Microsoft’s shut down of Mixer was a massive shock. Naturally, the platform’s partnered streamers and communities were outraged by the announcement, especially at the way Mixer handled the communication.
While Mixer’s closure has been a big win for some, particularly streamers Tyler “Ninja” Blevins and Michael “Shroud” Grzesiek. Having accepted a undisclosed multi-year deal to switch to Mixer, Microsoft’s move has allowed them to have their contracts bought out, becoming free agents once more. The move to Mixer cost the streaming stars a huge chunk of their audience, with Shroud losing two-thirds of his regular viewership from October to November.
But for the smaller streamers, Mixer’s shut down was devastating. It came without warning, with Mixer partners posting online that they’d found out about the closure through Twitter like everyone else.
Mixer doing this is shockingly tone-deaf. I am shocked and in awe. But I am also relieved. It’s made a decision very easy for me.
Just to iterate as well, partners had zero heads up on this. We just found out as well.
— Slinkonage (@Slinkonage) June 22, 2020
We found out on Twitter with the rest the fucking world. So sick the unprofessional bullshit smh
— CalypsoVibes #FreeAgent (@CalypsoVibes) June 22, 2020
Some Mixer streamers discovered the news during the middle of their stream, while they were processing the shock of racial allegations the company. “Mixer just tweeted, let’s go Mixer,” streamer PrincessCourt told her chat, resulting in a long, quiet stare at the screen while she processed the news.
“Are they for real,” streamer PrincessCourt exclaimed. “Is Mixer for real? They get one bump in the road, that they could have easily addressed — easily addressed — it could have been addressed so easily. Where is the communication here? They clearly don’t respect any of the partners, because we had no idea about this, not one clue. You think they would have been telling the partners before they told — you would think, you would honestly think they would tell us before they told the world, so we would have time to prepare as a brand. How dare you Mixer,” she said.
The news came on the back of a bad week for Mixer. There were perpetual structural issues that saw Mixer behind Twitch, YouTube and even Facebook Gaming. The platform was facing severe accusations of covering up racism, levelled by Mixer’s former business development manager Milan Lee.
Lee’s retelling of his experience drew a response from Phil Spencer, Microsoft’s EVP of gaming and head of Xbox, which led to a private conversation between the two about what Microsoft could do better. The chat was positive, although Lee pointed out before the chat that he tried to raise these issues with Spencer directly.
But Mixer’s problems will go unresolved. With the program’s closure, the streaming platforms will be whittled down to a major three (Twitch, YouTube, Facebook Gaming), not including smaller platforms like the entertainment-focused Caffeine or alternative regional streaming services like Douyu, Huya and V Live.
As streamers processed the news, there was a common thread between the reactions: Anger at the lack of forewarning, tears at what it meant for the future, and all-around frustration. Microsoft also copped criticism for the timing, with some fans pointing out that the announcement was drawing attention away from some of the stories being aired within the gaming industry over the last 48 to 72 hours.
To all my Mixer family: I understand your pain and anger and disgust right now. Let’s remain the awesome community we are. Simply a migration of locations. Drop you Twitch link so we can support each other, #WeGrowTogether no matter where we are.https://t.co/HgKUSZPltn
— VikingApocalyps Gaming (@VikingApocalyps) June 23, 2020
— Madison | suop | Birborb (@suuuoppp) June 22, 2020
i currently have no words for what was just announced…
I am lost and have no idea what is next for me…
I have no idea where to go and what to do…
There was no warning of this… but something like this surely doesn’t happen over night?
— ShadowKal (@ShadowKal_) June 22, 2020
Not easy to post, I’m a mess, I’ve cried for days. I have been banned for years @Twitch and now I’ve lost my home on @WatchMixer I’ve lost everything. I am a human. Please see I’m a human. Please make this right. I have nothing left. pic.twitter.com/wuA6zMU1HM
— Foxyzilla (@Foxyzilla) June 22, 2020
I have so many emotions right. Sadness, anger, disbelief, so many more. I started with Mixer back when it was Beam. I met so many great people there. It fostered my love of streaming. I switched to Twitch months ago out of frustration and just trying something new…
— BreakOfDad (@BreakOfDayTV) June 22, 2020
How Mixer shut down pic.twitter.com/KWYyaBx5os
— LLance (@theLLance) June 22, 2020
Phil Spencer reiterated on Twitter that Mixer’s shut down wasn’t prompted by the recent allegations, but the timing still wasn’t appreciated.
The decision on the future of Mixer was not caused by the post from @MilanKLee
— Phil Spencer (@XboxP3) June 22, 2020
“So they would have had this in the works anyway,” PrincessCourt explained. “Yet they didn’t bother to tell any partners about it because they clearly don’t give a shit about the partners. They’ve told us just as they’ve told the whole public, exactly at the same time.”
“Way to go, Mixer. You’ve made your partners feel like shit, and worthless.”