• July 8, 2020
  • Last Update July 5, 2020 10:32 am
  • Toronto

Mixer Folds, Facebook Tries Hard with Gaming – Begun, the Stream Wars Have

Well not ‘begun,’ really. The contest for the best streaming platform has always been a land rife with lawless jockeying, double standards, obscure agreements, and perpetual re-invention. This week those battles struck a particularly hot note as Microsoft (Xbox) announced the closure of their Mixer platform, barely one year after launch on July 22, 2020. For me, I will lean back into streaming exclusively on Twitch – as an affiliate, that choice is easy for me.

Head of gaming for Microsoft, Phil Spencer said, “We started pretty far behind, in terms of where Mixer’s monthly active viewers were compared to some of the big players out there.” “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.”

So how far ahead is “Facebook Gaming” to justify that sentiment? I’m calling it simply like this: We are a huge company and we were pretty sure we could buy our way to victory. We underestimated Twitch’s loyalty quotient and the fact that they were far better anchored at the top to really uproot the 800-pound gorilla. We gave it a year and we’re cutting our losses.

What makes this even more interesting is that Mixer has confirmed a deal with… Facebook Gaming…. Hands up if you never even knew that was a thing. This is a crap deal if not for the giant gap in user demographics alone

Why this is a particularly rough deal for Mixer streamers:

  • Mixer spent a LOT of cash to seduce a lot of big Twitch streamers into leaving the Amazon platform in favour of Mixer – those streamers are now faced with either crawling back to Twitch or accepting their new home at Facebook which is nothing of a game streaming platform like Twitch.
  • Current numbers for gaming hours viewed on Facebook is about 102 Million in 2019 (Q2) vs. Twitch’s 2.7 BILLION the same year according to Streamlabs – Mixer’s was 119 Million
  • While Facebook is better than Mixer for gaming streamers, statistically, Twitch is a far better opportunity overall
  • The fastest growing audience group on Facebook is 65-years-old and up, according to Sprout Social – How many of them do you expect to tune into watch Shroud pwn n00bs in Apex Legends?

What does the new deal with Facebook include?

For Fans and Viewers:

  • Hey, you can connect your Mixer account to your FB Gaming account to help filter the games you previously followed on Mixer – of course they would love to have you… heh
  • Unspent embers/transactions and Pro Subs will be credited in the form of an Xbox gift card
  • Spend your embers/sparks by end of June for x2 payment to streamers or lose them by July 22

For Partners:

  • Partner status on FB Gaming, matching agreements ‘as closely as possible’
  • Double payment for earned embers and sparks for June only

Open Monetizing Streamers:

  • Eligible for FB Gamings monetization platform and fast-track onboarding, but keep in mind with pandemic restrictions, this could take longer than usual
  • Double payment for earned embers and sparks for June only

Some other interesting factoids:

  • YouTube Gaming is the second biggest game streaming platform, while the community will happily lament their terrible UI and how difficult it is to find/engage with streams there
  • Mixer proportedly paid Tyler “Ninja” Blevins between $20-$30 Million (USD) to join the platform according to GeekWire