Microsoft to Shut Down Mixer in July, Move Streamers to Facebook Gaming

Livestreaming service has struggled to compete with Twitch and YouTube during its 4-year run

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Game streamer Tyler "Ninja" Blevins. Photo: Getty Images

Microsoft will shut down its Mixer livestreaming service on July 22 and transition all viewers and streamers to Facebook Gaming as part of a new partnership, the tech giant shared on Monday.

The decision comes less than a year after Mixer signed Tyler “Ninja” Blevins, one of the biggest names in esports, to an exclusive streaming deal reportedly worth more than $20 million. Blevins had 50 million viewers on Twitch when the deal was announced last August. Still, the service has struggled to reach anywhere near the same heights as Twitch and YouTube when it comes to pulling in viewers.

“We started pretty far behind, in terms of where Mixer’s monthly active viewers were compared to some of the big players out there,” Phil Spencer, Microsoft’s head of gaming, told The Verge on Monday. “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.”

With the service shuttering, Blevins and other top Mixer streamers, like Cory “King Gothalion” Michael, and Michael “Shroud” Grzesiek, will be released from their contracts and allowed to stream elsewhere.

Mixer had about 30 million monthly viewers, Microsoft said in its latest update last summer; for comparison, Twitch averaged 15 million daily viewers at the same time.

On July 22, anyone heading to Mixer’s website or app will be redirected to Facebook Gaming. As part of the partnership, Microsoft’s Project xCloud, its upcoming cloud gaming service, will be integrated in some fashion with Facebook down the line.

Wall Street didn’t seem to mind the news much on Monday, with Microsoft’s shares increasing 2.4% on the day to nearly $200 per share.