Prime Twitch streamer Tyler “Ninja” Blevins was reportedly paid round $1 million to play and promote “Apex Legends” at launch by Electronic Arts, according to an unnamed source of Reuters.
Ninja, a streamer with over 13 million followers on Twitch, is best known for streaming a different battle royale game: Epic Games’ “Fortnite.” Electronic Arts (EA) launched “Apex Legends” last month, which is also free-to-play and has already gaining a rapid following. The game drew in 50 million players in less than 30 days. For comparison, “Fortnite” took roughly 100 days to reach 45 million players, and now that player count is more than 200 million.
It seems that EA, in part, grew its playerbase rapidly by having influential players, such as streamers like Ninja, play its latest title at launch in order to promote the game and tweet about it as well. EA also reportedly paid streamer “Shroud” with a follower base of almost 6 million to play and stream “Apex Legends.”
Though “Apex Legends” is free-to-play, it offers cosmetic extras that earns EA money. In order to draw in massive amounts of players at launch, EA and Respawn Entertainment made the launch day a big event by having streamers from all over Europe, North America, Latin America, and even Korea and Japan play the game at launch, according to an interview with lead producer Drew McCoy.
“We really wanted to create a day where you couldn’t escape ‘Apex’ if you cared about games,” McCoy said. “And we wanted it to feel like an event was happening everywhere around the globe on that day.”