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Mixer: Microsoft abandons gaming app in Facebook deal

Microsoft has decided to close its Mixer livestreaming service and is partnering with Facebook Gaming instead.

Mixer made headlines last year when it signed a reportedly multi-million dollar exclusivity deal with Ninja, a big star on rival platform Twitch.

But despite the investment, Microsoft says the platform will close in one month’s time.

Ninja and other major gamers will no longer be tied to exclusivity deals.

Ninja had been signed to Mixer for less than a year.

From 22 July, Mixer’s website and app will redirect users to Facebook Gaming.

As part of the deal, Microsoft will work to bring its xCloud games-streaming service to Facebook.

“This seems quite ruthless, but Microsoft’s strategy to reach more gamers is underpinned by its cloud business, not Mixer,” said Piers Harding-Rolls from the consultancy Ampere Analysis.

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“Clearly Facebook has significant reach globally, to expose users to xCloud.”

All games-streamers in Mixer’s partner programme will be granted partner status on Facebook Gaming if they wish to move to the platform.

“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,” Mixer said in a statement.

“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.”

In a separate blog post, Xbox chief Phil Spencer said the transition deal was part of a wider agreement between Xbox and Facebook, with Xbox aiming to introduce gaming features that work on Facebook and Instagram in the future.

Those partnered streamers who do choose to move to Facebook Gaming can begin the process by filling out a form, Mixer said that Facebook “will honour and match all existing Partner agreements as closely as possible”.

Facebook said it was “proud to invite everyone in the Mixer community to Facebook Gaming”.

The company promised streamers: “We’ll do everything we can to make the transition as easy as possible for those who decide to make the switch.”i

www.bbc.com

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