Remember Mixer? That game streaming platform Microsoft was aggressively pushing as an alternative to Twitch, that felt more like the next Bing? Our gut feelings were correct…the thing just Binged itself.
Mixer had the corporate lifespan of a fly, taking off from out of nowhere in 2016 under the name Beam. Microsoft bought it in 2017 and promoted it endlessly through 2018 and 2019, in the usual Microsoft manner of throwing money with wild abandon. Some of Twitch’s most popular streamers like Tyler “Ninja” Blevins were lured to Mixer with exclusive million-dollar contracts.
Phil Spencer, head of XBox, admitted to the press they decided Mixer was a lost cause six months ago, but couldn’t announce its demise until they’d arranged a partner to hand off operations and accounts to. “We weren’t going to be continuing with Mixer as it was,” he told Polygon, “and we wanted to find a partner for us who had a similar worldview on how gaming can evolve and the impact it could have, and a partner that had unique assets to really take that Mixer community, make it their own, and grow it to the level of impact and size that I really think it deserves and needs.”
Translation: they’ve giving it to Facebook Gaming. A streaming platform that didn’t have much of a shot is now being absorbed into one that definitely doesn’t have a shot. There are a lot of gamers who would rather use a carnival bathroom than stream on Facebook Gaming, and those are just the ones who know it exists. One of Mixer’s few strengths, a stronger moderation system, will definitely not survive the move if Facebook’s reputation in that area holds true.
So…what does this mean for Ninja and Shroud? According to a rep from Facebook, their platform has a similar monetization program called Level-Up that Blevins and the others will have the option of joining. Otherwise the Mixer contracts are null and void, and they will probably migrate back to Twitch.