For most gamers, playing in front of their computers or consoles for hours allows them to earn their target level, get more powerful gear, and complete in-game achievements.
However, that is not the case for Tyler Blevins, who is commonly known in the gaming world as "Ninja." Hours of gameplay and streaming on his Twitch channel led to not only hundreds, thousands, but millions in revenue.
According to a recent report, Ninja, who is also the world's most-followed gamer, received $1 million for his launch day campaign for free-to-play shooter Apex Legends. The partnership between Ninja and Electronic Arts, who published the game, was not kept secret, as showcased by the "Apex Legends partner" label at the top right of his stream.
Perks Of Being A Top Gamer-Streamer
This was not the first time Ninja was paid a large sum for streaming and promoting games. In 2018, he reportedly earned close to $10 million in Fortnite subscriptions, not to mention the revenue he gets from YouTube ads, Uber Eats sponsorships, and advertisement deals with Redbull. Meanwhile, another source claimed Blevins earned about $600,000 for attending a single event last year.
In December, Ninja said he makes $500,000 a month, and even more in "a good month." Meanwhile, EA has also tapped other popular influencers to promote Apex Legends on Feb. 5. Other streamers such as Michael "Shroud" Grzesiek and Jack "CouRage" Dunlop continued to play the game weeks after the official launch.
According to an EA representative, the continuous streaming of their partner streamers led to a boost in popularity. Since launch day, the rep claims all Apex Legends streams have been organic.
With the help of top influencers, Apex Legends broke records during the first week of its release. In just 24 hours, the game already accumulated more than 2.5 million unique players. In three days, the number ballooned to 10 million. One month after launch, reports say the Respawn Entertainment shooter raked in 50 million.
In contrast, Fortnite which is another battle-royale shooter and currently leads the genre, managed to break the 30 million mark in three months. Apex Legends' success can therefore be attributed to the partnership deals EA made with top video game streamers such as Ninja.
"They did a fairly comprehensive job at pulling together all of the relevant game influencers in this genre. This was a really well coordinated poaching of the top influencers the likes of which has not been seen so far in esports," said Kevin Knocke, vice president of the esports infrastructure firm ReKTGlobal.