The Gamezo Team interviewed a number of Mixer streamers in an effort to gauge their feelings on Microsoft’s closure of Mixer. We asked four Mixer streamers of varying sizes how they feel about the news, where they plan on going, and how they think it will impact them.
Microsoft is closing Mixer.
Launched in 2016 as Beam, Microsoft’s streaming platform lived its life in the shadows. It simply struggled to match its major competitors: Twitch and YouTube. Nevertheless, many made the platform their home and grew significant streaming communities on the platform. In 2018, it was reported that Mixer had hit 10 million active monthly users. This ushered in a new wave of partnership opportunities and brought hope to the community.
Then, in 2019, Ninja and Shroud signed their exclusivity to Mixer. Ninja and Shroud are two of the biggest names in the industry. Hell, Ninja appeared on the Masked Singer, and the general public knew who he was! That, if anything, proves how popular he has become. Whether this was seen as a hopeful situation by users or not, it showed Mixer meant business.
That’s why everything is so confusing. From July 22 onwards, Mixer will be shut down. Microsoft has, instead, decided to partner with Facebook Gaming. Phil Spencer, Microsoft’s Head of Gaming, believes this will usher in an age of growth for those using the platform. But how do the people actually using Mixer feel?
In an effort to gauge the reaction to this news, The Gamezo Team asked four Mixer Streamers interview-style questions.
Which Mixer Streamers Did We Talk To?
For this interview, we spoke to the following:
Leckakay ( @Leckakay )
Katie G ( @KatieTheSus )
Kvng Karnage ( @KingKarnageTV )
PumpkinKitty ( @PKitty50 )
How Long Had The Mixer Streamers Been Streaming On Mixer?
Kvng Karnage and PumpkinKitty had been on Mixer for well over a year, with Kvng Karnage using the platform when it was still called Beam! Leckakay and Katie G had both been using Mixer for less than a year but found themselves growing their communities quickly. Leckakay had only been a partner for four months.
Did They Feel A Difference In Atmosphere When Ninja Signed?
Generally, there was a buzz of excitement when Ninja signed on with Mixer. Both Leckakay and Katie G were new to the platform when Ninja arrived. They felt that having one of the biggest names in the industry backing their platform was a good thing.
“ I joined Mixer when Ninja Joined, I was brought over by him and I made it into my full-time job. They showed me I could live a life and do what I love. When Shroud came I was already streaming and I saw a big push in how many people joined Mixer. It brought attention to the platform and helped us gain followers and views. It helped a lot in the short run. “Katie G
Similarly, Kvng Karnage and PumpkinKitty both also expressed their excitement at the move. However, this wasn’t about Ninja, Shroud, or even Ewok, themselves. It was more about the platform as a whole. The attention it brought, they hoped, would help Mixer to develop as a whole.
Leckakay, however, found herself increasingly unhappy as Mixer’s talent acquisition continued. She felt that Microsoft were “completely snubbing” their native streamers on Mixer and noted how little was done to fix the plethora of issues with the platform. They all hoped that this would lead to bigger and better things, not just for themselves but for the whole of Mixer’s community, and rightfully so.
Did They Get Any Notice On Mixer Shutting Down?
The response to this question was a resounding no. As you may have seen on Mixer itself, many streamers were live when they heard the news. PumpkinKitty spoke about how, at first, he didn’t even believe it. And, to his credit, why would he? He was in the middle of streaming Call of Duty when a viewer made him aware. The news was, in want of a better term, a bombshell.
Both Leckakay and Katie G were also streaming when the news broke via Twitter. Gut-wrenching shock is what it’s being described as. Kvng Karnage spoke about how he didn’t see it coming, a sentiment I am sure most of his peers can emulate.
This is, perhaps, the worst bit about the ordeal. The tweet below is the first time a lot of people found out about the news. PumpkinKitty commented on the lack of communication from Mixer’s Discord servers. The opportunity is there, he said, for communication. Yet, for some reason, it was not used. Even if it was just a forewarning of the inevitable… It would have been something for those who have invested countless hours and efforts into growing their own communities on Mixer.
Where Do They Plan On Moving To Now?
As you might expect, Twitch is the most popular answer here. For some, such as Kvng Karnage, they already have some basis on Twitch. Kvng Karnage spoke about how he had prepared his community for the worst case scenario when he began on Mixer. However, it isn’t as easy as that for everyone.
Leckakay has expressed some concern about the move. Her branding may be universal, but that isn’t everything. She has had the support of Sam Woodhall, Fremily, and ACPixel in moving, but as it stands, there is a vast difference in her current audiences on both platforms. Like Kvng Karnage, she too has been preparing her community for the transition through a series of tweets and helpful YouTube videos.
“ To not be able to see all our hard work continue over seamlessly has been emotional on top of everything else. “Leckakay
Katie G has also expressed concern at never having used Twitch before. On top of this, she will also have to rebrand due to the fact that her Mixer username is already taken. I can imagine this is a situation many Mixer streamers find themselves in.
PumpkinKitty is seeming to take it in his stride, though, as many will need to. As a big user of Twitch before, he seemed open to the move. On top of this, it seems his community is, too. The animosity Twitch offers, alongside the fact that it’s a well-established platform are just two of the features from the platform that he has praised. These, amongst others, will most-likely contribute to the reasoning behind many Mixer streamers’ decision to adopt Twitch as their new home.
How Do They Think It Will Affect Their Streaming, And Streaming In General?
This is where the uncertainty sets in. As you might imagine, it’s impossible to tell what’s coming next for Mixer streamers moving to Twitch. PumpkinKitty joins thousands uncertain on what this will mean for their communities. He expresses optimism throughout his interview but ultimately has no idea.
Katie G, the newest of those we interviewed, seemed the most disheartened by it all. She has to start again from zero, growing from the ground up.
Leckakay, however, thinks this may be a blessing in disguise. With the support she has gotten so far from Twitch and its users, she feels like Twitch will give Mixer streamers a chance to not only recover, but thrive.
Kvng Karnage replicated many of the sentiments discussed, also adding that it opened his eyes to many different opportunities and obstacles. These, he believes, will continue to push those around him during all of this.
Their Final Thoughts?
At the end of the interview, Katie G discussed her outrage at the timing of the announcement. Recently, many have been asking Mixer to respond to sexual assault allegations against its users and employees. However, rather than a response, this was the news that was given. You can also read about the accusations of a former Mixer employee here.
Katie G described it as “a plot to cover up the horrible things that came to light, and discredit the feelings of everyone who was hurt”. In a time where many might have looked to their Mixer communities for support, Microsoft is taking them away. PumpkinKitty, in fewer words, agreed with the sentiment. He expressed how messed up the situation is, especially when you consider the time and effort people put into developing their channels.
Rather than add any more of my own comments on the matter, I think it best to end with the uplifting final words from Leckakay.
“ Twixers, we’re going to be ok. Even though we’re now on the purple side, our passion, dedication, and hardwork will not be diminished just because our platform we cared so deeply for betrayed us in such a shameful way. It won’t be the same, but this is also an opportunity to show all of Twitch exactly what it means to curate safe spaces of inclusion and love on the internet… We will show how racism, sexism, sexual harassment, and homophobia are intolerable, and what it truly means to judge someone based solely on their character, and nothing more… Regardless of where we settle in for our brands, our friendships will last. People over platforms, always. For all the Twixers reading this, remember- our hearts will always be blue, they just bleed purple now. “