Just days after CVP of gaming Mike Ybarra announced he was leaving Microsoft, Mixer co-founder Matt Salsamendi has done the same. He will instead be following a lifelong passion: working with lasers to create lighting for EDM festivals.
“For as long as I remember I’ve been fascinated with the idea of using light to represent music,” he said in a Twitter statement. “Growing up I dreamed of running lighting for EDM festivals and tours, and I want to pursue that passion in a bigger way.”
His departure follows that of Mixer’s other co-founder, James Boehm, on October 2nd. Boehm also said he plans to work on other projects, one of them being his place on the board of Gamer Goo.
After 5 incredible years, tomorrow will be my last day at Mixer. A bit about the story of Beam and what's next for me below. Thank you, for everything.💙 pic.twitter.com/bvAktSSpPh
— Matt (@MattSalsamendi) October 10, 2019
Squaring up to Twitch
Mixer was formerly known as Beam but had its name switched because it was preventing it from debuting internationally. The Twitch rival has seen a significant increase in traffic since Microsoft’s acquisition, thanks in part to integrations across Xbox and Windows 10.
The company also recently penned an exclusive contract with streaming giant Ninja, who was formerly Twitch’s most-subscribed creator. Some reports suggest that Microsoft could have paid over $10 million to the streamer in order to capture his audience of 14 million users.
Whether the departure of both of Mixer’s co-founders in a short period is a coincidence or not is unclear. Neither has announced plans to work with the other on future projects nor have they aired any public grievances with Microsoft.
In fact, Salsamendi says “The support we received from across Microsoft was humbling for me and the experience I’ve gained in the last 3 years is irreplaceable”.
Beam began as a game hosting service when Salsamendi was just thirteen years old, so the founder has been with his company for eight years. After all that time and much of his childhood, it’s unsurprising that he’d want to move on. It’ll be interesting to see what innovations he can bring to life in the music world.