Tyler “Ninja” Blevins – one of the world’s biggest gaming streamers – has just defected from Twitch to Microsoft’s Mixer service, and that’s a pretty big deal in case you were wondering.
Ninja has made a name for himself as one of the biggest Fortnite players on the planet, and is effortlessly the single biggest signing to Mixer since the service began as Beam back in 2016. Since then, Microsoft’s game streaming service has struggled to match the likes of Twitch and YouTube, but the company’s deep pockets – which have enabled the acquisition of Ninja – could change all of that.
“We’re thrilled to welcome Ninja and his community to Mixer,” Mixer said in a statement. “Mixer is a place that was formed around being positive and welcoming from day one, and we look forward to the energy Ninja and his community will bring.”
“I have been holding on to this for quite some time,” Ninja commented. “I’m just super excited to let everyone know. I’ll be streaming on Mixer full-time now and I’m honestly at a loss for words. I’m freaking out in the best ways. I feel like I’m going to get back to the streaming roots.”
While the service has changed, Ninja has stated that the content of his videos will remain the same. Twitch, which has benefited from Ninja’s presence for some time now, had this to say about the news:
“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, like its big rival Twitch, has a gaming focus and draws both low-level and professional streamers. It is tightly integrated with Xbox One and Windows 10 dashboards, which takes some of the hassle out of streaming from those platforms. Like Twitch, it is backed by monetization options and its own site-wide currency, called Sparks. Viewers can earn Sparks simply by watching videos, then gift these Sparks to their favourite streamer who can then transform them into cold, hard cash.
Mixer still has some way to go before it can realistically challenge Twitch, though. There are about 69,000 streamers on Mixer, which is a drop in the ocean compared to the 1.5 million on Twitch. Still, a high-profile signing such as Ninja will bring more users to the platform, so who knows what could happen over the next few years.
Damien McFerran has been covering phones and mobile technology for well over a decade. An Android specialist, as well as an expert reviewer of phones, Damien is one of the best technology journalists working today. He is also editorial director over at the excellent Nintendo Life.