive double-monetization throughout June, and those with outstanding Ember balances, channel subscriptions, or Mixer Pro subscriptions will be given an Xbox Gift Card.

The biggest elephant in the room is where some of Mixer’s biggest streamers will go, and according to Facebook Gaming head Vivek Sharma, personalities like Ninja and Shroud will be released from their contracts with Microsoft and are free to stream wherever they like.

Mixer has often been the butt of jokes when talking about streaming platforms, and for good reason. According to data-tracking firm, Mixer was only able to capture 3.2% of the streaming market in Q3 2019, clocking in a little behind Facebook Gaming at 3.7% and getting dwarfed by both YouTube Gaming and Twitch with 17.6% and 75.6% of overall hours watched respectively. Couple this with community complaints of poor viewer retention and low morale at the company due to layoffs and deficient management, it’s no wonder why Mixer failed to capture the streaming market.

Facebook Gaming has slowly been rising the ranks; according to a report by StreamLabs and Stream hatchet, Facebook Gaming took up 11% of the hours of livestreamed content watched in Q1 2020 compared to YouTube Gaming and Twitch at 22% and 66% respectively. We will have to see where Facebook Gaming will go from here, although I do wonder if a lack of integration with consoles will hurt it, as Microsoft mentioned in its Mixer Q&A that those looking to stream from their Xbox Ones directly will have to use Twitch or connect it to a PC using software like OBS or XSplit.

Featured image courtesy of Microsoft.