There are an awful lot of people playing Respawn Entertainment’s excellent free to play battle royale Apex Legends, but how many of these people are making eye watering buckets of cash for doing so?
Not many, at least as far as I’m aware. I know all I’m making from it is a bored wife and a rapidly crumbling social life, but whatever.
Some people are more lucky, apparently. According to a new report from Reuters, which cites an anonymous source, everyone’s favourite spiky haired streamer Ninja pocketed around $1 million for playing Apex Legends and Tweeting about it following the game’s launch in early February.
It’s no secret that Ninja also makes a pretty impressive living from streaming games. With over 13 million followers on Twitch, it was reported in December last year that he makes roughly $500,000 a month, and often quite a bit more in a “good month.”
Even by those already lofty standards though, a cool 1 mil is not to be sniffed at. In its own report, Kotaku noted that it couldn’t validate Reuters claims, but did learn from its own sources that Ninja was once paid $600,000 for just one event last year – though the sources declined to comment on what this event was.
Ninja has declined to comment so far, but EA did tell Kotaku that the launch of Apex Legends did include paid streams as they wanted to quickly “introduce the game to the world.” It also confirmed that these paid streams stopped a day after launch, and all streaming after that was “completely organic.”
EA did make it clear that all creators it works with must disclose their partnership, noting:
EA requires full disclosure and transparency with every Game Changer, content activation, or paid sponsorship that we are involved with. This is mandatory for every country, language, or influencer that we work with. We do not partner with influencers, agencies, or talent who do not support proper disclosure.
Indeed, when Ninja was streaming Apex Legends there was a graphic confirming he was in fact part of a creator program, but the general consensus seems to be a little more transparency would have been appreciated.
Ewan Moore is a journalist at UNILAD Gaming who still quite hasn’t gotten out of his mid 00’s emo phase. After graduating from the University of Portsmouth in 2015 with a BA in Journalism & Media Studies (thanks for asking), he went on to do some freelance words for various places, including Kotaku, Den of Geek, and TheSixthAxis, before landing a full time gig at UNILAD in 2016.