If Ninja Made $1 Million Streaming Apex Legends, He Deserved It

Jason Winter
By Jason Winter, News Editor March 14, 2019
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It shouldn't come as a surprise that well-known streamers can make a lot of money. Many get by just on donations and subscriptions to their Twitch or YouTube channels, but if you're a big deal, game companies will pay you directly to promote their games. If you're a really big deal, they'll pay you a lot.

That was the case with Apex Legends and Tyler "Ninja" Blevins, who reportedly was paid a cool million dollars to stream Respawn Entertainment's and Electronic Arts' battle royale when it was new earlier this month. According to Reuters, another streamer, Shroud, was also paid to promote the game via his stream. "We had streamers from all over Europe, LatAm, North America, Korea, Japan so that we could get our message out there and people would see the game," said Apex Legends Lead Producer Drew McCoy.

That's the news portion of this story, so now I'll get into some editorializing. I've already seen a fair number of comments on other sites -- and wouldn't be surprised to see some more here -- decrying the practice of paying streamers and YouTubers to promote games. I'm in complete agreement that the financial connection should have been disclosed, so that you knew Ninja was streaming the game because he was paid to do so. Maybe it was; I don't feel like looking through all his tweets and videos to find out if he did.

The other part that I see people grousing about? That companies just shouldn't pay these "influencers" or "internet celebrities" or whatever? I can't agree with that. And if you're reading this, neither should you.

In the grand scheme of things, Ninja is a nobody. He's famous, to a degree, but not to a mainstream audience. On that level, he's not on par with someone like, say, Johnny Depp or Ariana Grande. You probably wouldn't have a problem with them promoting a product, so why have that same issue with Ninja doing it?

Is it because he's just some weird-haired kid and not a "traditional" celebrity? It is because he "just plays video games"? If so, you must have similar issues with people who get paid to write about video games. And yet you're here, reading this.

Ninja got that million dollars because he's really good at his job, just like Depp or Grande are good at theirs. And make no mistake: what he does is a job. He works every day, for several hours a day, same as someone who works in an office. Just because he gets to do something more "fun" than looking at spreadsheets all day doesn't invalidate that. It requires a lot of talent and hard work to do what he does. If it didn't, anyone could do it. Ninja made a million dollars streaming a game because he could. If you could, you would too. I know I would.

You can argue that there are plenty of jackholes out there, "internet celebrities" that are abrasive, obnoxious, or outright toxic. I agree, there are. But the fact that anyone is capable of achieving this level of success with a minimal outlay of funds -- OK, you need a decent computer, but beyond that, not much -- and no formal background or connections in the entertainment business is incredible. It's something that wouldn't have been possible 15 or 20 years ago. It's the purest form of the American Dream and it should be applauded by everyone.

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About the Author

Jason Winter
Jason Winter, News Editor
Jason Winter is a veteran gaming journalist, he brings a wide range of experience to MMOBomb, including two years with Beckett Media where he served as the editor of the leading gaming magazine Massive Online Gamer. He has also written professionally for several gaming websites.

Discussion (11)

Natsu_Dragneel 2 years ago
Better yet why not make it so a small amount of each donation is donated to a good cause (Cancer research) for example or anything that will be a genuine help.

No Name Given 2 years ago
I mean, sure. If you are so short-sighted and/or shallow-minded that you react positively to making money doing something that benefits no-one except the game publisher trying to farm money off 9-14 year olds.

I've got more applause for the women who run my local charity shop, selling old books and clothes day and and day out and helping Cancer Research UK, or The Red Cross or whoever.

You could apply this articles entire argument to Kendall Jenner promoting that "Tea" or "Drink" or whatever to her audience which was essentially a laxative packaged as a health food. That is something that wasn't possible 15 years ago. Wow, the American dream.

This was the first and will be the last article I read on MMOBomb. Jesus wept.

Aaron Johnson 2 years ago
Gotta love dumb college kids donating all there loan money to twitch streamers. Not sure why they think money is free.

Philly 2 years ago
u gotta love some of the negative reports let me put it this way if it was you, u would be fine but since its someone else, then Morals come into place, Save ohhh Save the lil kittens for £3 a month, u could help these lil critters walk up right, their in urgent need of their nails being clipped...lol

Manipulator 2 years ago
heyy Internet is not a service anymore, it's a digital world

Mimeade 2 years ago
The problem is not Ninja who earns millions of dollars playing video games. Although I agree that the millions should take them who saves lives and makes the world better.

The real problem is that the Internet has become like television.

It is no longer a place for people, it is a place where ants play to imitate VIP people. I also do Streaming on Twitch, I make videos on Youtube, I write on forums and communicate with others. But I do it because it's the Internet, I want to communicate with people.

If it becomes like TV or who wants to be famous, everything loses its meaning. Everything is false, like traditional media.

TreadHead 2 years ago
All sponsored streams on twitch require it to be disclosed upfront in the title of the stream. This is not a new policy and it wasn't some kind of secret that big streamers were paid to play Apex on launch day.

Rundundukas 2 years ago
I will react to tittle: No one deserves to get million $ just for streaming gameplay ... This world is messed up.
Police officers, doctors, firefighters and others who work hard on saving lives by placing themselves in danger cant even dream about such amount of money and yet egotistical kid can make million $ by playing games.

RIP this world.

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