The big industry news last week wasn’t a new game reveal or a beloved studio closing down. It was popular Fortnite streamer Tyler “Ninja” Blevins moving from Twitch to Microsoft’s competing Mixer service. Ninja made the announcement and said he was excited to get back to his “streaming roots” perhaps in a nod to his origins as a big Halo player. Whatever the deal entailed, Microsoft obviously hopes some portion of Ninja’s 14.7 million Twitch followers will do exactly that. And if enough of them come over to Mixer, perhaps other popular streamers will follow suit? It’s a gamble for both participants, since Twitch partner streamers cannot also play on competitor’s services, but some dress code rules are proving to be an hindrance in some cases.
In his inaugural Mixer sessions, it appears the plan is working. Ninja’s streams are hitting around 80,000 viewers and Mixer reported a “large increase” in new account creations. Additionally, it seems a bunch of streamers are seriously looking at Mixer now, presumably based on Ninja’s move. They may not migrate, but they’re definitely giving the Mixer’s rules a critical eye.
The chest must be covered from the bust-line to the end of the rib cage. No “under cleavage.”
Mixer has always had much stricter rules for “family friendly” content and streamers’ clothing than similar services. While Twitch has some rules about nudity and has cracked down a bit on provocative streamers’ content, Mixer takes things further and specifies articles of dress that are and aren’t okay. This is further complicated by situational rules like bikinis not being allowed unless you’re streaming from the beach or a poolside location, and there are different tolerances based on the age of the intended audience.
For many streamers, it means covering up, changing their normal outfits, or staying away from Mixer entirely. This is a problem for some streamers that depend on income coming from an audience that appreciates seeing some skin. The looser Twitch environment works to their advantage. Additionally, while the rules appear to apply to all genders, some female streamers complain that Mixer’s rules hit them harder since their clothing naturally includes lower-cut necks that are more revealing than the average guy’s polo shirt.
It’s all become a toxic debate as “boobie streamers” weigh in on the issue, attracting heated discussion around what is and isn’t appropriate for girl gamers to wear. While the same tired insults about promiscuity on Twitch get traded again, it’s important to note that big-money advertisers are looking for platforms that won’t get them into trouble by being associated with indecent or controversial material.