Microsoft’s video game streaming service is coming to an end. Fans are encouraged to move on to Facebook’s competing service. However, that doesn’t mean the company will not continue on game development. The video game streaming service was not a success, but the company will carry on working on console hardware and a cloud service for playing games that run on remote servers. Xbox Series X will also come out this year.
Almost four years ago, the company got its hands on Beam. The game stream was then rebranded to Mixer back in 2017. Microsoft’s streaming service was to compete with Amazon’s 2014 acquisition of Twitch. However, we all know which one is at the top of the leader.
Since the lockdown, Twitch users have spent a great amount of time watching people playing games. However, not many users opted for Mixer. Therefore, Twitch fan base continued to grow during the past months, but the Mixer streaming service did not get more attention.
Here is what Phil Spencer, the Microsoft executive vice president in charge of the company’s gaming efforts, had to say about this move in a blog post on Monday:
“Ultimately, the success of Partners and streamers on Mixer is dependent on our ability to scale the service for them as quickly and broadly as possible. It became clear that the time needed to grow our own livestreaming community to scale was out of measure with the vision and experiences we want to deliver to gamers now, so we’ve decided to close the operations side of Mixer and help the community transition to a new platform.”
The company did search for methods to help to grow their Mixer fan base. For example, they signed deals with major creators, such as Tyler “Ninja” Blevins. However, it looks like it didn’t work that well. Even Matt Salsamendi, a co-founder of Beam, left Microsoft last year in October.
The Mixer service will not end right away. Users can still use this streaming service until July 22. However, after the deadline, the homepage will redirect to the Facebook website fb.gg. Xbox One users will not be able to use this streaming service either; however, there is Twitch.
As you may have noticed already, Facebook has been expanding its efforts in gaming in recent years. The big giant is also looking to find new markets outside of online advertising. For example, it bought Oculus, a virtual reality headset maker, for $2 billion in 2014. However, they start selling the Oculus Quest and Oculus Rift S VR headsets in May 2020.
Facebook’s streaming service was launched in 2018. Facebook Gaming is allowing its user to livestream their gameplay to others on the social network. According to the company, more than 700 million users are using this service every month. Although it competes with Twitch, it is obvious which one is on the top.
Facebook and Microsoft are thinking about working together more. It gives both parties great opportunities—for example, the cloud streaming service xCloud.
Here is what Vivek Sharma, head of Facebook Gaming, wrote in a blog post:
“Imagine a scenario where people can instantly move from watching a Facebook Gaming creator’s livestream to jumping in and playing the game with their closest friends, all in one click. Project xCloud can help change the way people discover games by expanding our Playable Ads format, enabling Xbox games on your mobile device. While scrolling News Feed, people could try out awesome games from Xbox Game Pass immediately, further blurring the line between discovery and play.”
Microsoft will also introduce the ability to let people click to play from Facebook Gaming and Instagram. According to Spencer, the company is quite excited about it.