In an odd turn of events, Microsoft has decided to shut down Mixer, and direct users of the livestreaming service to Facebook Gaming.
“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,” Phil Spencer, head of Xbox explains in a new post.
The shift is clearly a boon for Facebook, which has been seeking to increase its share of the livestreaming space for a number of years.
On a monthly basis, approximately 700 million users currently play a game, watch a gaming video, or interact in a gaming Group on Facebook.
The move frees top gamers, including Tyler “Ninja” Blevins, from their exclusive contracts with Mixer. They can now stream their gameplay on any platform they choose.
Mixer made headlines less than a year ago when it signed an exclusive streaming contract with Blevins, which was reportedly worth somewhere between $20 million to $30 million.
Whether Blevins and other top gamers choose to stream their games on Facebook Gaming remains to be seem.
“I have some decisions to make and will be thinking about you all as I make them,” Blevins tweeted on Monday.
Spencer described the shift as part of a broader partnership between Xbox and Facebook Gaming, which he hopes with help promote Microsoft’s Project xCloud cloud gaming service.
Gaming is already part of our social fabric, and Project xCloud can take you from discussing a new game — whether it’s a funny in-game moment posted by a friend, an ad, or an ongoing stream — directly to playing it,” Spencer said on Monday.
Amazon-owned Twitch remains the biggest streamer of videogames.
“As the pioneer in this space, Twitch has built a loyal and engaged audience by allowing viewers to directly interact with their favorite streamers,” eMarketer forecasting analyst Peter Vahle said in a report released earlier this year.
In April, Twitch users watched roughly 1.6 billion hours of gaming content, according to streaming software firm StreamElements.
That same month, by contrast, Mixer users watched 37 million hours of gaming fare.