Microsoft has announced it will be closing down Mixer, its streaming service which was originally envisioned as a rival to Twitch and YouTube Gaming.
The sudden announcement was made yesterday and expanded upon by Xbox boss Phil Spencer in an article by The Verge, where he outlined the future for Microsoft’s streaming vision and catalogue of creators. It seems this news was a surprise to many.
“We started pretty far behind, in terms of where Mixer’s monthly active viewers were compared to some of the big players out there,” explains Phil Spencer.
“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.”
The service itself will close on July 22nd, with all existing creators being offered a chance to migrate over to Facebook Gaming, or another platform such as YouTube or Twitch. Major players such as Ninja and Shroud, who were offered millions to stream exclusively on the service, are now free agents.
Related: Upcoming Xbox One Games
Microsoft hopes to use this migration onto Facebook Gaming as an opportunity to expand Project xCloud, offering viewers an opportunity to jump immediately into a game that is being played by their favourite content creators through on-demand streaming, essentially bringing them into the existing Xbox ecosystem.
“It wasn’t as much about return on sell, it was about finding a partnership that was the best thing for the community and streamers,” Spencer said. “We think this is it, and it gives us a great place to launch more xCloud content and give gamers the ability to play from there.”
“When we think about xCloud and the opportunity to unlock gameplay for 2 billion players, we know it’s going be critically important that our services find large audiences and Facebook clearly gives us that opportunity,” says Spencer.
Could this mean that Facebook intergration will be a fundemanetal part of Xbox Series X, or will it simply exist inside the social network itself for gaining access to Project xCloud through your desktop or smart device? This move from Microsoft raises a lot of questions, and we’re not entirely sure users will be happy with Facebook acting as a building block for their new console.