Less than a year ago, Microsoft made a series of big moves to increase viewership on their game livestreaming site Mixer by buying the exclusivity of household name streamers like Ninja and Shroud. Today, Mixer announced that it's shutting down—in exactly a month. On July 22nd, Mixer's website will forward to Facebook Gaming, which Microsoft will be partnering with for the foreseeable future.
It's not even been a year since Mixer spent considerable cash to secure exclusivity contracts with the likes of Ninja, Shroud, and other gaming streamers. They announced said partnerships with over-the-top videos that tried very hard to imply a bright, unstoppable future for the platform. It would seem that Mixer couldn't quite capitalise on the investment quick enough.
In today's announcement, Mixer say 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."
Xbox also made an announcement today to give their angle on the story, saying "key to this vision is our Project xCloud technology, which we see delivering games to all kinds of screens and windows in your life, including those on Facebook." Project xCloud is Microsoft's service for playing games on your mobile phone by streaming from the cloud.
As the transition begins, current Mixer partners will have the option to sign up as partners with Facebook Gaming, which will honor partners' current contracts "as closely as possible," Mixer say. Streamers in Mixer's open monetisation program will be eligible for the Facebook Gaming Level Up Program.
This means your boy Ninja is a free agent again. Tyler "Ninja" Blevins says "I have some decisions to make and will be thinking about you all as I make them." Honestly, I didn't even know Facebook Gaming existed before they released a mobile app. I have some serious doubts you'll see Ninja moving there next, but I've been wrong before.
The future for smaller streamers who came up on Mixer seems more uncertain. They have the option to transition to Facebook Gaming, but will they get burned by betting on another Twitch and YouTube competitor? They have just a month to figure it out.
Mixer will begin forwarding traffic to Facebook Gaming starting on July 22nd.