Following the sudden closure of Mixer, high-profile streamers Ninja and Shroud earned a combined $40 million payday for having the Microsoft-owned streaming platform buy out their contracts. In a shocking move, Microsoft has pulled the plug on their long-struggling Mixer platform, and currently endeavors to transfer their streamers to Facebook Gaming. The move to Facebook comes as cold comfort to streamers who didn’t anticipate the sudden closure of Mixer, and many are unsure of the future of Facebook Gaming compared to stalwarts like Twitch and YouTube.
Two of the biggest streamers on Mixer, Shroud and Ninja, were high-profile acquisitions for the platform in its early days. Their exclusive contracts with Mixer did a good job in drawing attention to the fledgling streaming platform, though it clearly wasn’t enough to elevate Mixer to the level of its competition. Now, Mixer is shutting down, and neither Ninja nor Shroud are interested in having an exclusive contract with Facebook Gaming.
Ninja and Shroud chose not to continue their contract with Mixer and take a chance on Facebook Gaming, thus forcing Microsoft to buy out their contracts. As a result, Shroud was paid $10 million, and Ninja scored an astounding $30 million payday, just to be released from their Mixer contract. This information was reported by esports insider Rob Breslau, better known as Slasher on Twitter.
Microsoft’s financial loss is the gain of Ninja and Shroud. On one hand, it’s easy to disparage the two streamers for making such an obscene amount of money from Microsoft’s poor business decisions, but then again, the poor decisions were Microsoft’s to make. Maybe if they spent more money on developing their platform instead of securing high-profile exclusive “celebrities,” Mixer would have fared better in the long run. It also raises the question of whether Microsoft should have waited for their contracts to expire before deciding to shut down the service. With that in mind, it shows how much money Microsoft may have been losing on Mixer if they chose to throw away $40 million on Ninja and Shroud rather than keep the platform active.
For now, Twitch remains the undisputed platform of choice for both popular streamers and casual hobbyists alike. YouTube is second place, but it’s not even close. In the face of the overwhelming popularity of Twitch, Mixer didn’t stand a chance. Facebook Gaming needs to provide a radically different experience for streamers and viewers like if it wants to buck the trend. If Facebook Gaming just copies those other platforms, it offers nothing new to sway players and audiences away from the overwhelming dominance of Twitch and YouTube.