It’s a huge day for Microsoft’s Mixer streaming platform.
Esports star Tyler Blevins, a.k.a. “Ninja,” announced Thursday that he will stream exclusively on Mixer. Blevins had previously streamed on Twitch, the most popular streaming platform that Amazon acquired in 2014.
Blevins is a Fortnite star and one of the biggest names in video games today with 40 million fans. He was the most-watched streamer on Twitch last year. Signing him to an exclusive streaming deal is a huge get for Microsoft, which launched Mixer as a Twitch competitor in 2017.
“I never would have thought that I could build a career by doing what I love, and I am extremely grateful for the incredible experiences that I have had,” he said in a statement. “As I look at the next step in my career, achieving bigger goals in the gaming industry with Mixer will allow me to have the perfect balance of opportunities and success. My roots as a gamer started with Halo, so working with Microsoft and coming over to Mixer felt like a natural next step. Capturing all the great moments in gaming and sharing in the wins (and losses) with a positive, community-focused environment that we can all be proud of – that’s why I’m here.”
I think it’s a smart move by @Ninja
He definitely got paid a ton
He can now stream stress-free, worrying if he takes a weekend off with his family he won’t lose half his income
He can build what Mixer is instead of being what Twitch wanted him to be
I wish him the best
— The Esports Writer (@FionnOnFire) August 1, 2019
Mixer, which is owned by Microsoft, likely paid *a lot* of money for this deal. This will be one of the first real tests for whether people are more loyal to the platform (Twitch) or creator (Ninja).
— Blake Robbins (@blakeir) August 1, 2019
Blevins, who got his start playing competitive Halo, was reportedly making $500,000 per month from his streams alone. He was the first pro gamer to make the cover of ESPN and is set to release a book.
His first Mixer stream will be during Lollapalooza 2019 on Aug. 2-4.
Here’s a statement from Twitch: “We’ve loved watching Ninja on Twitch over the years and are proud of all that he’s accomplished for himself and his family, and the gaming community. We wish him the best of luck in his future endeavors.”
Mixer’s last reported monthly active user count was 20 million, far lower than rival Twitch. Mixer also competes with YouTube Gaming.
Microsoft is investing heavily in its gaming arm, which has expanded beyond the traditional Xbox console itself. This fall, Microsoft will begin trials of Project xCloud, an ambitious cloud-powered game streaming service.
Microsoft’s gaming business saw a 10 percent dip in the recent quarter driven by a decrease in Xbox hardware sales. The company’s next-generation console, Project Scarlett, will be released in the 2020 holiday season.