Microsoft dropped a bombshell announcement today in the middle of Apple’s WWDC 2020 event: the company will shut down Mixer in July and redirect all traffic to Facebook Gaming.
In an interview with The Verge, Xbox Chief Phil Spencer says the move is going to help gamers get more of what they want to see in a more seamless way and says that the service was struggling to keep pace with Twitch and YouTube.
“We started pretty far behind, in terms of where Mixer’s monthly active viewers were compared to some of the big players out there,” Spencer said. “I think the Mixer community is really going to benefit from the broad audience that Facebook has through their properties, and the abilities to reach gamers in a very seamless way through the social platform Facebook has.”
The transition will take place on July 22, at which point all Mixer streams will redirect to Facebook Gaming. Microsoft says all its existing streaming partners will be able to move to Facebook Gaming and immediately be granted partner status with Facebook’s Level Up Program.
The trade-off here is that Facebook will begin implementing Microsoft’s xCloud game-streaming service on Facebook Gaming: eventually, the platform will enable PC gamers to jump directly into any game they’re watching on a stream.
It could also mean that the Xbox Series X will use Facebook Gaming instead of Mixer.
Will the Xbox Series X use Facebook Gaming, YouTube or Twitch?
Before today, it seemed like Mixer on Xbox Series X was a shoo-in. The streaming service has been integrated into the Xbox One for over two years now, and it didn’t sound like that would change with the Xbox Series X.
Now, though, it’s anyone’s guess as to which streaming service Microsoft will include on Xbox Series X.
The partnership with Facebook does hint at a future where we see Facebook Gaming replace Mixer on the next Xbox console – but it could also open the door for Microsoft to partner with YouTube and/or Twitch, too.
The best-case scenario is that Microsoft will continue to support all the game-streaming services and will give you that option every time you hit the new share button on the Xbox Series X.
Whether or not that will be the case, however, we’ll just have to wait to find out.