Microsoft recently outlined plans to sunset its Mixer video game live streaming service, once slated to rival the likes of Twitch and YouTube Gaming. The broadcasting platform saw four years under Redmond's care, leaving a legacy of disruptive changes, but handicapped by its performance. Microsoft has partnered with Facebook Gaming to aid Mixer's closure, providing a streamlined transition between platforms.
Mixer's most memorable time in the spotlight came via on-site talent, locking down exclusive contracts for Tyler "Ninja" Blevins, Michael "Shroud" Grzesiek, and Cory "King Gothalion" Michael. Ninja's debut saw Mixer mindshare skyrocket, scooping up Twitch's former front-runner via multi-year deal, with reports suggesting $20 to $30 million changing hands. Microsoft cooked up similar arrangements for Shroud and King Gothalion — also prompting rival services to lock down their prominent brands and faces.
But with Mixer winding down operations, those streamers are now free to choose their next endeavor. "Facebook Gaming is welcoming all Mixer Partners," Microsoft tells Windows Central. "Ultimately it's up to them as they think about the next step for their careers, in the same way it's up to all Mixer Partners." Esports consultant Rod Breslau since reports that Facebook looked to double the initial settlements for Ninja and Shroud, but Microsoft bought out the existing contracts, instead.
With Mixer's talent now deciding on where to move next, top streamers have taken online to share their response to the closure. Blevins was the first to comment, acknowledging the impact on the broader Mixer community, with "some decisions to make" for his future. Now free to move elsewhere, his return to Twitch remains a possibility.
Grzesiek later followed up with a similar statement, but his next streaming destination was yet to be confirmed. The streamer established over 7 million followers on Twitch, and now free to move to new platforms, his return could be on the cards.
Gothalion has unveiled his imminent plans, making Microsoft's suggested move to Facebook Gaming. Michael announced the decision via Twitter, although the terms of his relocation remain unclear as of publication.
"Ten months ago, I joined the Mixer team, and my hope was to help create a more robust and competitive streaming market," Cory "King Gothalion" Michael stated. "— while mentoring streamers on Mixer, helping them grow their brands, and create a space we can all feel safe streaming in. My mission hasn't changed. I'll be joining the Facebook Gaming team, and just like them, my doors will be open to all Mixer streamers looking to find a new home."
The sudden closure has left many Mixer Partners uncertain for their future, with Microsoft set to shutter the platform on July 22, 2020. The website and applications will redirect to Facebook Gaming, wiping countless streaming profiles, and their audiences in the process. Microsoft's Facebook deal hopes to provide a "bridge" for Mixer Partners to migrate, including guaranteed partner status on the platform.