Despite Mixer shutting its doors just four years after it launched, Microsoft vice-president Phil Spencer has outlined why he has no regrets about the streaming platform’s shock shutdown last month.
Serving as Microsoft’s answer to YouTube Gaming and Amazon-owned Twitch, Mixer had its sights set on becoming one of the top streaming services. Mixer burst onto the scene by snatching up major personalities on exclusive deals, but the platform was shut down just four years later.
With the likes of Tyler ‘Ninja’ Blevins and Michael ‘shroud’ Grzesiek migrating over, Microsoft invested a great deal in trying to establish the platform. When things ultimately didn’t pan out, many content creators were left blindsided by the decision. Some found new homes, while others have remained up in the air.
Mixer’s hasty closure may have come as a shock, but Xbox head Phil Spencer says he has “no regrets”. Spencer, who has been with Microsoft for the past 22 years, outlined his thoughts on the shutdown in a new GamesIndustry interview.
Mixer Partners, streamers, and community – today, we've got some very big news for you.
While we’ve decided to close the operations side of Mixer, we're officially partnering with @FacebookGaming and we're cordially inviting all of you to join.
— Mixer (@WatchMixer) June 22, 2020
“I don’t have regrets,” he said. “It’s obviously a disappointment when you try to grow something to the scale it needs to get to and you don’t get there. You make decisions with the best information you have at the time, you apply your best effort.”
Despite signing juggernauts of the industry to exclusive deals, numbers dropped for nearly every streamer that joined the platform. Mixer could never quite find its footing and in a “hits-driven industry,” according to Spencer, viewership is key.
Over the years, Microsoft reportedly spent tens of millions getting big-names to jump ship. These were long-term deals as Mixer was clearly a key focus for the company moving forward. As many others mocked the platform’s lower-viewership, streamers on Mixer defended the site until the very end. “Mixer has a very, very good chance to succeed,” shroud expressed in a May 23 video.
Despite its eventual closure and many streamers being caught off-guard, Spencer stands by the decision from Microsoft. “I think it’s fundamental to us that we’re not afraid of trying things that might not work,” the Xbox boss reflected.
Mixer isn’t the first streaming brand not pan out with such a costly approach either. MLG.tv signed names like Matthew ‘Nadeshot’ Haag to unprecedented exclusive deals in 2013. Ultimately, however, both fell to the same fate after a few short years.
There’s no telling if Microsoft will ever get back in the race. For the time being, their sights are firmly set on the launch of Xbox Series X, which has a huge showcase planned for July 23. Titles like Halo, Fable, and more are expected to be revealed.