Mixer, Microsoft’s proprietary streaming platform, is shutting down in exactly a month. The company will transition to using Facebook’s own streaming platform, Facebook Gaming, on July 22. As the saying goes: If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.
Since its launch as “Beam” in January 2016 (the service would later be renamed Mixer in May 2017), Mixer has struggled to find an audience. YouTube, Twitch and even Facebook Gaming took the majority of game-streaming viewership, and not even major acquisitions such as getting e-celebrities such as “Ninja” to stream exclusively on the platform seemed enough to turn things around. Now, those streamers will be free to stream on Twitch or wherever they please.
“We started pretty far behind, in terms of where Mixer’s monthly active viewers were compared to some of the big players out there,” Microsoft head of gaming Phil Spencer said in an interview with The Verge. “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.”
If you have anything you’ve bought through the platform, such as Ember balances or subscriptions, it’s unclear if you’ll be able to get a full refund, but you will get an Xbox gift card for whatever amount remains, so that’s something. Furthermore, Mixer streamers who have partner statuses or monetization will be automatically granted Facebook Gaming’s equivalent statuses.
This decision comes the year of two important launches for Microsoft: its next console, the Xbox Series X, and xCloud, Microsoft’s cloud-based project which promises the ability to directly stream high-end videogames to your devices, much like Google Stadia. The latter project is especially important for its relation to Mixer, as the platform simply didn’t draw in enough of an audience to viably integrate with xCloud.
Now, with Facebook Gaming’s larger crowd, Spencer hopes more people will be able to interact with xCloud, and also stated he hopes the initiative will be the start of a relationship between the two monolithic companies.
You have one month to stream or watch all the games you want on Mixer, to your heart’s content. After then, Mixer will go the way of Nintendo’s Miiverse and Sony’s PlayStation Vue.