Mixer is toast as Microsoft transitions its community to Facebook Gaming

Meanwhile, Twitch and top streamers come under fire for harassment too

    
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So… the streaming industry is on fire.

Earlier today, Microsoft announced that it’s effectively ending Mixer’s run as a streaming platform on July 22nd, diverting its links and fans to Facebook Gaming instead and setting free some of its exclusive partners, including Ninja and Shroud, who earned millions for jumping from Twitch to Mixer last year.

“Ultimately, the success of Partners and streamers on Mixer is dependent on our ability to scale the platform for them as quickly and broadly as possible,” Microsoft says. “It became clear that the time needed to grow our own livestreaming community to scale was out of measure with the vision and experiences that Microsoft and Xbox want to deliver for gamers now, so we’ve decided to close the operations side of Mixer and help the community transition to a new platform. To better serve our community’s needs, we’re teaming up with Facebook to enable the Mixer community to transition to Facebook Gaming. This is a key part of a broader effort that Xbox and Facebook Gaming are embarking on, bringing new experiences and opportunities to the entire world of gaming.”

The move comes just as women from across the games industry have been posting their abuse survival stories to Twitter (collected now on Medium), with multiple sexism, racism, and harassment accusations lobbed at everyone from Twitch stars and Mixer staff to a Blizzard CM and a former SOE/NCsoft dev (the latter of whom did post an apology). Twitch itself has been accused of failing to act on behalf of victims.

Source: Mixer, Medium, Druidsfire, Twitch. Cheers, Arktouros.
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Michael18

The approach of Microsoft was similar to what Tencent/Epic are doing with the Epic Store: spend a lot of cash to take away something from consumers and lock it behind your own platform. Okay, in case of Mixer it wasn’t that bad because you did not have to install anything or pay for watching, but you had your streamers be removed from the platform you were used to and content with.

Good to see this didn’t succeed in case of Mixer and let’s hope it won’t in case of the Epic Store either. However, I’m afraid Tencent is able/willing to spend more money on the Epic Store than Microsoft was in case of Mixer. We’ll see.

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traja

I can see the Epic strategy working much better since they are using money on something that really ties users to the service instead of just hiring attractions. For example I haven’t spent any money on the Epic Games Store but I do have a fairly big game library there just from the freebies. That motivates me to keep using the launcher. Mixer only had that effect if you were a die hard fan of Ninja or Shroud and the effect stopped the moment you stopped being a die hard fan.

I’m a little conflicted about how to feel about these strategies. It’s not the healthiest form of competition but monopolies are not exactly healthy either. I think I might prefer having to use multiple game launchers over having a single one that takes advantage of their monopoly status.

Techno Wizard
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Techno Wizard

One year ago: “Bye bye Twitch, haha. Never again!”

Now: “Well gee, this is awkward.”

As for the strong accusations I hope they are resolved in time. Twitch will probably always be popular, though.

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traja

“Always” is a long time and I doubt that even Twitch has that kind of staying power. What will probably happen is that they will dominate their particular niche as long as that niche remains relevant. Inevitably at some point people will transition to new forms of entertainment.

It’s an interesting phenomena that direct competition is very difficult in the digital services space. The traditional method of offering the same or higher quality for cheaper just doesn’t appear to work. It seems that you need the dominant competitor to make mistakes bad enough to drive people away but you can’t really pull them away.

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Jim Bergevin Jr

Unfortunately both Twitch and YouTube have their monopolies right now, and we see what happens as long as the big boys keep bringing in the money for them.

Techno Wizard
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Techno Wizard

I suspect Twitch may be around a long time after Facebook fades away. Microsoft will probably still be around. As will Apple, among others, but that’s not who this story is about and I’m straying from the point. Apple are probably having a good laugh at Microsoft that they are not caught up with this event given Apple’s new split from Intel chips shocker. But that’s another story. Apple have enough on their plate, bleh straying off again.

Mixer was definitely competition for Twitch but not for much longer. I don’t even rate Facebook. Yeah there will be less competition. But will Twitch welcome exiles back with open arms? That’s what i will be watching out for next. Exiles of Twitch could find themselves less than welcome, which would be ironic. I think Twitch will let them come back though, unscathed. Time will tell.

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traja

It seems financially insane to not let the biggest subscription attractions of old back onto the service. How much their viewer numbers will suffer is an open question though. I would guess that Ninja or Shroud returning would cause an initial spike in viewership that quickly fades.

Yangers
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Yangers

Don’t mostly older people use facebook now? I deleted mine ages ago.

Techno Wizard
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Techno Wizard

Alas for Microsoft’s strategy, as I have not gone to Facebook for years. Although Facebook are probably rejoicing at that. Only joking. But Microsoft might not have the amount of supporters it enjoyed at Mixer due to a lack of platform fans making the switch and going elsewhere.

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Ailsa Nordstrom

Yes, it has an increasingly older demographic. But I do follow CSGO and related pages on Facebook. When ESL (who I had already been following) decided they were going to hold their CSGO tournament exclusively on Facebook streaming, I figured I’d be notified when new matches started or at the very least be given the schedule since I already followed the game, ESL, CSGO teams, etc. Not once during the entire tournament was I given any notice. Never did I see Facebook attempt to draw my attention to any currently streaming matches. Only occasionally did I get any news regarding any of the concluded matches. If Facebook and Microsoft want to actually make a go of this, Facebook needs to do a LOT more than they have in the past.

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Jack Pipsam

It’s a shame in many ways, Mixer is/was a very cool platform IMO. Back when it first launched as Beam, its main claim to fame was how damn fast it was. Twitch had significant delay then between streamer and viewer, making it harder for reacting to comments. But Beam was around a second of delay, Mixer being so damn low-latency really forced Twitch to up their game.

It was cute, it had lots of neat features, multi-streamer/camera sync in one-stream native support where viewers could change the size or focus on one camera, all kinds of in-stream widget support and just a lot of cool fluff.
But it could never get the numbers and without that it was only ever a small but dedicated community.

Before the whole Ninja thing, Mixer was regarded by many I noticed on Twitter as a kind of refuge from Twitch. Twitch’s endless toxicity and drama wasn’t nearly as prevalent on Mixer, so it became a pseudo-‘safe space’ for many, Mixer had extremely clear guidelines on dress and conduct, for a while they seemed pretty quick to react to anyone coming in and causing a muck for streamers. There was a real community vibe to it.
Which of course is made ironic now with the recent damning exposé by MilanKLee about the culture within the company.

But it all changed with Ninja, they spent a lot of money to bring Ninja and other streamers in and it upset the balance within the Mixer community instantly. I remember some Mixer streamers questioning how Mixer could have their praised conduct in place after Ninja’s various controversies with him now being banner-boy.
All the attention went to the flashy Twitch streamers who were bought, they would get their decent views from people clicking through from Twitter when they were live and instantly leaving.
Like real life trickle-down economics, it did little to help the rest of the platform, if anything it hindered it by blowing up the small, but dedicated community in place.

Mixer was a good thing, it was a neat platform with a cute community which offered slight but still existing competition to Twitch.
But it’s dead now.
Folk won’t go to Facebook, they’ll go back to Twitch and its many-many disasters. There’ll be that slight less incentive to innovate and folk will lose their jobs.

But why now?
I think to me it’s obviously about the Xbox Series X. If they killed Mixer after the console is released, people will collate the two together, so for the Xbox Series X narrative it’s better to have Mixer removed before the console comes out so it won’t be part of the console story.

Which is shitty, but hey, corporations lol.

R.I.P Mixer, I liked ye’

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Schlag Sweetleaf
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Techno Wizard
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Techno Wizard

“Get Twitch too!” so returners are put off. A cunning plan.

But I suspect Twitch is about to enjoy a renaissance.

agemyth 😩
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agemyth 😩

I hate Facebook more than I hate Amazon, but everything sucks.

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Hikari Kenzaki

We’ve been heading toward this road with mega streamers for a while now.

Many are the modern-day equivalent of 80’s child actors, gaining more fame and fortune in a short amount of time than they know how to deal with it.

And there have been plenty of streaming platforms and game companies looking to exploit that popularity. They have not given care to the communities of hate and complacency that have grown to fuel these streams, only that they keep putting money into the system and keep buying new games.

As companies become more dependent on these huge streamers, they can get away with more, normalize hate and harass anyone who gets in their way or tries to resist them.

It is up to the communities of these platforms and streamers to decide this is not okay. The technologies are not the problem, but the people who prop bigots and worse up for profit need to go. And each and every viewer needs to decide if the communities they are a part of truly reflect their values.

If every third chat message is a slur or attack on someone, maybe that isn’t the place you want to be associated.
If the streamer or moderators aren’t able to interact with you, maybe they’re getting enough attention and you could find someone else to support.
If a streamer or youtuber or another content creator constantly makes attack, clickbait, or hit pieces on marginalized groups, women and indie devs, maybe consider their motives.
Look for small streamers, black streamers, queer streamers, women streamers, etc who are playing the same game.
Look for streamers supporting charities. They could probably use your $2.50 (because the platform gets the other $2.50) more than a mega streamer.

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Arktouros

Another throwback term from the 80s is “Shock Jock” where people are purposely controversial for the sake of entertainment. Many streamers have adopted this idea and come up with various personas that people find entertaining even if that doesn’t reflect their actual personality.

They do this because there’s a demand for it by the viewers you’re trying to appeal to the better natures of.

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Louie

Relevant to note Mixer itself has just yesterday been accused of failing to deal with racism from its employees too

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Hikari Kenzaki

This isn’t just something they thought up yesterday though. This had been in the works. They just announced it today to bury it in WWDC news.

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Louie

Oh, for sure! I wasn’t trying to imply that there was cause and effect here, just that it was as relevant to the article as the allegations against Twitch are and felt they should be shared since it hasn’t spread as much.

Freddy
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Freddy

Twitch needs to clean house. So many male staff members using their power for the wrong reasons. Twitch claims they are inclusive but are they really though? They say they will act but we don’t see any action at all.

And lets talk about game companies who allow this kind of behavior to exist. (*ahem Daybreak, Blizzard, Activision *end-ahem) An example of this would be Margaret Krohn, who was one of the best Game Designers SOE had, yet they decided to throw her to “forum scrolling job”. I don’t know Maggie’s whole story (and that is her story to tell) but it just makes me ashamed to support Daybreak when even today there is more than likely something going on between an idiotic male and a brilliant team member. (Just my 2 cents.)

There are some kick ass females in the industry who don’t need to show their worth because the games/projects they are on and attitude speak for themselves. Just wish game companies would see that and not let “The Man” do it.

Think about this: if there was no sexism, no homophobia, no prejudice, imagine how progressive games could be. I just think that game companies need to be more active on how they approach these allegations. A lot of them are all talk and no show. All I am saying is think about who you give your $14.99 subscription to.

Also the whole Omeed situation is a clusterfrick. His wife (I assume they are together) is the co-founder of OPG, so even if he left wouldn’t he still be profiting from it? If you think about it, he basically got paid to abuse a female. What the hell did stepping down do? I know he somewhat apologized but his smugness in his words didn’t bode well with me. Seems like he was trying to save OPG’s reputation… but honestly it seems it is a bit late for that.

/endrant

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Arktouros

How much more progressive would they be? I can’t really imagine it as we already see crazy diverse set of characters, stories and backgrounds in gaming entertainment. What would the ultimate progressive scenario look like?

Also what is stopping these people from starting their own companies and setting about their own dreams? That’s not rhetorical, it’s a direct question about what barriers exist for them? While I suppose one could make the argument that there may be funding issues, such as investors not wanting to provide funding, is that as much of a thing in an age of crowd funded games?

I just see this kind of sentiment a lot but other than vague ideas and statements no one seems to really have a concrete goal in mind let alone any kind of plan on how to navigate the obstacles to get there.

Freddy
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Freddy

My main point was the “big booby big gun” mindset of the developers. Open to interpretation I guess.

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Arktouros

I guess I just don’t really understand how that would be more progressive but instead just a generalized critique towards games that cater towards fantasy like ideas. Like I can’t even think of a scenario where there was large scale backlash that the women in a particular game weren’t attractive enough kinda thing. Since it’s the internet I’m sure someone, somewhere said something along those lines however there isn’t some mass rejection of a title is what I’m getting at.

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Jo Watt

It is just too many people speaking on behalf of others when they dont even understand or actually care about those other peoples feelings.

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Sorenthaz

Disappointing since Mixer seemed to have a decent setup, and I avoided following a streamer who went from Twitch to Facebook live because I don’t want to deal with making a fake account or using my personal account with my name/etc. tied to it.

Mixer’s main issue seemed to be similar to Youtube where the chat/emote game just didn’t have the same level of Twitch. Mixer had some fun ideas but they didn’t really stick well enough I guess. Also when they can only really take popular streamers off Twitch to their platform instead of build new folks up, that’s a problem as well since they were just artificially boosting their platform with a few big names.

Oh well, guess the Twitch monopoly on livestreams (with Youtube/others filling in the gaps) will remain for the forseeable future.