Microsoft Scraps Game Streaming Platform

Microsoft tried to compete with Amazon's Twitch but its Mixer service saw "almost no growth in a medium that has otherwise been exploding."
Matthew HellerJune 23, 2020

Microsoft is shutting down its Mixer live-streaming gaming platform after struggling to compete with rivals such as Amazon’s Twitch and YouTube Gaming.

Microsoft bet heavily on Mixer after acquiring the service, then known as Beam, in 2016, making exclusive deals with content creators such as Ninja, formerly with Twitch, and Shroud and integrating Mixer with its Xbox consoles.

But after what Windows Central called “a journey of highs and lows,” the company said Monday it would wind down Mixer’s operations and transition users to Facebook Gaming as part of a new partnership with the social media giant.

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“The success of [content] partners and streamers on Mixer is dependent on our ability to scale the platform for them as quickly and broadly as possible,” Microsoft said in a statement. “It became clear that the time needed to grow our own live-streaming community to scale was out of measure with the vision and experiences that Microsoft and Xbox want to deliver for gamers now.”

According to a recent survey of top video game streaming platforms, Mixer saw only 0.2% growth in viewership year over year as of April 2020 while Twitch and Facebook Gaming both grew in the triple figures. Viewership for the streaming industry as a whole rose 99%.

Mixer “attempted to compete with Twitch by stealing away big-name creators with exclusivity contracts, only to see almost no growth in a medium that has otherwise been exploding,” Forbes said.

Starting on July 22, all Mixer sites and apps will redirect users to Facebook Gaming. “Transitioning the Mixer community is a key part of a broader effort that Xbox and Facebook are embarking on,” Microsoft said.

According to The Verge, Microsoft will work closely with Facebook to bring its xCloud gaming service to Facebook Gaming. “Microsoft has talked about reaching 2 billion gamers with its vision for xCloud, but Mixer wasn’t in a strong enough position to help achieve that goal,” The Verge said.

More than 700 million users per month come to Facebook Gaming to play games, watch gaming videos, or engage in gaming groups, according to Facebook.

(Photo by Sezgin Pancar/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)