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Microsoft has officially shut down its Mixer service, with fans now wondering what’s next for Fortnite streamer Ninja. Failing to compete with Twitch’s dominance in the game streaming industry, Microsoft is instead pivoting to Facebook Gaming as part of a new deal, with Mixer no longer operating as its own service starting from July.
Mixer made waves after acquiring a slew of big-name streamers in exclusive contracts. These included the likes of Tyler “Ninja” Blevins, arguably the most famous streamer in the world, who stopped streaming with Twitch after partnering with the Microsoft platform.
But now the likes of Ninja, Shroud, and other big Mixer names will head elsewhere, with Mixer closing its doors as a standalone platform.
“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 Microsoft’s head of gaming Phil Spencer in a statement. “I think the Mixer community is really going to benefit from the broad audience that Facebook has through their properties, and the abilities to reach gamers in a very seamless way through the social platform Facebook has.”
So what does this mean for Ninja, Shroud, and co.? Streamers previously aligned with Mixer will now be given the option to choose the service they wish to continue with. This could include following Microsoft to Facebook Gaming, or heading back to Twitch.
As noted in a post from Mixer outlining the changes, Mixer Partners such as Ninja “will be granted partner status with Facebook Gaming, and the platform will honor and match all existing Partner agreements as closely as possible. Mixer Partners will receive an update from Mixer today on how to kickoff the sign-up process.”
Considering that Ninja was signed to Mixer by way of an exclusive contract, it’s unclear if this contract will tie him into continuing his streams with Facebook Gaming. If not, it’s arguable that Ninja wouldn’t opt to continue receiving revenue via Facebook Gaming, given that his opportunities with Twitch would likely net him more cash.
According to esports journalist Richard Lewis, both Ninja and Shroud have opted out of negotiations with Facebook and have received their full payments from their previous deal. They are both allegedly free to talk with other platforms, including Twitch.
Sources familiar with the deal have informed me that while Facebook did try and negotiate to keep their big partners both Shroud and Ninja opted out. They have received their full payments and as of midnight yesterday were free to engage in talks with other platforms. Game on.
— Richard Lewis (@RLewisReports) June 22, 2020
It’s suspected that many will return to Twitch given Facebook Gaming’s lack of dominance in this area. While Facebook undoubtedly has many more users, livestreaming isn’t as lucrative for big money-makers like Ninja on the social networking site as it would be on Twitch. Given that Ninja could continue raking in ad revenue, subscription revenue, and donations on Twitch, it’s likely that he’ll return to the platform that made him famous.