Mixer To Shut Down – But What Went Wrong?…

So, last night we received the bombshell news that Microsoft was officially shutting down its Mixer streaming platform. Well, more accurately, that it had been sold and would be merged into Facebook Gaming. It was a move that practically no one expected, that came without any warning, and, for people who had decided to attempt to make a home on the platform, this has been met with anger, confusion, and in some areas (entirely understandable) outrage!

So, what went wrong that has forced Microsoft to officially abandon streaming? Well, while some of the answers were rather obvious, it still doesn’t seem to shake off the disbelief that this has actually happened!

Mixer To Shut Down!

In the announcement, Microsoft has confirmed that Mixer will officially be shut down on July 22nd with any user accounts automatically being migrated to Facebook Gaming. When you consider, however, that only around a year ago Microsoft had paid two huge online gamers (‘Ninja’ and ‘Shroud’) something in the region of $20m-$30m for exclusivity rights on the platform, the fact that it is now all over seems frankly astonishing!

So, what did go wrong? Well, the bottom line is that Microsoft was hemorrhaging money. Despite drawing some big names over (with even bigger paydays for them), it didn’t ultimately give the platform the quick shot in the arm Microsoft wanted. In a nutshell, the comparative traffic they generated on their original streaming platforms didn’t (largely) follow with them. For example ‘Shrouds’ viewing figures were (roughly) only around a third on Mixer when compared to Twitch.

More than this, however, I think the single biggest issue it saw was lack of promotion. I think they possibly thought that the snatching of ‘Ninja’ and ‘Shroud’ (which admittedly was a major coup at the time) was enough of an advertising push that they didn’t have to invest in anything else to get their platform ‘out there’.

What Happens Now?

The biggest issue with this is the entirely blunt manner in which Microsoft has made this announcement. There have been people who have invested years into building their channels on Mixer and, in one Twitter announcement from Microsoft, they may be facing the prospect of having to do it all over again on another platform. A platform that, incidentally, they clearly must have believed wasn’t as good.

I genuinely feel bad for those people. While Facebook Gaming is the most obvious path forward, however, it’s an answer to a problem that, less than 24-hours ago, no one would have thought imaginable!

What do you think? – Let us know in the comments!

Mike Sanders

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