Microsoft is closing the doors on its Mixer streaming service. Three years after Beam was brought into the Xbox fold and renamed to Mixer, Microsoft is shifting focus and partnering with Facebook to provide a platform for the Mixer community to land on.
In an Xbox Wire release, head of Xbox Phil Spencer says its priority is to content being made by Xbox Game Studios, Xbox Game Pass, Series X, and its cloud streaming service Project xCloud.
"Ultimately, the success of Partners and streamers on Mixer is dependent on our ability to scale the service for them as quickly and broadly as possible," said Spencer. "It became clear that the time needed to grow our own livestreaming community to scale was out of measure with the vision and experiences we want to deliver to gamers now, so we've decided to close the operations side of Mixer and help the community transition to a new platform."
That new platform will be Facebook Gaming, where Mixer users will be able to transfer over starting today. On July 22, all Mixer sites and apps will redirect to Facebook Gaming.
In an interview with The Verge, Spencer was candid as to the issues facing Mixer in matching up against other streaming services. "We started pretty far behind, in terms of where Mixer's monthly active viewers were compared to some of the big players out there," said Spencer.
Part of this Facebook partnership is to build on its xCloud streaming service, potentially making use of Facebook's built-in audience. "When we think about xCloud and the opportunity to unlock gameplay for 2 billion players, know it's going to be critically important that our services find large audiences and Facebook clearly gives us that opportunity," Spencer told The Verge.
The Xbox Wire blog also notes possible exploring "click-to-play scenarios within the Facebook gaming and Instagram communities," a feature that Mixer put forward in 2018. While the streaming community will transition to Facebook Gaming, Mixer's technology will still be worked on at Microsoft, utilizing its video latency tech in apps like virtual conferencing tool Microsoft Teams. Meanwhile, streamers who signed lucrative Mixer deals like Ninja and Shroud are now free to stream on Twitch again.