Tyler “Ninja” Blevins, one of the most popular streamers in the world, returned to Twitch on the morning of August 5 to stream Fortnite with Benjamin “DrLupo” Lupo.
This is Ninja’s first time back to Twitch since he left for an exclusive deal with Mixer, Microsoft’s short-lived streaming service that was discontinued with plans to merge with Facebook Gaming. The Mixer deal was reportedly worth between $20 and $30 million.
The Mixer exodus left Ninja without an exclusivity contract, so he is free to do as he likes. The numbers for his morning stream were impressive, with 100,000 watchers just 15 minutes after he started. Twitch was where Ninja made a name for himself, so his popularity there isn’t that surprising. His account has almost 15 million followers.
It’s not known where Ninja will end up, or if he’ll sign another contract. He streamed on YouTube last month, which racked up around 4 million views, so he seems to be playing the field. There’s the possibility that Ninja could end up on Facebook Gaming like many of his counterparts, but there haven’t been any major announcements.
When Ninja left Twitch for Mixer, he said he did so because he wanted to get back in touch with his roots. After Mixer dissolved, Ninja tweeted that he had “some decisions to make” about Facebook Gaming and would be “thinking” about his audience before he makes any moves. He did well on Mixer, racking up more than 67 million views since he joined the service in August 2019. There was a noticeable uptick in streaming when he joined, and also a decline at Twitch, proving that he’s popular enough to move the needle wherever he goes.
Ninja is so popular that he was given $1 million by Electronic Arts to stream and tweet about Apex Legends when it was launched early last year. The move only required one day of work from the streamer, and he told CNN that he made about $10 million in 2018. That was the same year he appeared on The Tonight Show.
With all of his popularity, Ninja wants to expand into more mainstream media. He told the Hollywood Reporter that he wants to break into movies or TV. He said he was looking for “literally anything and everything Hollywood. Movies, voice acting, cartoons.”