EA reportedly paid Ninja $1 million to stream Apex Legends for a day

According to a report from Reuters, Ninja was paid $1 million by Electronic Arts to tweet about Apex Legends and stream the game when it was first launched in early February.

Respawn Entertainment lead producer Drew McCoy said the studio’s goal was to “create a day where you couldn’t escape Apex” and added that Electronic Arts partnered with streamers from all over the world to help spread the word.

Twitch streamers and YouTube video creators have been creating sponsored video game content for years, with publishers paying for them to play upcoming titles on their channel. We sincerely doubt that any of them, however, managed to make as much as Tyler “Ninja” Blevins reportedly did for playing Apex Legends.

What’s perhaps most staggering about the $1 million figure is that it appears to have only required a one-day commitment from Ninja. When questioned about the partnership by Kotaku, Electronic Arts said that by midday on February 5, those streaming the game were all doing it entirely by choice. Apex Legends launched on February 4 without any prior announcement, being available to download for free as soon as Respawn Entertainment’s short livestream was completed.

Team Shroud at TwitchCon Doritos
Kimberly White/Getty Images

Ninja told CNN in early 2019 that his total income for last year amounted to nearly $10 million. If his deal with Electronic Arts is indicative of how this year will go, he could smash that figure.

$1 million certainly sounds like a lot of cash for a publisher to pay one person to promote a game, but it appears to have helped Apex Legends find an audience. The game passed 50 million players in early March, and is one of the most-streamed games on Twitch. It still has a long way to go if it wants to surpass the player-count for Fortnite, but it certainly proves that there is room for one than one smash-hit battle royale game.

EA certainly needs the boost from the game, as well, as several of its other recent titles have underperformed. Sales for Battlefield V were below the publisher’s expectations, and BioWare’s online role-playing game Anthem was met with scathing reviews. Respawn Entertainment will be expected to help turn things around with a second game, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, which will arrive this holiday season.


From PUBG to Apex Legends, this is how battle royale happened

Battle royale games like PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds’ and Fortnite have become the biggest trend in video games. The genre is also pushing the envelope in Twitch streaming and eSports.

The best of the last generation: Our 50 favorite Xbox 360 games

The Xbox 360 thrived during a generation where games were plentiful. Here's our list of the best Xbox 360 games of all time, including all game genres and even a few special indie hits.

New character Octane makes an entrance with the first Apex Legends Battle Pass

Apex Legends' first season kicks off March 19 on PS4, Xbox One, and PC. The Battle Pass comes in two versions, with the base version costing around 10 bucks. Seasonal rewards include a bevy of new loot such as legendary skins.

How do Nintendo Switch, Xbox One X compare to each other? We find out

The Nintendo Switch is innovative enough to stand apart from traditional consoles, but could it become your primary gaming system? How does the Switch stack up against the Xbox One?

Master Shinobi combat with our Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice beginner's guide

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is one of the hardest games of the generation, and it can be overwhelming, even for those who have played From Software's other games. Here is what you need to know to get started.

World of Warcraft's allied races will make you want to start a new character

The Horde and Alliance are seeking new allies in their struggle for control of Azeroth. Whether you pledge your allegiance to the Horde or Alliance, we've got a guide to help you unlock every allied race that's coming in Battle for Azeroth.

Nvidia faces attacks from AMD, Intel, and even Google. Should it be worried?

Nvidia announced an expanded array of RTX server solutions designed to leverage the power of ray-tracing at GTC 2019. The effort will help Nvidia take on Google's Stadia in game streaming with GeForce Now, and the company's investments in…

How 5G networks will make low-latency game streaming a reality

Faster speeds and more bandwidth are some of the many promises that 5G can deliver, but for gamers, the most important thing is low latency. To achieve low latency, carriers like AT&T and Verizon are exploring hybrid models for game…
Product Review

Nintendo’s Labo VR Kit may look silly, but it really works

During our hands-on with the Nintendo Labo VR Kit, fears of a gimmicky product from Nintendo were quickly dispelled. While not a direct competitor to Oculus or HTCs own headsets, Labo VR brings a clever, new way to experience VR that makes…

PlayStation does the smart thing, stops selling digital codes at physical stores

Sony will no longer offer PlayStation digital full-game downloads at retail stores. The game downloads will now only be available directly from the PlayStation Network's own digital store.

Seven years later, ‘Dark Souls’ is still a gloriously punishing masterpiece

Despite my experience and love of From Software’s Dark Souls III and Bloodborne, I never played the original Dark Souls. The new remastered version gave me a chance to remedy that, and it was glorious.

Atlus reveals Persona 5 The Royal, teases mysterious new female character

Atlus revealed Persona 5 The Royal in a trailer that features a mysterious new female character. It appears that the redhead will be an antagonist to the Phantom Thieves of Hearts, but many details about the upcoming game remain unclear.

Save big on Corsair gaming headsets and a premium keyboard

From March 24 to 30, you can pick up one of two models of the great Corsair's Void Pro gaming headset on a sweet discount. One of Corsair's best mechanical keyboards is also on sale this week -- at a steep discount.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Robotic companions and computer-aided karaoke

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it's fun to gawk!