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Microsoft shuts Mixer down, merges with Facebook Gaming

11:49 AM June 23, 2020

Microsoft announced Monday night that they would be ceasing operations of their streaming platform Mixer, and would be handing operations over to Facebook Gaming.

After a four-year journey starting out as Beam, being bought out by Microsoft, being renamed, signing two of the biggest livestream stars, and many more in between Mixer is shutting down. They will be partnering with Facebook Gaming, another big name in the livestreaming industry. 

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“We started pretty far behind, in terms of where Mixer’s monthly active viewers were compared to some of the big players out there. I think the Mixer community is really going to benefit from the broad audience that Facebook has through their properties, and the abilities to reach gamers in a very seamless way through the social platform Facebook has”, said Microsoft Head of Gaming Phil Spencer in an interview with The Verge.

Citing 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” as the reason for their closure, Mixer tapped into the massive infrastructure that Facebook had to offer. 

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Mixer streamers had the choice to transition to Facebook Gaming, with Mixer Partners being offered Facebook Gaming Partner status, and streamers under Mixer’s open monetization program being granted eligibility for the Facebook Gaming Level Up Program, with all benefits and existing Partner agreements being matched as closely as possible. Both Mixer and Facebook Gaming released statements and FAQs to assist creators in their transitions.

Where will they go next?

All eyes were on two of the streaming industry’s biggest names; Tyler “Ninja” Blevins and Michael “shroud” Grzesiek. Late last year that they had signed exclusive deals with Mixer. After the announcement, Blevins tweeted that he had “some decisions to make.” However, Korean esports org T1 sent out a tweet revealing details of Ninja joining a Twitch Valorant tournament, leading many to believe that he would return to the purple brand. He also updated his Twitch page, stating that he now plays Valorant. A few hours later, Grzesiek also tweeted that he is “figuring out his next steps.” However, his Mixer link on his Twitter bio had been replaced with a link to his YouTube channel, which led to speculation about his move to that platform. Despite the theories, both have not yet made official announcements.

Regardless, both are free to stream on any platform they choose and were paid the full amount of their contracts, after only months of streaming on Mixer. Industry sources say Blevins made around 30 million USD, while Grzesiek made around 10 million USD. Reports also say that Facebook negotiated to try to keep both on their platform, offering almost double their original Mixer contracts, to which they declined.

Community Outrage

Mixer’s announcement came hot on the heels of former Mixer employee Milan Lee’s twitlonger, who told about his experience, being racially discriminated against during his time with the company. This, along with the news over the weekend of dozens of women coming forward about sexual assault and harassment allegations against industry personnel, started the #CleanUpTheIndustry movement, where some of the platform’s top creators chose to put their streams on hold until the issues were given attention, while some even left.

Creators felt outraged at Mixer’s poor management and lack of empathy toward their creators. Mixer streamers were not informed of the move beforehand, and some were in the middle of their livestreams when the news broke. They were devastated, and rightly so; hundreds of smaller creators who had poured hours into their career and their community were about to lose everything they worked so hard for. Some ranted about the mishandling of the Mixer management, some talked about their next steps in their careers, and some went all out, supporting their fellow streamers until the last minute with Sparks and Embersthe platform’s currencies—and raids. Other live streamers also came in to support, offering their own platforms as avenues for promotion for new channels. 

The official final date for Mixer is July 22, where mixer.com will start redirecting to fb.gg.

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TAGS: Facebook Gaming, Microsoft, Mixer, Ninja, shroud
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