Microsoft is pulling the plug on their streaming platform.
Mixer logo

On July 22, Microsoft will officially close down their streaming service, Mixer, for good. The plan is to instead move all of its existing partners over to Facebook Gaming. This rather sudden announcement means that Mixer partners and streamers will be moving to Facebook Gaming beginning today.

According to The Verge, Microsoft "has struggled to reach the scale needed to Mixer to compete with Twitch, YouTube, and even Facebook Gaming." This is a big reason and probably the deciding factor that led to today's decision.

“We started pretty far behind, in terms of where Mixer’s monthly active viewers were compared to some of the big players out there,” says Phil Spencer, Microsoft’s head of gaming, in an interview with The Verge. “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.”
Come July 22, all Mixer sites and apps will automatically redirect to Facebook Gaming. Those who are partners at Mixer at present will be partners over at Facebook Gaming as well. Any streamers that are using the Mixer monetization program will also be given eligibility for Facebook's Level Up program. I assume this Level Up program is similar to Twitch's "affiliate" program. Any outstanding balances on Ember ("Bits" but for Mixer), channel subscriptions, or Mixer Pro subs will be reimbursed with Xbox gift card credit.

Also according to The Verge, Microsoft's decision to partner with Facebook is a "strategic one" that is also related to broadening the appeal of their xCloud game streaming service. They say that Microsoft is going to work closely with Facebook to bring xCloud to Facebook Gaming once the streaming service is ready for a wider launch. Mixer had just lacked the sort of scale that they wanted when it came to xCloud adoption.

“When we think about xCloud and the opportunity to unlock gameplay for 2 billion players, we know it’s going be critically important that our services find large audiences and Facebook clearly gives us that opportunity,” says Spencer.
xCloud is presumed to launch later this year, though no confirmed date was revealed just yet. It'll be included as part of Microsoft's Xbox Game Pass offering.

What does this mean for people like Ninja and Shroud? As you may recall, Mixer picked these massive streamers up from Twitch for some hefty sums of cash. Well, it turns out that they are now free of their contracts with Mixer. They are free to rejoin Twitch, or stream on Facebook Gaming, or stream wherever they want to.

According to some first-hand accounts, employees at Mixer had no idea that this was even coming. They reportedly found out just moments before the announcement was made public. This is from Tara Voelker Wake, program manager, on-camera host, and the @Xbox gaming and disability community lead.