A few notable events in industry this week – let’s jump right in!
The rather abrupt announcement was met with surprise from streamers and viewers alike. But from Microsoft’s perspective, it sounds like the decision was clear – Mixer was still significantly behind industry leaders like Twitch (even after paying leading streamers like Ninja to join the Mixer platform), and they no longer had confidence that Mixer was going to reach the level of fixation they needed. As for what they had hoped Mixer would do for them, their future plans reveal quite a bit. They have made a deal with Facebook Gaming to transition Mixer streamers over (though Mixer streamers won’t be required to do so), in exchange for Facebook pointing users to Microsoft’s XCloud game streaming platform. In other words, the fight Microsoft truly cares about is the upcoming battle to determine who runs in the infrastructure powering cloud-based gaming – and using Facebook Gaming as a pointer towards their platform will be sufficiently stronger than Mixer alone that it was worth this transition in Microsoft’s eyes.
I don’t have much to add on the subject. Seems like a generally good idea, and a nice way to simultaneously contribute to the cause while also reinforcing community values within Riot’s ecosystem. It’s probably also worth noting that the money is going first through Riot’s charitable arm, rather than being routed directly to COVID-19 charities, though I’ve seen no reason here to doubt Riot’s testament of how the money will be used.
Twitch has not yet put out a statement for why the channel has been pulled, though rumors suggest that their intent related more to alleged violations of their community guidelines, as opposed to e.g. DMCA claims which have seen various channels shut down in the recent few weeks. Rumors also suggest the ban will be permanent, though again, no definitive information has been shared yet. Between Dr. Disrespect’s removal and the closing of Mixer removing (at least for a bit) Ninja and Shroud from generating active content, now seems like a great time for streamers to be experimenting with different kinds of content to fill a pretty large void at the top.
That’s all for this week! As always, feedback, other news I missed, or comments about what this all means for the industry are always welcome! Stay safe, all.