June 22, 2020

Microsoft will end its video game streaming service, team up with Facebook

Microsoft will end its video game streaming service, team up with Facebook

Microsoft Corp.’s Xbox unit will shut down its Mixer video game streaming service after failing to attract a large global user base and will recommend players and audiences move to Facebook’s streaming site.

The software maker also plans to partner with Facebook on Microsoft’s xCloud mobile game service, which will be widely available by the end of the summer.

Starting July 22, users who visit Mixer will be redirected to Facebook Gaming. The deal was touted as setting off a battle for top gaming talent in the $152 billion video-game industry.

The move comes less than four years after it acquired Beam, the game streaming start-up that Microsoft rebranded to Mixer in 2017. The Beam acquisition followed Amazon’s 2014 acquisition of Twitch, which has remained dominant.

Twitch users spent more time watching people play games, but the increase was not as pronounced for Mixer, despite being smaller, according to an analysis of data from privately held Stream Hatchet by the Streamlabs, a company whose software helps people run their videos on Twitch and other services.

Microsoft sought to grow the Mixer user base by signing deals with major creators, including Tyler “Ninja” Blevins, to come over to the service. Matt Salsamendi, a co-founder of Beam, announced his departure from Microsoft in October 2019.

The Mixer service will remain available through July 22, and after that, the homepage will redirect to the Facebook website. The ability to stream to Mixer from the Xbox One will go away, although gamers will be able to keep streaming to Twitch.

Facebook and Microsoft see opportunities to work together more, including around the cloud streaming service xCloud, which is in preview.

Facebook has spoken with Ninja and others, said Vivek Sharma, the social network’s vice president and head of gaming. Sharma said he is going to let them announce their own plans, although Facebook would love to welcome them. These folks are like multimedia celebrities, he said.

Similarly, Spencer wrote that Microsoft is keen to introduce the ability to let people click to play from Facebook Gaming and Instagram.

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