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Microsoft Shuts Down Mixer, Buys Out Ninja and Shroud

Aaron Alford

Microsoft announced on Monday that they will be shutting down their Mixer livestreaming platform on July 22nd and will be partnering with Facebook Gaming to transition Mixer Partners onto the Facebook Gaming livestreaming platform. In exchange, Facebook will be working with Microsoft to implement xCloud technology into Facebook Gaming. Mixer made headlines last year by signing prolific streamers Tyler “Ninja” Blevins and Michael “Shroud” Grzesiak to exclusive streaming contracts. Despite reportedly dropping huge sums on those streamer deals, Mixer has continued to struggle to gain market share over its competitors: Twitch and YouTube Gaming.


Fusion and Shock will compete against Seoul and Shanghai in October for the 2020 Overwatch League Championship. (Robert Paul for Blizzard)

“Ultimately, the success of Partners and streamers on Mixer is dependent on our ability to scale the platform for them as quickly and broadly as possible,” the Mixer team explained in a press release. “It became clear 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 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.”

Under the deal with Facebook, Mixer Partners will be immediately given Partner status with Facebook Gaming along with a number of other benefits. Facebook Gaming launched earlier this year with an intention of competing with the likes of Twitch and Youtube. The acquisition of many Mixer streamers will provide an immediate boost of creators to the Facebook platform.  Unfortunately, smaller streamers who haven’t yet achieved Partner status with Mixer will not be receiving any of the benefits of Microsoft’s deal with Facebook.

According to some reports, Facebook offered significant sums of money to Ninja, Shroud, and other big streamers to come over to their platform. However, those streamers insisted that Mixer buy them out instead. According to one source, Ninja made upwards of $30 million on the deal and Shroud made upwards of $10 million. This means that Shroud and Ninja are both looking for a new platform to stream on.

According to a FAQ created for the Mixer community, streamers who are on Mixer now will have until July 22nd to access and download any past streams and VODs. After that time, they will have to submit a written request if they want to access any past VODs. Of course, Mixer will no longer be taking Mixer Pro subscribers and will no longer be processing applications for Mixer Partnership. According to the Mixer press release, users who have Ember balances, channel subscriptions, or Mixer Pro subscriptions will receive Xbox Gift Card credit as “a thank you for [their] engagement on the platform.”

Microsoft intends to pivot their low-latency livestreaming technology toward their new game streaming service, xCloud. xCloud will allow Xbox and PC players to stream Xbox games directly from the cloud. This will allow players with a strong internet connection to test games without downloading them, buy them without needing extra space on their system, or even stream their games directly to a mobile device.

With Mixer shutting down, that leaves YouTube Gaming, Twitch, and Facebook Gaming to battle it out for dominance in the video game livestreaming space.