The move, which will take effect July 22, is expected to enable a number of high-profile streaming personalities from the gaming world to potentially return to Amazon-owned Twitch. Tyler “Ninja” Blevins, Cory “King Gothalion” Michael, and Michael “Shroud” Grzesiek were among those signing exclusive contracts with Microsoft worth up to $30 million. They will now be free to pursue deals elsewhere.
“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,” the unit said in a blog post Monday. “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. To better serve our community’s needs, we’re teaming up with Facebook to enable the Mixer community to transition to Facebook Gaming.”
The business of livesteaming videogame competitions — or even quotidian matches — has exploded in recent years. Twitch, which sold to Amazon in 2014 for $970 million in cash, draws nearly 40 million viewers each month in the U.S. As of the start of this year, the company reported having 3 million active monthly creators and more than 15 million average daily streamers.
In 2019, after Blevins left Twitch for Mixer, he reached 1 million subscribers paying to watch him play games like Fortnite.
The blog post did not address any specific personalities, instead addressing its update to all users. “Thank you, Mixer community, for your engagement and passion on this journey,” it said. “We have accomplished so much together, and we want to thank you all – partners, streamers, moderators and viewers.”
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