How do you get your stock price to jump 16%? Well, if you’re EA, you pay Twitch streamer Tyler “Ninja” Blevins to play your newly released title Apex Legends for a cool $1 million, according to a Reuters report. It seems like a fair return on investment, but Blevins’ representatives will not confirm how much he made if anything from playing the game that was clearly marketed to compete against Fortnite, the game that helped launch Blevins’ career.
In the past, Blevins denied directly making money from Fortnite, but he had to be careful when speaking about it to WIRED last year. “I have to really think about this because I don’t want to misspeak,” he stated. “I don’t think I’ve been paid by them to do anything, ever. Other than what they’ve done for everyone like the Support-A-Creator code, and they didn’t pay me for that. So no, Fortnite has not paid me.”
Is it possible that Blevins made his $10 million last year from something other than game sponsorship? According to Business Insider, yes. The bulk of his income is paid directly through Twitch and tips made from his streams, including a $40,000 donation one time. Then he also receives money from non-game sponsors like Red Bull, Uber Eats, and Samsung.
Although neither EA, Respawn, nor Blevins admits to the amount of the exchange, Blevins, along with other popular streamers Michael “Shroud” Grzesiek and Guy “Dr. Disrepsect” Beahm, stated live on their respective streams of Apex Legends that the stream was sponsored. Given the reported billions that EA made from the increase in stock-value after the game launched, a million or two tossed at few streamers isn’t a whole lot of money, but it does guarantee a whole lot of Twitch saturation.