Ninja moves from Twitch to Mixer

Ninja is the biggest name in Fortnite streaming and probably all streaming. This week, he’s had major news to announce. He is ditching his home for many years, Twitch, to move over to Microsoft’s competitor service: Mixer.

Ninja is the first really big name that Twitch has lost. Fortnite is still the biggest game on the platform. While Apex Legend’s product placement briefly knocked it off the top spot, Fortnite has remained synonymous with Twitch. With major Fortnite talent moving off of the service, is this the beginning of the Fortnite content creator community fragmenting?

Ninja discussed the changes in a hyperbolic follow-up video to his initial announcement.

Most of this is just marketing speak really. Despite a pretence of innocence, it t is safe to assume that Microsoft have paid out a fair amount to bring Ninja on board. This is the first real [push they’ve made to make a success out of Mixer. This should direct some Fortnite traffic to the site. Other streamers may end up following Ninja if his fan base moves to the new ecosystem entirely.

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What is Mixer?

It might come as a surprise to some that Mixer isn’t actually anything new. It pretty much went unnoticed until Ninja moved to the platform, but it has been around for a while.

Ninja's Mixer channel

© Mixer

The service was opened by Microsoft back in 2016, under the name of Beam. After it had little success it was rebranded to Mixer in 2017. While it has been operating this entire time, it is hardly the household name that Twitch is.

Bringing on a big name like Ninja indicates that Microsoft are getting a bit more serious about their streaming ambitions. It is hard to say if this will pay off though. Established tech companies attempting to muscle into new areas rarely goes well, just look at Google Plus.

With Amazon behind Twitch, it is unlikely that we’ll see any major changes there any time soon. They’re not particularly averse to waiting out other companies. Twitch likely isn’t going anywhere, but its viewers might do. It will be interesting to see how much of Twitch’s Fortnite community is tied to just one streamer.

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What does this mean for Esports?

There is a bigger question that is raised by another name becoming prominent in the streaming business, where will Fortnite competitive events be shown? Ninja acted as a commentator for the entire Fortnite World Cup and was involved with many aspects. It is likely that Mixer will want to show Esports events to go along with this new crowd they’re hoping to bring in.

This might push competitive gaming events into some of the same problems that we’re seeing with other streaming content providers at the moment. Specifically, services becoming proprietary about their content. As more TV and Film streaming services have launched, the net result for the consumer has been to make it harder to actually watch anything.

If streamers and competitive events fragment across various services like Mixer in the future, it is going to be become harder to stick to one platform. While this doesn’t cause any problems for free services if revenue for these platforms falls by enough because of the fragmentation of the market you can’t assume that everything will stay free forever.

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