These days, it is not uncommon to see big organizations promote their games by cutting deals with top streamers and YouTubers, but how much does one of those deals really cost? In the case of a chameleon-haired king of Twitch Tyler Ninja Blevins, the number could be as much high as $1 million.
Citing a source that is completely anonymous, Reuters published the latest report today saying that the publisher EA games paid Ninja $1 million to play Apex Legends and tweet about it the day after the game has been launched. Streamer Ninja has over 13 million followers on platform Twitch, meaning that anything he streams on his channel will get an astronomical amount of exposure. That said, even by the standards of Ninja, $1 million is just a significant chunk of change, in the month of December, he told CNN he makes $500,000 every month and a lot more in a good month.
Although Kotaku wasn’t able to completely confirm the veracity of report of Reuter, two people who have worked together with Ninja said he was paid $600,000 for one of his events last year. Those people, who requested anonymity because they weren’t authorized to speak about the deal, asked that we not name the event in which Ninja participated.
When asked for comment, Ninja did not even reply, and while EA games declined to go into specifics, an EA representative did tell Kotaku that the organization had a multi-part marketing program for Apex Legends which included that paid engagements with some content creators at the launch of the Apex Legends as we looked to quickly introduce the game to the entire world. However, they said that the streams which are paid, were only short-lived, after midday on February 5, the day after release, all Apex Legends streaming from content creators was fully organic.
The representative also pointed to a disclosure policy gaming streamers like Ninja were required to adhere to. EA games require full transparency and disclosure with every content activation, Game Changer, or paid sponsorship that we are involved with, it reads. This is mandatory for every language, country, or influencer that we work with. We do not partner with agencies, influencers, or talent who do not support proper complete disclosure.
It does not go into how often youtube or twitch streamers are required to disclose sponsored content or what exactly entails in the proper disclosure, nor how prominent placement of said disclosure requires to be. This can lead to bigger confusion, given that streams often last for a lot of hours. Case in point is that, On launch day of Apex Legends and the day following, we watched hours of game streams from both Ninja and fellow battle royale streamer kingpin Michael Shroud Grzesiek. Both had gaming stream graphics which indicated they were part of an Apex Legends partner program, but during the time we watched them, neither outlined the exact specifics of what this program describes. Shroud alluded to aiding in the development of the game as a consultant, but he did not disclose the terms of his compensation.
There is no denying in the fact that EA’s decision to partner with big gaming streamers had an impact. On the release day of Apex Legends, it doubled Fortnite’s concurrent viewership numbers, pulling off a statement that, days earlier, nobody would have thought possible. More than a month later, Apex Legends remains a Twitch top ten mainstream games, often occupying a spot among the service of top three most-viewed games.
Robert Williams is a self-professed security expert; he has been making the people aware of the security threats. His passion is to write about Cybersecurity, malware, social engineering, Games, internet and new media. He writes for Netgear Router products at