When Apex Legends launched on 5 February, the game simply blew up and you simply couldn’t escape it. Thankfully, it wasn’t only inescapable but also one, if not the best battle royale experience we have had. Respawn and EA did a fantastic job, to say the least. Respawn created the game, while EA opened up its wallet and threw some serious money at influencers. How serious are we talking? Well, EA reportedly paid Tyler Blevins, also known to the Fortnite community as Ninja, $1 million (or R14.4 million) to play and stream Apex Legends when the game launched.
Ninja tweeted about the game on 4 February and then proceeded to stream him playing it to his 13 million Twitch.tv followers on 5 February. For that, EA paid him $1 million according to a report by Reuters. Ninja wasn’t alone as more top influencers in the battle royale genre were paid to promote and stream the game.
Before people jump on the EA hate train, keep in mind that EA did nothing wrong or under the table. Ninja’s stream, for example, was labelled with “Apex Legends partner”, so everyone knew it was sponsored content. Still, it is a whole lot of money, but it worked out so well in the end for the publisher. Apex Legends blew past the 25 million players milestone three weeks after launch and the last number we heard was 50 million, which is pretty insane growth if you ask anyone.
That’s exactly what EA wanted to do and on the day of release, no one could escape Apex Legends. Drew McCoy, Respawn’s project lead on Apex Legends, said in an interview that:
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. 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.
So did EA pay too much? Well, from a business perspective, I definitely do not think so. According to Reuters, EA’s stock price and market value rose with 16% in the first three days of Apex Legends’ launch. If you aren’t sitting down, now would be a good time to do so, as that 16% translates into $4 billion…
If you are watching Apex Legends streams now, keep in mind that all Apex Legends streaming from content creators after 5 February is “completely organic” according to an EA rep speaking to Kotaku.
What do you think about the massive amount EA reportedly paid Ninja just to play some Apex Legends and stream it? Let us know in the comment section below and check out some other Apex Legends content from Ninja’s YouTube channel below.
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