In a shock announcement on the Xbox Wire , Xbox boss Phil Spencer confirmed that Mixer is being shut down. The service will officially be unavailable on July 22, 2020.
The shutdown is not linked to a former Mixer employee’s allegations of racial discrimination by members of the Mixer team.
Beginning now, the Xbox team will be working to transition the Mixer community to Facebook Gaming. A post on the Mixer blog confirmed that Mixer Partners would become partners on Facebook Gaming and those using Mixer’s monetization system will be eligible for the Facebook Gaming Level Up Program.
However, two Mixer Partners who will not be making the move to Facebook Gaming are Ninja and Shroud. A tweet by journalist Richard Lewis cited anonymous sources who said that Facebook did try to make a deal with Ninja and Shroud but the streamers wanted no part of it. “They have received their full payments and as of midnight yesterday were free to engage in talks with other platforms,” said Lewis.
The streaming platform has signed exclusive deals with Ninja, Shroud, and many other streamers over the last 12 months, getting them to move from platforms like Twitch. While the deals were rumored to be multi-year partnerships, ending them early means that the streamers have made the same amount of money for less than a third of the work. It also leaves the streamers open to sign new deals with another streaming platform or make a major return to Twitch.
The move has blindsided many in the industry, with Mixer employees also being surprised by the news. Many are now wondering what this could mean for the Xbox team and the launch of the Xbox Series X.
As the Xbox gets trolled by reveals of fake consoles, Mixer could have been an important tool to claw some of its popularity back. The deals with Shroud and Ninja could have also helped Xbox Series X consoles fly off of the shelves.
The Xbox team had created an Xbox Game Pass ad with Shroud, showing that it knows how much money streamers can make the company. With Mixer being moved to Facebook Gaming, the plan to make the Xbox Series X a success could now look very different.