Hello! I’m Matt, one of the co-founders of Mixer and engineering lead on the platform at Microsoft. Huge welcome to all of you new visitors who are checking out Mixer today for the very first time. We think we have something pretty special here, and are excited to share it with you.
Those of you who are already a part of our community….you’ve probably noticed a lot of changes today, starting with the name. Today marks a big evolution of our interactive live-streaming platform and a new name for the service: Mixer. But, more than just the name, we’re launching several of the features that you all have been asking for. Features that will unlock a whole new world of possibilities for social streaming, and help viewers find the content they’re looking for across the service.
Why the name change? This was a tough decision, and not one that we made lightly. But, it was something that we decided on as a team. We believe so much in the power of the platform and want to grow it in every major market around the world. Unfortunately, that wasn’t something we could do with the Beam name. We chose Mixer as our new name because it represents what we love most about the service….how it brings people together.
It brings people together through the core experience and “special sauce” that our fans already know and love: the ability to not just watch streams, but to also interact with streamers and play together in near real-time. In other words, Mixer is livestreaming that’s actually LIVE, compared to the 10 – 20 second latency you typically get on other platforms. What’s more, viewers can actively participate in what’s happening on screen instead of just watching from the sidelines. With Mixer, you can influence everything from quest selection to tools to movement, mixing it up with your favorite streamers to create a new kind of gaming experience. The Minecraft team is experimenting with the interactivity that Mixer offers as a possibility for official game integration. And, some Minecraft community members have already created interactive experiences using this technology that allow viewers to do things like spawn in zombies or change the weather.
This gets to the heart of what Mixer means for us. We want to empower gamers and everyone who wants to share their passion – whatever it may be – to create and share more easily than ever before across PC, console and mobile. Mixer represents our vision for the next generation of multiplayer – watching and participating alongside your friends in gameplay streaming from anywhere in the world.
Crowd Play from Telltale Games
One fantastic example of interactivity in action is from our friends at Telltale Games.
Ever wondered what it’d be like to play a game with a dynamic interactive story where hundreds or thousands of other people are voting on a player’s choices? Well, Telltale Games has designed something truly unique. Their “Crowd Play” feature in Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series, The Walking Dead: A New Frontier and BATMAN: The Telltale Series allows an audience to choose what happens at story moments and determine the trajectory and outcome of the adventure.
They’ve already debuted games on the big screen in theaters and at gaming conventions where hundreds of fans have lined up to help vote on decisions from their mobile devices. In the online space, this type of “live audience” interaction is only possible on a service without latency issues since it’s important that the dialogue and gameplay feel smooth and natural. What’s especially exciting is that Telltale plans to bring this unique type of massive online player participation to streamers and players around the world in all their future projects.
We’re thrilled to see developers and community members using Mixer’s interactive tools in such creative ways and can’t wait to see what other imaginative ideas creators will bring to life building on our Interactive 2.0 development kit.
New Innovations for the Next Generation of Streaming
The Mixer service is built directly into the Guide on Xbox One and Game bar on Windows 10 to make it super easy for anyone to start streaming their gameplay. Anyone can share their gameplay with friends, or start building out an audience, in just a couple of clicks, and with no extra software required.
Today, we’re excited to start rolling out several new features that will unleash a whole new world of possibilities for streamers to interact and engage more deeply with their audiences, and for viewers to find the content most relevant to them:
- Co-Streaming Launches Today. Starting today, we’re launching the first built-in cooperative streaming experience on a streaming platform where up to 4 streamers can combine their streams into a single viewer experience. Co-streaming enables multiple channel streams to be displayed on a single Mixer page. You and up to three other friends can deliver a stream that combines separate stream sources into one shared “split-screen” view, including a centralized chat experience. Co-streaming is available now for everyone. And in the coming weeks, Xbox One users will be able to invite friends to join a co-stream directly from the Guide. Co-streaming doesn’t require streamers to play the same game or even do the same activity, and you can join a co-stream with friends who are streaming from different types of devices. Four friends can broadcast a co-op session of League of Legends or PLAYERUNKNOWN’S Battlegrounds, and then just as easily stream a remote live-band jam session or play a multiplayer board game with their viewers. Viewers don’t need to flip back and forth across different streams to view the same group of streamers – they can watch all the action in one place, while enjoying all the innovative interactivity that Mixer offers.
- Mixer Create Beta Launches on Mobile Devices (iOS and Android). Mixer Create is a new mobile app that enables self-broadcasting, and we’re kicking off the beta today (available publicly on Android, and through Apple’s TestFlight service by invite only). Soon thereafter, we’ll add the ability to stream live gameplay from your mobile device as well. The ability to broadcast gameplay on-the-go opens up entirely new social gaming possibilities. In the future, you could imagine streaming Pokémon Go on your mobile device, through Mixer, and hunting with viewers! Once mobile gameplay streaming launches, you’ll be able to join a co-stream with friends who are broadcasting on PC, console or other mobile devices.
- Channel One. Channel One is an always-on, moderated channel of content that lets you see what’s happening across Mixer. We’ll highlight a wide variety of content, including big title releases, livestream events, tips and tricks, esports updates, and more. There’s always something new on Channel One, and it’s a great “first stop” for new visitors to see what’s out there and get acquainted with our service.
- Mixer Page on the Xbox One Dashboard. Launching today to Xbox Insiders, the new Mixer page on the Xbox One dashboard will feature some of the most unique, popular and engaging streams that are broadcast on Mixer, curated by our dedicated team. We’ll showcase the huge variety of diverse, creative content from our streaming community and allow viewers to easily find content relevant to them. And it’s a great way to see what many of our awesome Mixer partners are up to.
We’re also committed to making Mixer the premier place to watch Xbox at E3 June 11-15. Today, we’re excited to announce that Xbox will be broadcasting the E3 briefing in 4K Ultra HD, with a special edition Mixer 4K broadcast for those with a 4K A/V setup ready to go. And, there will be some special digital bonuses for those watching and signed in on Mixer. Be sure to create your account in advance so you don’t miss out on any of the fun.
We hope you enjoy these new features. Be sure to let us know what you think on our feedback forums!
Mixer NYC Studio
Another exciting announcement today is the introduction of the Mixer NYC Studio. Located at the flagship Microsoft Store in New York, the Mixer NYC Studio is a digital production studio designed for live audience, competitive and community gaming events. The state of the art facility includes broadcast capabilities to bring gaming and esports events held on the store’s 5th floor to fans globally through Mixer, as well as serve as a destination for gaming fans to experience next-gen interactivity as players, creators and viewers, in an array of events at the center of Fifth Avenue in Manhattan.
The studio is outfitted with professional-grade gaming stations, a control room that supports 2D and 3D graphic effects, a digital audio system bringing arena, concert sound quality, full interactive lighting control, an LED video wall, shoutcaster desks and player lounges, along with stage, audience and commentary setups.
Check out Mixer.com/MicrosoftStore for the latest Mixer NYC Studio events, streams and how to join.
A Mixer Celebration
Finally, we invite you to join us in celebrating Mixer’s launch with a full day of livestreaming fun at mixer.com/mixer! We will be kicking off the festivities at 11 a.m. Pacific Time today with a livestream from the Microsoft campus where we’ll share more details and demo all the great new features that are launching. Immediately afterwards, the Mixer NYC Studio will host a gaming marathon that continues throughout the day, featuring a variety of streamers competing for bragging rights in a multi-genre esports gauntlet including Forza Motorsport 6, For Honor, Rocket League, Gang Beasts and Overcooked. Plus, Microsoft Store locations will be celebrating today’s launch with Forza Motorsport 6 tournaments, giveaways and more. At 6 p.m. PT, co-founder James Boehm will be hosting a Co-streaming Partner Spotlight where he’ll be playing, co-streaming, chatting, and answering questions alongside many of our amazing Mixer partners. The celebration concludes with Mixerworks, an interactive fireworks show that begins at 9 p.m. PT and showcases how Mixer’s interactivity truly works by allowing you to create the display.
Thank you to all our fans for your support in making Mixer such an engaging and welcoming community. And for all the new visitors today, please let us know what you think. You can reach us at @WatchMixer or at www.mixer.com.
See you on the streams!
Note: updated 5/25 at 2:25 p.m. PDT with clarification on the availability of the Mixer Create mobile app beta on iOS (currently only via Apple’s invite-only TestFlight service)