On Wednesday, Ninja hosted his first Fortnite livestream on YouTube, drawing in no less than 2.5 million viewers in about 12 hours. It’s his first livestream on Google’s platform, and his first stream after Microsoft announced that they will be shutting down Mixer to partner with Facebook Gaming. The Ninja YouTube livestream got fans wondering if he’s about to close an exclusive deal with YouTube gaming but, sources say, Ninja is still a free agent.
Earlier this week, Ninja, by his real name Tyler Blevins, posted a cryptic tweet hinting at a major announcement coming soon. Many of his fans speculated that he was about to sign another huge contract with a baseball or basketball team, but no, Ninja went live on YouTube and had a good time playing Fortnite Squads with his mates TimTheTatMan, Courage, and DrLupo.
Since Ninja isn’t tied to an exclusive platform anymore, fans are curious if the livestream means that he’s about to partner with YouTube, but we don’t have confirmation of that so far.
Ninja first gained a massive following on Twitch, and became one of the most popular streamers in the world. Here he gained more than 14 million followers and made over $500,000/month. However, in August 2019 he stopped streaming on Twitch and signed an exclusive deal with Mixer, worth $20 to $30 million in the process.
Three weeks ago, Microsoft made the surprise announcement that they would be shutting down Mixer and all accounts would be moved to Facebook Gaming. At the time, Facebook allegedly offered Ninja and Shroud, another top streamer, an offer double the Mixer deal, but both of them refused. Ninja’s Mixer page is still active, but starting July 22 all pages will redirect to Facebook Gaming.
Soon after Microsoft announced the end of Mixer, Ninja’s old Twitch page updated to display some information about Valorant, the new Riot shooter that he’d been streaming on Mixer, which got people wondering if this hinted at a return to his original home. It seems that for the time being Ninja will leave his fans guessing because, sources say, the streamer is still in negotiations with several platforms and is trying out several options before he commits.
When Ninja moved from Twitch to Mixer, his entire community was taken aback and the deal itself sent ripples across the streaming industry because YouTube, Twitch, and Facebook were trying to sign him at the time. Blevins lost part of his followers with the move, since not everyone wanted to join Mixer with him, but financially and culturally, his influence grew. Apart from the $20-$30 million he got from Mixer, he also signed a partnership with Adidas for the custom Nite Jogger shoe and he became the first ever streamer to have their own Fortnite skin, just two and a half years after playing the game.