In brief: Tech companies shut down websites, services, and software all the time, but few could have foreseen Microsoft's latest announcement. The company's well-known Mixer streaming platform is shutting down, with Microsoft planning to partner with Facebook Gaming for its future streaming ambitions.
Though, as mentioned before, service shutdowns are nothing new in this industry, this news will likely still come as a shock to many.
Mixer has obviously never been as popular as streaming giants like Twitch, but after securing exclusive streaming contracts with a few high-profile streamers -- such as Ninja or Shroud -- it seemed like Microsoft was going all-in on the platform's success.
Nonetheless, the company is giving up on the service now. It has explained its reasoning as follows:
It became clear that the time needed to grow our own livestreaming community to scale was out of measure with the vision and experiences that Microsoft and Xbox want to deliver for gamers now, so we’ve decided to close the operations side of Mixer and help the community transition to a new platform.
That new platform will be Facebook Gaming, according to Microsoft. The company has outlined a detailed transition plan for all existing Mixer streamers who are willing and able to make the switch, which you can view here.
For example, Mixer Partners will automatically be granted partner status with Facebook Gaming, and monetized streams will be eligible for the "Facebook Gaming Level Up Program," which will offer similar monetization opportunities.
Obviously, those who signed exclusive streaming contracts with Microsoft will no longer be restricted by them moving forward. Streamers like Ninja are free to go back to Twitch or move on to something else -- it's entirely up to them.
Mixer's shutdown will go into effect on July 22, so streamers only have about a month to switch to Facebook Gaming or an alternative platform (such as Twitch).