Microsoft's attempts to overthrow Twitch as the streaming platform king have abruptly come to a halt, with the announcement that Mixer will soon be no more. Despite all the money thrown into the service in order to secure exclusivity contracts with streaming icons such as Ninja, Microsoft is throwing in the towel as of today, with Mixer to exist on life support for another month until the service shuts down on July 22nd. Following that date, Mixer will then redirect to Facebook Gaming, in the hopes of finding success by combining Facebook's popularity and Microsoft's xCloud technology, which will, according to the company, ideally let you seamlessly switch from checking out gameplay videos to actually playing them with just one click. Mircosoft purchased Mixer, previously called Beam, in 2016, where they heavily pushed the service to compete with both YouTube Gaming and Twitch to no avail.
For us at Xbox, the player is at the center of the gaming experience, always. It’s our responsibility to make sure great games and related experiences go to meet players wherever they are. Our priority and focus is on the world-class content being made by our 15 Xbox Game Studios, the evolution of Xbox Game Pass, the launch of Xbox Series X, and the global opportunity to play anywhere with Project xCloud.
Bringing that vision to life, for as many people as possible, will see us working with different partners, platforms, and communities for years to come. It will also see us adjusting our strategy to best serve players wherever they gather daily, which includes the category of livestreaming. We’re grateful for the collective work from the Mixer community in creating a welcoming, supportive, and positive place from day one.
Ultimately, the success of Partners and streamers on Mixer is dependent on our ability to scale the service for them as quickly and broadly as possible. It became clear that the time needed to grow our own livestreaming community to scale was out of measure with the vision and experiences we want to deliver to gamers now, so we’ve decided to close the operations side of Mixer and help the community transition to a new platform. To better serve our community’s needs, we’re teaming up with Facebook to enable the Mixer community to transition to Facebook Gaming.
Beginning today, Facebook Gaming will make it easy for anyone in the Mixer community to join, if they choose to do so. We will work to transition the Mixer community over the next few weeks. Starting on July 22, all Mixer sites and apps will redirect users to Facebook Gaming. For Mixer Partners, streamers, and viewers, we expect you’ll have many questions – you can find more details on how we will support the transition to Facebook Gaming on the Mixer blog here.
Transitioning the Mixer community is a key part of a broader effort that Xbox and Facebook Gaming are embarking on, bringing new experiences and opportunities to Facebook, where every month more than 700 million people play a game, watch a gaming video, or interact in a gaming Group.
Continued Focus on the Future of Xbox
Everything we’ve done to date at Xbox has been to meet players where they are and reduce the friction between curiosity and play as much as possible. Making it easy for players to discover and play games wherever they are creates new, viable pathways for developers to reach new players and to be rewarded for new ideas. This is where our work can make the widest impact.
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. Gaming is already part of our social fabric, and Project xCloud can take you from discussing a new game – whether it’s a funny in-game moment posted by a friend, an ad, or an ongoing stream – directly to playing it. In the future, through the power of Xbox Live and Project xCloud, we see there being just one click between “I’m watching” and “I’m playing.”
In the meantime, we will continue to invest time, energy, and resources to bring Project xCloud to global scale through Azure. We’re always testing new features and learning, and we’re excited to explore further as we look to debut click-to-play scenarios within the Facebook Gaming and Instagram communities.
Mixer Technology Across Microsoft
Gaming has always pushed technology forward. Livestreaming services, like Mixer, have pioneered a new level of interactive experiences at scale, born from the simple fact that players drive the action in a game. Although the Mixer community will be able to transition to Facebook Gaming, the innovative technology that powered the platform will stay with and live on across Microsoft.
Microsoft Teams will leverage Mixer’s deep investments in ultra-low latency video streaming, real-time interactivity, and video distribution technology to accelerate our ability to support a variety of video-first, virtual experiences from meetings to live events to other broadcast scenarios. Applying these fan-centric capabilities to new productivity experiences will create immersive ways for Teams to empower people, teams, and organizations to better engage in virtual gatherings at work and school.
At Xbox, as we focus on bringing great games and experiences to more people around the world, we look forward to meeting new and even bigger communities as they gather around their favorite games.