The grand Mixer experiment is over. The Microsoft streaming service, which debuted as “Beam” in 2016 and made headlines when it inked Ninja to an exclusive deal last August and Shroud in October, will close its doors on July 22, with partners and streamers transitioned to Facebook Gaming immediately.
Microsoft’s Phil Spencer told The Verge that they “started pretty far behind” other streaming services in terms of audience compared to other “big players” in the field, and apparently even the presence of top-tier streamers wasn’t enough to make the platform profitable.
Speaking of those big streamers, they’ll be doing just fine — and won’t be going to Facebook. As industry analyst Rod Breslau points out, Facebook made an “insane offer” but was declined:
Sources: Facebook offered an insane offer at almost double for the original Mixer contracts of Ninja and Shroud but Loaded/Ninja/Shroud said no and forced Mixer to buy them out. Ninja made ~$30M from Mixer, and Shroud made ~$10M
Ninja and Shroud are now free agents
— Rod "4475 SR & Immortal peak" Breslau (@Slasher) June 22, 2020
Ninja made his mark on the gaming world by streaming Fortnite: Battle Royale to literally millions of people, granting him the kind of cross-cultural gravitas that Mixer apparently was willing to shell out eight digits for. In the end, though, his presence wasn’t enough to keep the platform from folding, which The Verge describes as “broadening the appeal of its upcoming xCloud game streaming service and its overall gaming efforts.”
In likely unrelated news — these things take a long time to develop, after all — just last night, a former Mixer employee made a blog post detailing the systemic racism that was a part of the company. It’s just a bad way to end things, on multiple levels.