A new report alleges that Electronic Arts paid popular Twitch streamer Ninja aka Tyler Blevins $1 million to stream Apex Legends to his over 12 million followers.
Reuters reports Blevins “was paid around $1 million” to tweet about Apex Legends and stream the game to his over 12 million followers on Twitch. Reuters notes this is “more than twice media reports of Ninja’s monthly earnings from streaming his regular appearances on Fortnite.”
The report also indicated Electronic Arts paid Polish-Canadian Twitch streamer Shroud to play the game and stream it to his nearly six million followers. However, what he was paid was not disclosed.
Electronic Arts and Respawn claim they signed up over 10 million people to play the game in the first three days. Reuters claims “EA’s stock price and market value rose 16 percent, or $4 bllion, in the there days after Apex Legends launched and a month later the game has 50 million users, a quarter of Fortnite’s 200 million.”
Kevin Knock of esports firm ReKTGlobal lauded EA’s marketing strategy for Apex Legends, “They did a fairly comprehensive job at pulling together all of the relevant game influencers in this genre.” He added, “This was a really well coordinated poaching of the top influencers the likes of which has not been seen so far in esports.”
Respawn Entertainment executive producer Drew McCoy made it clear that there marketing strategy was to dominate the airwaves when they launched Apex Legends.
“We really wanted to create a day where you couldn’t escape Apex if you cared about games and we wanted it to feel like an event was happening everywhere around the globe on that day.”
McCoy would brag about all of the streamers they had lined up for the launch:
“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.”
Reuters states that analysts believe the game will bring in $500 million in revenue annually. For comparison Fortnite brought in $2.4 billion in revenue in 2018.
Time will tell if Apex Legends will be able to maintain its user base. One Angry Gamer’s Billy D is not optimistic writing:
“It actually requires more than social engineering machinations to keep people playing, and unless they offer more than just a “diverse” cast of characters that only appeal to blue checkmarks on Twitter, they’ll have another dead game on their hands that was little more than a flash in the pan.”
What do you make of Electronic Arts’ marketing strategy to pay streamers to play Apex Legends? Do you think it is dishonest? Do you think this should be a practice other gaming companies emulate?