Unconfirmed rumors are swirling that Electronic Arts paid Tyler "Ninja" Blevins a million dollars to stream Apex Legends and tweet about it to his thirteen million followers within the first 24-hours after the game was announced. Other "influencers" were also paid to stream Apex Legends, including Michael "Shroud" Grzesiek, though the details of his deal with EA remain unknown. The standard caveat in this is that neither EA nor Blevins have commented on the rumors.
The amount underlines the increasingly cut-throat fight for dominance of the free-to-play battle royale genre that, through Epic Games' global smash hit "Fortnite", has pushed major publishers like Electronic Arts to change how they do business.
"This was a really well coordinated poaching of the top influencers the likes of which has not been seen so far in esports," said Kevin Knocke, VP of ReKTGlobal, suggesting that EA had also roped in streamers better-known for playing other blockbusters like "Call of Duty" or "PUBG".
Blevins is most widely known for his meteoric rise as an influencer along with the huge success of Fortnite, which he streams regularly.
What, if any, effect this will have on the success of the generally well-liked Apex Legends remains to be seen.