Well, this was a bit of an unexpected shock to be honest. Microsoft have swiftly killed off their online streaming platform Mixer, which according to the announcement will be folded into Facebook Gaming within a month. Considering that it was only in the last year that big names in the streaming space such as Ninja and Shroud jumped over to the platform for reputedly big money deals it’s one heck of a quick death spiral. Those moves did little to help the platform attract users so it was ultimately an epic failure with Mixer barely registering on the radar while everyone else benefited from substantial improvements to their viewership figures.
Still… I thought it would stick around simply because Microsoft would own the whole process and keep players in their ecosystem but obviously there comes a point where they can get more of a return from using someone else’s platform instead and this was it. I don’t think anyone was ever expecting Mixer to overtake it’s one competitor in the beginning (Twitch) but it did bring in a lot of convenience to people such as myself who could quickly and easily start streaming from their Xbox consoles without dealing with additional accounts. Having the experience so well integrated made it an easy thing to kick off during regular Sea of Thieves sessions on Xbox where we were happy to respond to the one or two visitors we might run into at those times. It was always a good experience too which showed how great the community was when they were paying visits to random streams.
The last day of the service as it stands now is July 22nd and he process to migrate over to Facebook Gaming is already there but it’s fairly basic in terms of what data comes across (ie. not much). Whether it works as well as Mixer in future we won’t really know until an Xbox update replaces the built in broadcast controls to integrate it with the remaining platforms. Will be interesting to see how it works out and how long it’ll be before I share more of my misadventures on the high seas with my friends.
[UPDATE] I’m still wondering just how and why Mixer is winding up so quickly and there could be another possibility that makes sense here and that’s VR. This is a wild stab in the dark of course but Facebook has Oculus and Microsoft has mostly steered clear of consumer VR apart from Windows APIs so Xbox gamers have been missing out. Teaming up with Facebook would give them a potential hardware platform to integrate with while the social media giant gets a pile more content for their services (Xbox streamers) and demand for their hardware too. It might be a win for both.