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Mixer comes to an end: Microsoft teams up with Facebook to close Mixer, grow Project xCloud

Mixer Logo
Mixer Logo (Image credit: Matt Brown / Windows Central)

Since hitting the mainstream with its acquisition of one of the biggest streamers of all time, the question mark over the Mixer's viability has been a persistent issue.

Mixer has grown since its early days as Beam.pro, but it hasn't seen the types of audiences that typically allow people to become career streamers. Frustration with the platform has led many ex-partners to move to other services in recent months for more exposure, whether it's Twitch, YouTube, or indeed, Facebook Gaming, which brings us to today's topic.

Related: Microsoft is closing Mixer — what went wrong?

Today, Microsoft revealed that it is beginning the process to sunset Mixer, planning to "close the operations side of Mixer," and support creators into choosing new platforms.

From the beginning, Mixer has been about creating the most engaging and interactive livestreaming experience. We set out to help streamers build great communities based on deep engagement with their audience. You all have been amazing throughout this journey – the Mixer community has set the industry's bar for welcoming and inclusive communities, and you should be proud of what you have accomplished together.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. 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.

Facebook Gaming

Source: Facebook Gaming (Image credit: Source: Facebook Gaming)

Microsoft is teaming up with Facebook Gaming to provide a "bridge" and direct partnership for all of Mixer's existing partnered streamers. As far as we know, it's only Facebook Gaming offering a direct avenue for partnerships right now. Microsoft expanded, detailing how it intends to help migrate the Mixer community, and offer a new home for streamers who choose to jump across to Facebook instead of other platforms.

Beginning today, Facebook Gaming will make it easy for anyone in the Mixer community to join if they choose to do so. We will work to transition the Mixer community over the next few weeks. Starting on July 22, all Mixer sites and apps will redirect users to Facebook Gaming.Transitioning the Mixer community is a key part of a broader effort that Xbox and Facebook Gaming are embarking on, bringing new experiences and opportunities to Facebook where every month more than 700 million people play a game, watch a gaming video or interact in a gaming Group.

The news came as a bit of a shock to me personally, especially as someone who began streaming on Beam.pro for Windows Central back when all of this came about. However, the writing was ultimately on the wall when Mixer failed to grow during a period when literally everybody was indoors. Many of Mixer's competitors saw triple-digit growth, while Mixer only saw 0.2 percent. The slow pace of updates likely didn't help either, as many of Mixer's unique platform strengths got copied rapidly by its competitors, who then iterated more quickly to bring benefits for those investing in the platform.

Project xCloud meets Facebook Gaming

Xbox Project xCloud Games

Source: Matt Brown / Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Matt Brown / Windows Central)

Facebook isn't exactly the friendliest company, embroiled in what feels like near-weekly controversies. Even when you disregard its inaction over fake news and the spread of weird conspiracy theories across its platform, it's not something typically talked about in the wider core gaming community, despite its massive size. Indeed, Facebook is a platform with billions of users, which by far outstrips the kind of reach Mixer would likely ever be able to achieve, even if they baked it directly into Windows itself. It's with that in mind then, that we come to Microsoft's other announcement, that it will be partnering up with Facebook to bring Project xCloud to the platform.

Key to this vision is our Project xCloud technology, which we see delivering games to all kinds of screens and windows in your life, including those on Facebook. Gaming is already part of our social fabric, and Project xCloud can take you from discussing a new game – whether it's a funny in-game moment posted by a friend, an ad, or an ongoing stream – directly to playing it. In the future, through the power of Xbox Live and Project xCloud, we see there being just one click between "I'm watching" and "I'm playing."

There are no hard details about exactly what they will be doing, but I imagine it will be similar to scenarios posited previously by Google Stadia, such as moving straight from a game stream on YouTube to playing it on Stadia, for example.

Facebook's massive platform size will give the Xbox developer environment more endpoints than PC and Xbox could do by itself, which could help Project xCloud to truly explode if positioned properly. We'll have to wait and see how that plays out.

Bye bye Mixer

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

We grew a nice little channel over there, and I just want to thank and shoutout all the amazing partners and Mixer community members and staff who made streaming there unique and fun. The smaller audience certainly made it difficult to turn streaming into a career over there, but Mixer at least attempted to offer an oasis in a desert of toxicity that generally plagues online video game conversations, with investments in things like its AI moderator system.

The partnership with Facebook Gaming will undoubtedly be a boost for Project xCloud, but for the Mixer community, it remains to be seen whether Facebook can really offer the kind of close-knit community that Mixer once fostered. I made far more friends on Mixer than I ever did streaming on other platforms, with viewers and streamers who were generally awesome people (you know who you are).

If you've enjoyed our streams on Mixer, know that we'll continue streaming the Windows Central Podcast over on our main YouTube channel, and streaming games over on our separate Windows Central Gaming YouTube channel here.

How to get started streaming on Facebook Gaming

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Jez Corden is a Senior Editor for Windows Central, focusing primarily on all things Xbox and gaming. Jez is known for breaking exclusive news and analysis as relates to the Microsoft ecosystem while being powered by caffeine. Follow on Twitter @JezCorden and listen to his Xbox Two podcast, all about, you guessed it, Xbox!

41 Comments
  • Well that's sad. I'm confused about partnering with Facebook for xCloud though, what does that mean exactly and how would it be different from xCloud app already on texting on mobile devices and an xCloud streaming app for windows computers? Edit: I just reread the article and realized I missed the part about one click between watching and gaming, so I get it a little more now.
  • I think this is easily the best outcome by far for Xbox. This is all really about streaming and Facebook gives them a powerful partner against twitch/Amazon and YouTube /stadia. Combine this with the Samsung partnership and the Spotify and Netflix perks xcloud/gamepass will be pretty strong. I do wonder what this means for streamers, bigger platform but I want to hear more about how Xbox will integrate with it. R. I. P. Beam ✊🏿
  • Xbox being too tightly integrated with Mixer is part of what killed it IMO. People want choice. From the outside, the illusion was that Mixer was a spot where Xbox fans congregated for too long.
  • Microsoft should have released a Mixer app for PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch. It can't be just a one platform effort.
  • Maybe it is, in part, the contrarian in me but I will NEVER use Facebook Gaming, just as I refused to sign up for Spotify when Microsoft dumped its digital music store and knee-capped Groove. There are better options out there.
  • That's entirely your choice which you now have. You can use the Amazon owned service or the Google owned service, or check out something smaller like DLive or Caffeine.
  • In a sense, I get it, I suffered thru Spotify for a while but I'm going with Tidal for my music now but what I just don't understand is damn Facebook. I wanted to LEAVE Facebook but now that Xbox is tying their fates to it, we have to continue suffering Facebook and their terrible choices when we should be burning them to the ground!!! 😖
  • Groove is still the best streaming service right up until now. MS is short sighted.
  • Oof, didn't see that one coming.
  • Doing anything with Facebook is reason enough for me personally to avoid it altogether.
  • Facebook Gaming viewers comment with their real name. Yuck.
  • I didn't use Mixer that much but at the same time I don't use Twitch that much. I guess that I'm not in the audience target. One thing that I can tell you tho is that I will never use Facebook Gaming.
  • And why is that? Without trying it how do you know it's bad other than some pre-conceived hatred of a company? Google isn't exactly Mother Theresa and runs the biggest video sharing site on the planet. Amazon wants your money and will use Twitch to sell you anything it can. None of these services are perfect. Mixer was a long a way from perfect. As someone who has actually used Facebook Gaming to both watch and stream on, it has its faults but as a platform it has some quite fantastic tools and features.
  • My hope is that somehow Microsoft can one day wrest control away from Facebook... 😅
  • honestly to me, between FB, Google and Amazon, Facebook is the lesser of Three evils, plus, they're the only service besides YouTube Gaming that has the user base to compete with Twitch. I streamed back and forward on Both Mixer and YouTube Gaming. It was easier for me to get viewers on FBG because I have a decent following on facebook already. The only thing that annoys me about FBG, is it's difficult to manage. First off, it's hard to navigate to it without using a direct URL, 2ndly, it's not good at really recognizing when you are already broadcasting, It would make sense if it just treated it like a FB live stream, and if you hit the live button it already realizes you are streaming (it doesn't). So as a work around I go on my phone, navigate to my feed and use that to monitor my stream. They need to fix this because when I get to a point where I need to bring in Mods for the channel, it's going to be hard for them to manage my stream while I play, mixer made this ridiculously easy and even had dashboard integration with OBS.
    3rd The streaming quality is ok, hopefully, FB will eventually pick up the FTL protocol because it's vastly superior to what they have.
  • Facebook Gaming - a big NO from me
  • Will the Facebook Gaming app be on the Xbox home page next month?
  • No. There is no Facebook Gaming app right now except on Android. To consume content without using the browser you have to use the Facebook Watch app.
  • The fact that they went with Facebook just solidifies how out of touch they are.
  • What a joke! Twitch wins... I will never ever touch anything connected with Facebook...
  • That really SUCKS! I didn't really stream often but when I did, I used Mixer. It was my favorite platform. I guess I'll just have to go back to Twitch because I refuse to use anything facebook. I understand the decision but I still don't like it. It might have helped if they weren't always streaming their stuff on competitor's platforms. They should've just used Mixer exclusively.
  • I sure how this doesn't mean Facebook is going to be integrated with my Xbox account or even just the OS. I want nothing to do with that company.
  • You can take your tinfoil hat off.
  • Are you sure? This is the year of strange, untinkable events. I think i will leave it on for awhile. 😜
  • I just stopped thinking about buying an Xbox console. And now I start rethinking my trust in Microsoft. The worst nightmare is when a service provider sells you to Facebook suddenly. But to see this from Microsoft!? It's not only Xbox that I will reevaluate.
  • It seems you don't understand what's happened or you just came here trolling. Microsoft liquidated what remained of Mixer the best it could, by NOT transitioning over users to any rival platform and getting a pocketful of money in exchange. This is the best possible outcome. Microsoft knows most of us won't use Facebook Gaming, and they won't care - as they shouldn't.
  • As soon as I saw that video leak of the head talking to her staff like they were garbage I knew they were on limited time. You can't talk to your staff like that if you want to become an industry leader.
  • No surprise. Microsoft is an extremely weak and small company in terms of Business-to-Consumer (B2C).
  • Yea I agree, one by one, their consumer oriented operations are really not going anywhere. Skype is a big one which I'm surprised with how much they spent, at how they've let it go. The windows app store is another one which, it just seems to be bumbling along waiting for the plug to be pulled any minute.
  • **** Facebook Gaming
  • I guess it'd be too much too ask to just let it go and not replace it at all, huh?
  • Total genius move. This puts massive pressure on Sony with any cloud service they try to make. And all but makes Stadia irrelevant.
  • HAHAHAHA You're hilarious...
  • This feels like AppGap II, unable to scale and too weak to compete. It's not the same and yet oddly it is the same.
  • I tried to use mixer. The problem was the place always seemed barren, any games I was interested in were basically empty. It reminded me of the plethora of multiplayer steam games I have that are completely dead.
  • I didn't even know Facebook gaming was a thing 👀
  • Ah I remember that period last year when so many MS fanboys suddenly became fan of Ninja and started hyping Mixer like it's the new priority in gaming. :)
    Where people believed Mixer will catch up the rest... Followed by many articles and comments that try to trash the competition... Yeah, MS are serious about streaming... I guess they are as serious about Mixer as they were about Kinect 2.0...
    https://www.windowscentral.com/ninjas-leap-mixer-shows-microsoft-serious... I hope they try to stop artificially try to create excitement or hype around their product like with these stupid deals with streamers.
    Hopefully they can use that money to trying to make quality games...
    Seeing what happened last generation, whether MS are going to do that remains to be seen. Also on a side note, MS fanboys love to criticise other company for the failure of their services/products. MS has their share of failure, but ofc they won't mention it...
  • Yeah, this is exactly what some of us were fearing. To throw away a bunch of money chasing 2nd place of a service that is declining in overall appeal when you could be investing in more games. Its just frustrating. I couldn't care less about Mixer, Twitch or Facebook Gaming since I dont view streaming, but I do have a problem with Facebook in general. Some of our 'criticizing of the competition' is strictly due to the fact that FB has a poor track record on things like internet security, protection of hate speech or other business decisions. Some of use wish to have nothing to do with that company period.
  • For the record when I was talking about "criticizing of the competition" I wasn't talking of facebook. But on how some people here trash Google's track record with their products/service. I don't really think MS is any better...
  • "Weird conspiracy theories" - is that something you tell yourself so you can continue to not think for yourself? Calling something a conspiracy theory is just a derogatory term used to hide ignorance and shame people that disagree with the majority. Adding weird is just discrimination and bullying. Perhaps you have been called weird when you were young or laughed at?? The term. 'Conspiracy Theory' was propagated as disinformation. Wake up.
  • From what I've seen many Mixer streamers are moving to Twitch, they're not interested in FB Gaming.