Jose Juarez, Associated Press
This Sept. 10, 2018, file photo shows Tyler "Ninja" Blevins before an NFL football game between the Detroit Lions and New York Jets in Detroit. For the first time since its meteoric rise, “Fortnite” is no longer a no-doubt victory royale atop the video game industry. “Apex Legends”, a battle royale from Electronic Arts, has stormed the market and smashed “Fortnite” records for downloads and viewership since its release three weeks ago. Blevins and other streaming stars have powered that surge, as has the emergence of an 18-year-old “Apex” superstar. Esports teams are already scrambling to sign talented players and invest long-term in the breakout title.

SALT LAKE CITY — Popular Twitch streamer Ninja reportedly raked in $1 million for promoting the new video game “Apex Legends” during its launch, Reuters reports.

  • Electronic Arts reportedly asked a few video gamers to play and promote the new video game title in the first few hours after its launch with the intention of generating buzz in the video game streaming market, according to Reuters.
  • Bevins tweeted about the free-to-play game on Feb. 5 before streaming his gameplay to more than 13 million people using Twitch, an app that shows video game streams.
  • A source told Reuters that Bevins earned $1 million for promoting the game, which “is more than twice media reports of Ninja’s monthly earnings from streaming his regular appearances on 'Fortnite' and way above what was speculated on a number of internet discussion boards,” according to Reuters.
  • Representatives for Ninja did not comment on the issue.

EA: An EA spokesperson told The Verge the company does not “comment on details of our agreements with any of the content creators that we worked with at the 'Apex Legends' launch.”

Bigger picture: “Game companies paying streamers to promote a new game is not a new development. Since the rise of gaming-centric content on YouTube more than a decade ago, companies have increasingly turned to content creators to build buzz for a game, treating those influencers as critical tastemakers that can help a new title blow up overnight,” according to The Verge.

  • This is the first time that we’ve seen how much money content creators earned from companies to promote video games, according to The Verge.

Ninja: To his credit, Ninja said in his streams and on social media that he was being sponsored by EA, according to The Verge.

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  • Ninja earned about $10 million in 2018, mostly for streaming the video game “Fortnite,” according to CNN. He earned money from his Twitch subscriptions, YouTube ads, as well as sponsorships from Red Bull and Uber Eats. He also appeared in a Samsung commercial promoting the Galaxy Note 9.

“Apex Legends”: The new EA battle royale style game earned 25 million subscribers in one week, with 10 million subscribing alone in the game’s first three days, according to my report for the Deseret News. This broke a “Fortnite” record. The game clearly made a dent in the ongoing battle royale video game market.