Microsoft has announced that it is to cease its Mixer livestreaming platform next month and instead partner with Facebook Gaming going forward from July 22.
Making the announcement in a blog post on the Mixer website and an accompanying release on the Xbox Wire last night, Phil Spencer said that '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.'
As a result, all Mixer sites and apps will redirect to Facebook Gaming from July 22, with Mixer Partners being granted Partner status automatically within Facebook Gaming and Microsoft promising to 'match all existing Partner agreements as closely as possible' on the new platform. Non-partners also eligible for the open monetization program on Mixer will be able to continue to earn money through Facebook Gaming's own similar Level Up Program and will be able to convert their accounts through connecting their Facebook and Mixer accounts.
Viewers meanwhile will be able to connect their accounts and see the Facebook pages of any Mixer streams they follow, but are encouraged to spend any Embers or Sparks (Mixer's own currencies) before the closure as their creators will recieve double payment for all their earnings in June. Any viewers with an outstanding balance, active subscriptions or Mixer Pro subscriptions come the switchover will recieve an Xbox Gift Card credit as a thank you. The Mixer app on Xbox One will be 'temporarily disabled' after July 22 with the apps themselves either redirecting or notifying users of the change.
In moving to Facebook Gaming, Spencer said they intend to work closely with the company in the future as part of a 'broader effort' the companies are embarking on in 'bringing new experiences and opportunities to Facebook' particularly in relation to Project xCloud technology.
The news comes less than a year after high profile streamers Ninja and Shroud signed exclusivity deals with Mixer - according to Facebook Gaming's Vivek Sharma in a statement to The Verge, these high profile streamers are now able to return to Twitch saying whether they make the jump across to Facebook being 'Up to them and their priorities'. Though sources reporting to eSports insider Rod Breslau claim that both were offered double for their original Mixer contracts by Facebook, only to turn them down in favour of Mixer buying them out netting $30 million dollars for Ninja and $10 million for Shroud and making them both free agents - at the time of writing, neither has made a final decision on their future.