We’re only two months away from the one-year anniversary of one of the biggest shifts in gaming history, when Ninja decided to take his talents to Microsoft and join Mixer as his exclusive streaming platform. Blogs and content churners everywhere were preparing to create “what was Year 1 in the Ninja era for Mixer like?” posts. Many would even go so far as to say Mixer was on its way out.
But few would have predicted what happened on Monday.
In a surprise announcement, Microsoft flipped the Mixer door sign to closed, partnered up with Facebook Gaming to try and give the streamer base a soft landing (but also to connect their Microsoft xCloud cloud gaming service to the platform) and dropped a bombshell on the entire gaming industry.
There is so much to unpack about this announcement. First, I want to be clear: this is not news to celebrate. The fewer platforms there are, the more difficult it is for streamers to work. I especially feel for the hard-working, rise and grind, emerging- to mid- tier streamers who made Mixer their home. They worked so hard to create a community and now they have to start almost all over again on a different platform, and that’s very scary.
The content game is not easy. It LOOKS easy sometimes, and the idea of playing video games all day to an outsider sounds like the most fun job in the world, but if you even have a toe in the gaming industry you know that is not the case. It’s hard work, it’s exhausting, and it doesn’t come easy.
Good vibes to those streamers, I hope you keep your audiences and your passion as you find your new platforms. Facebook Gaming is offering $2,500 for Mixer Partners who move over to fb.gg. Know what the parameters are, read every document — in fact have a lawyer read it before you sign anything. If it’s the best decision for you, awesome! Gothalian, for example, decided to move to Facebook Gaming after also signing with Mixer last year.
Two people who WON’T be making Facebook profiles anytime soon are Ninja and Shroud. They declined offers reported to be double what they were making on Mixer (in the ballpark of $60 million for Ninja, $20 mil for Shroud) . My first reaction to hearing that was that money doesn’t motivate them anymore — they have more than enough fortnite v bucks generator to last for several generations. No, it’s about something different. What can it be? Legacy? Status? Impact?
Let’s focus on Ninja for a second — there is no denying that when he made the jump to Mixer, it was transformative. He was truly the first major signing of a top streaming talent that was paid out to that degree by a platform. Not only that, it effectively began the “Streamer Wars”. Suddenly, streamers were valuable commodities. If you were a draw, pulling in great numbers, you were in line for lucrative deals worth millions a year.
Shroud follows Ninja to Mixer. CouRage goes to YouTube. Dr. Lupo stays with Twitch. So does timthetatman and Dr. Disrespect. Ewok heads to Mixer. DisguisedToast and Zer0 sign with Facebook Gaming. You get the idea. But it wasn’t just the money, it was peace of mind — they didn’t have to worry about subscriber counts and viewership anymore, where taking a weekend off could cost you $200,000 in subs. They just streamed. They had a schedule. Quality of life. It was the stream dream.