Earlier this week amid allegations of racism in the workplace and sexual assault among the creators on both Twitch and the Mixer platform Microsoft announced the sudden closure of the community-focused streaming platform.
From what it seems Microsoft may have shuttered the streaming service in exchange for some kind of Xbox integration with Facebook Gaming’s expanded game delivery plans. Something that both companies have alluded to as a “broader effort” between the two companies. What this ultimately means will have to wait to be seen as rumors abound.
Interestingly this reporting from New York Times points out Facebook Gaming’s app has been denied for the 5th time by Apple. The post also notes that several people close to the project have confirmed to them that Apple’s objections largely center around “its rules that prohibit apps with the ‘main purpose’ of distributing casual games.” according to the article.
I’d say it is a solid bet this move was already in the works for months and that the deal hinged on the two giant companies not directly competing with each other in the streaming market. Deals like this don’t happen overnight. Facebook gets to absorb Mixer’s content creators and Microsoft gets an integration for XCloud on Facebook.
The implications of the sudden shutdown means that none of the partners accused of sexual harassment will actually be addressed, they will just wind up on another platform now. I doubt this was intentional but these very serious allegations are now lost in the wake of all these people suddenly finding themselves out of work essentially and thousands more with no platform to share their work. Many of whom turned to Mixer to put food on their table during the pandemic after already losing their jobs this year.
It also removes all the bargaining power these streamers might have had when approaching new networks. Microsoft seems to have had a lot of hope people would fall in line with the move to Facebook. Having seen what streamers are being offered though with a 90 day drop dead clause coupled with the concerns over privacy it’s not surprising most are turning to Twitch. By closing down the platform without notice content creators are forced to deal with new platforms on uneven footing losing a major amount of brand equity as new platforms will place less of a premium on their current following and viewership knowing they HAVE to go to one of three established players.
Make no mistake this is one of the worst things to happen to content creators in the short history of the internet. Literally, thousands of people are faced with losing their communities/livelihoods overnight and are left to pick up the pieces on their own.
Another unintended casualty of all this is those who used Mixer to stream directly from their Xbox One leaving all of those people with no way to stream at all when the shutdown finalizes next month. Here is hoping those folks are somehow served by the “broader effort” on Facebook Gaming soon.
Worse still, Mixer staff members were given only a moments notice and streamers largely found out about the abrupt closure of their home from a tweet. Email notifications went out to Mixer partners hours later leaving many to find out in the middle of their broadcasts that they were suddenly losing everything they had worked for years in many cases to build.
I’ve had the pleasure of meeting some of the incredibly talented team that brought Mixer together. It is abundantly clear to partners and viewers alike that many of them were working hard and believed in what they were doing. Many of you perfectly embody the best of what Mixer was attempting to create and I know the community wishes you the best in your next endeavors.
Having been an active part of the Mixer community for several years and a huge believer in both the potential of the platform and its stated goal of putting community first and foremost I wanted to share with you some of my friends whose content and communities I have come to enjoy.
Britni and Covent – Two of the most welcoming and outspoken voices on the Mixer platform. They built one of the largest and most active communities Mixer hosted. Their voices helped shape Beam/Mixer into something we all loved and they rose to be two of the most well-known streamers on the platform earning the respect and friendship of their fellow partners as well as staff.
King Bailey Bomb – The very first person I followed on Mixer. A talented and competitive gamer he is the loudest voice on Mixer as he will tell you “I’m not a streamer, I’m a screamer.” One of the most helpful and open people I met on the platform to this day. His reputation landed him a community leadership award in recognition for his dedication to the Mixer family. This guy is a PUBG god and plays mainly shooters but I’ve caught him on the ice in NHL2K.
itsWASD – One of the people whose content and dedication continually impresses me. itsWASD has a true passion for supporting content creators having created intros and graphics for nearly everyone on Mixer at some point in their career. She surprised everyone when she singlehandedly organized and produced The Mixer Streamer Awards show 2 years running featuring live voting and balloting and even parody commercials; one of the coolest things I have ever seen in the live streaming world.
ReAnimateHer – RAH is hands down one of the most helpful and giving people I followed on Mixer. Her community affectionately called the “Horde” is home to many horror fans and fellow content creators many of whom I have come to call friends. When she is not playing Friday the 13th or other horror titles with her community she is chatting movies or teaching people to set up their own streams.
Filthy_Odds – A masked killer with an obsession for video games. Always hilarious, often NSFW, Filthy_Odds walks a fine line with a big heart. A fan of HORRORCORE rap, he mains Dead By Daylight and hosts weekly Mortal Kombat streams for his community to give each other some lumps and laughs.
Cataliexo – One of my favorite horror gamers I had the pleasure to meet through Mixer. She is incredibly supportive of the genre and her community. Her bubbly personality is infectious be warned its hard to have a bad day listening to her. Much like RAH, Cataliexo provides an amazingly welcoming home for horror lovers to chat and hang out.
DEVGAMER – DEV’s content defies explanation. You might catch him farming in Roblox or working on his Minecraft builds or you might catch his face literally melting off in the middle of a hair metal jam. A full-time game developer and proud father he collects game consoles, loves karaoke, and has a passion for retro games that matches his expertise on the subject stemming from working in the game industry for several decades.
CaptainRoBear – A bar owner turned bard. Captain RoBear runs one of the most amazing Dungeons & Dragons streams I have had the pleasure of enjoying over the years. Hands down the most interactive DnD shows on the internet. An amazing DM and a genuinely warm and supportive human. With his cast of incredible improv streamers at his side, he produces a 5-6 hour live improved role-playing adventure several times a week combining sometimes over 5+ remote stream sources into one broadcast. These people have brought me to tears on more than one occasion and rekindled my love for DnD in a huge way.
Tonzy – One of the most creative and fearless people I’ve met on Mixer. A self-taught makeup artist with a love for first-person shooters, Tonzy was on the front lines every single stream standing as a beacon for LGBTQ+ gamers. I’ve shared their content on our social feeds many times over the last couple of years. The day before Mixer was shut down on all of us Tonzy produced an amazing Drag Wars charity stream marathon raising money for The Trevor Project for PRIDE month which was an incredibly fun and inspiring way to unknowingly send off the platform.