So what ARE the caveats for streaming on Mixer exclusively?
Ninja, a Twitch streamer who is now on Mixer because Microsoft has a lot of money on hand, streamed an exclusive first look at Gears 5’s campaign. Seeing as Mixer is part of Microsoft, Gears 5 is an Xbox exclusive, Ninja has a contract to stream exclusively on said streaming platform, and the fact that he didn’t reveal the fact that the stream is additional paid sponsorship, this poses to be a problem.
Games industry analyst Mike Futter said online on Twitter that even if Blevins wasn’t receiving additional payment for streaming Gears 5, viewers should at least know. The stream was considered a partnership with Microsoft to showcase the game a bit more.
So… this is an interesting situation. Ninja, who recently signed an exclusivity deal with Microsoft-owned Mixer, is first-look streaming Gears 5. His tweet isn't marked as an ad. Even if he's not rcving add'l payment for this, if it's part of his contract, viewers should know.
— Mike Futter (@Futterish) September 3, 2019
The other part of the story? Ninja actually “received a complimentary” copy of the game according to a Verge report. He wasn’t required to stream it though, so it’s most likely he just wants the extra traffic for a game that isn’t out until tomorrow, like most streamers and content creators. Mixer further clarified this in a statement:
“Mixer partners are compensated for streaming to the service but they choose what content to stream and when. Mixer partners are required to comply with FTC guidelines on endorsements and testimonials.”
The exclusive stream also made a few other content creators feel a little sour. According to Many A True Nerd’s Jon, he said online that having a “well-known Gears” player would have made more sense as it would help boost huge communities and even bring in new and curious members.
Ninja being gifted exclusive first rights to the new @GearsofWar campaign leaves a bad taste.
First, it's another example of streaming platforms helping to further boost already huge communities.
Second, surely a well-known Gears lets-player would have made more sense?
— Many A True Nerd (@ManyATrueNerd) September 3, 2019
To be fair, Ninja has played his fair share of Gears of War back in the Xbox 360 days and even a few Halo titles before making it big with Fortnite. But one does wonder if Microsoft will continue giving first dibs of their games to Mixer-exclusive streamers like Ninja without any kind of discloser of sorts.
There’s Halo Infinite coming out, FYI. And also the upcoming Xbox Scarlet project too. Will guys like Ninja pimp that like no tomorrow without any mention of it being an ad? Or just extra freebie streams just to be in Microsoft’s good books?
Why you could say that this is as egregious as supposedly partisan video game publications getting first dibs from game publishers as long as even their subpar titles get high scores. The more things change, the more they stay the same.