Why it matters: Twitch is arguably one of the largest game streaming platforms on the planet. One of its biggest stars just left for the competition, Mixer. This represents a huge coup for Microsoft as they continue to position the Mixer platform as a legitimate alternative to Twitch.
Fortnite's biggest star is undoubtedly Tyler Blevins, otherwise known as Ninja. In fact, his popularity has helped make Twitch one of the largest game-streaming platforms in the world. It seems that Microsoft has orchestrated a coup with Ninja announcing that he is leaving Twitch and streaming exclusively to Mixer.
"I have been holding on to this for quite some time and I’m just super excited to let everyone know. I’ll be streaming on Mixer full-time now and I’m honestly at a loss for words. I’m freaking out in the best ways. I feel like I’m going to get back to the streaming roots."
The news may come as a shock to Ninja's long time Twitch subscribers, which has risen to over 14 million. Some loyal fans may even see this as outright betrayal, especially if Twitch is their only platform to watch game streaming. To celebrate, Mixer is offering a free one-month subscription to Ninja's Mixer channel.
A little more! pic.twitter.com/SMQEygjNiE— Ninja (@Ninja) August 1, 2019
Mixer, the streaming platform owned by Microsoft has seen its fair share of feature updates since it originally launched as Beam back in 2016. For example, streamers are able to share controller input with viewers such as allowing the viewer to shoot while the streamer drives a tank. Mixer also uses "experience points" as a reward for viewers instead of charging money, though donations are still an option for supporting your favorite streamer.
Whether or not Ninja struck a deal with Microsoft to move to Mixer is unknown though one would think a streamer as popular as Ninja wouldn't suddenly leave the enormous Twitch audience for a rival platform with much lower viewer numbers.
Regardless, this is a huge deal for Microsoft and could swing the pendulum of game streaming a little more towards Mixer. Mixer is already a native streaming service on Xbox and could persuade some Twitch streamers not only to switch streaming platforms but even gaming platforms.
Twitch issued a statement to The Verge saying:
"We’ve loved watching Ninja on Twitch over the years and are proud of all that he’s accomplished for himself and his family, and the gaming community. We wish him the best of luck in his future endeavors."