In a significant move, Microsoft has announced to end its video game streaming service Mixer and has teamed up with Facebook to enable the Mixer community to transition to Facebook Gaming. Mixer never really took off as an independent gaming platform like Amazon's Twitch and now, Microsoft is encouraging people to use Facebook Gaming instead.
"Beginning today, Facebook Gaming will make it easy for anyone in the Mixer community to join, if they choose to do so. We will work to transition the Mixer community over the next few weeks," Phil Spencer, Head of Xbox, announced late Monday.
The Facebook-Microsoft gaming handshake comes at a time when Apple has rejected Facebook Gaming app on the iOS App Store, as it is a direct threat to the live stream gaming service Apple Arcade. All Mixer sites and apps will redirect users to Facebook Gaming. For Mixer partners, streamers and viewers, Microsoft said it would answer their questions in detail.
Facebook Gaming saw a massive 238 per cent growth in hours watched in the month of April (year-over-year) when people stayed home owing to Covid-19 pandemic, followed by the live game streaming platform Twitch that saw 101 per cent growth.
Facebook saw the most significant leap in terms of personal growth, benefiting greatly from the release of their standalone gaming app and hosting several successful celebrity tournaments.
According to Spencer, their priority and focus is now on the world-class content being made by 15 Xbox Game Studios, the evolution of Xbox Game Pass, the launch of Xbox Series X, and the global opportunity to play anywhere with Project xCloud.
"We've decided to close the operations side of Mixer and help the community transition to a new platform," he added.
Every month, more than 700 million people play a game on Facebook, watch a gaming video, or interact in a gaming Group. Facebook in April launched its own gaming app on Google Play Store for Android.
Facebook team is not surprised by Apple's decision, as they have been trying to launch the Facebook Gaming app on the App Store unsuccessfully since February. Microsoft Project xCloud will deliver games to all kinds of screens and windows, including those on Facebook.
"In the meantime, we will continue to invest time, energy, and resources to bring Project xCloud to a global scale through Azure.
"We're always testing new features and learning, and we're excited to explore further as we look to debut click-to-play scenarios within the Facebook Gaming and Instagram communities," said Spencer.
Going forward, Microsoft Teams will leverage the Mixer's deep investments in ultra-low latency video streaming, real-time interactivity, and video distribution.