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Microsoft to close Mixer live streaming service, tie up with Facebook Gaming

June 22 (Reuters) - Microsoft Corp is closing down Mixer, its live streaming service for games, and shifting users to Facebook Gaming, the technology giant's Xbox division said on Monday.

Starting on July 22, all Mixer sites and applications will redirect users to Facebook Inc’s gaming app, Xbox said in a blog post https://news.xbox.com/en-us/2020/06/22/bringing-more-players-into-our-gaming-vision.

Microsoft bought Mixer in 2016, hoping to rope in millions of paying subscribers looking to watch live streams of their favorite gamers competing in e-sports or playing popular video games such as Call of Duty and Grand Theft Auto.

However, despite online streaming viewership booming under coronavirus lockdowns, Mixer has struggled to leave the shadow of market leader Twitch, owned by Amazon.com Inc. Even booking popular video game streamer Tyler Blevins, who goes by the online moniker “Ninja”, was not enough for Microsoft to close in on Twitch’s lead. “It became clear that the time needed to grow our own live streaming community to scale was out of measure with the vision and experiences we want to deliver to gamers now, so we’ve decided to close the operations side of Mixer,” Xbox head Phil Spencer said.

Microsoft, whose latest generation Xbox console is slated for launch later this year, said it will now focus on developing its XCloud video game streaming service and integrating it with Facebook’s gaming app.

(Reporting by Uday Sampath and Ayanti Bera in Bengaluru; Editing by Devika Syamnath)

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