With the news that Microsoft has shut down its streaming service, Mixer, many are wondering what kind of consequences this move would cause. Some of these consequences are causing some issues, specifically with the streamers who have been affected by it.
The closure of Mixer does make sense in terms of competition. In recent reports, the platform’s yearly growth from April of 2019 came in at just 0.2%, while Facebook Gaming and Twitch both saw major spikes in viewership. A Microsoft told IGN that when Mixer lured Ninja and Shroud from Twitch to sign with them it was a “do or die” deal.
The first signs of trouble really came at the end of 2019 when the company’s founders and CEO’s, Matt Salsamendi and James J. Boehm, leave at a time when the platform seemed to be gaining momentum. With the potential of a new console on the horizon, it seemed like a weird time for the two guys to be leaving.
And now we see that Mixer wasn’t doing as well as we may have thought, and the closure is causing some issues for the employees and streamers of the platform.
It doesn’t look like any of the employees at Mixer were told of the shutdown before it happened, meaning they had no idea that any of the changes were coming and found out right when we did.
We didn't know this was coming. We found out right before you.
— Tara Voelker Wake (@LadieAuPair) June 22, 2020
But for the streamers, while the news was also not told to them before the news broke, they also have to face a moral dilemma of moving to Facebook Gaming, after Facebook has come under fire for its handling of user privacy. Then you have the issue of moving to a new ecosystem they are not familiar with and communicating all the changes to their audience who is trying to move with them. All of this has been put on them in a short amount of time.
Partnered streamer, MoonLiteWolf, spoke about the issue:
“I was always fighting for Mixer because I felt they had the potential to show other platforms how things should be handled between creators and their platform,” said partnered streamer MoonLiteWolf. “They were easy to speak with and let us speak weekly directly to staff about feedback and suggestions. Offered loads of opportunities like hosting our own tourneys, that we had the pleasure to schedule, recruit and host ourselves. And even got us opportunities like being a part of ad campaigns or even chances to walk around and do interviews/represent the company at conventions.”
“We knew this was coming. We knew the company was in trouble, but we held out hope. But the way they dumped all of their streamers and staff so easily, without even a proper heads up, just shows I had hope in a company that didn’t even have hope in themselves.”
Munchkindoom, another partnered streamer, also had his thoughts on how the news was broke to them:
“We knew NOTHING! I woke up and found out from another streamer, and then went to Twitter. They pulled the rug from under us all; we were set for a town hall meeting today as normal. The town hall is where the dissolving of Mixer and the integration into Facebook Gaming was revealed.”
The one good thing about this situation is that Mixer is helping their partnered streamers fast-track to Facebook Gaming and get their streams monetized, if they so desire to do so. However, MoonLiteWolf also spoke to that and has expressed concerns that we are sure many streamers have:
“They gave us information on how to get onboarded and what Facebook is willing to do for you. Honestly, this is the most insulting thing. How did you assume I wanted to go to Facebook Gaming. Am I not free to choose where I want to go?
When reached out to by IGN, Facebook Gaming has made it clear they understand the work they have to do in improving their reputation:
“We know we have to earn back people’s trust. Keeping people’s information safe has to come before anything else, and our bottom line is getting this right. We also get that words only go so far, and we need to prove it. The best way for us to do that is to keep building a great streaming experience where people want to hang out and creators can Thrive. We’ve made a ton of progress, and shipped some really amazing experiences, but the truth is we’re laser-focused on continuing to prove it. We’re just getting started.”
In the end, this is a good thing for Facebook Gaming and has helped them get some good time in the news headlines. Mixer was a good experiment and helped inspire Twitch to improve and build on what they had. We just wish its closure had happened with some more respect for the people that helped build it.
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