At this point, Respawn’s battle royale doesn’t need much assistance in its success – the Apex Legends player count can attest to that. But EA made a big bet on streamers just ahead of the game’s announcement, and now we’ve got a pretty good idea of just how big that wager was. A new report suggests Tyler ‘Ninja’ Blevins was paid $1 million USD to play the game on its launch.
That figure comes from an anonymous source speaking to Reuters, though representatives for both EA and Ninja declined to comment on the number’s accuracy. Ninja’s earnings were hovering around $500,000 a month just under a year ago, so the EA bonus would certainly be a nice one above the streamer’s usual earnings.
Given how quickly the community latched onto Apex Legends, EA is likely pretty pleased with all the measures it took to get the game in front of people. Lead producer Drew McCoy says “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.”
Ninja is now mostly back to playing Fortnite – the game he’s best known for – though there are a handful of more recent Apex Legends streams mixed in there.
EA also paid Shroud an unknown sum for some early streams, though he’s been sticking with the game significantly longer than Ninja. Shroud’s scooter accident has provided a break in the streaming, though.
Read more: Drop into the best battle royale games
The Apex Legends battle pass is the big thing on the mind of most players, but we still don’t know exactly when it’s coming. A premature Origin store update gave us hope for an imminent release yesterday, but that obviously didn’t come to pass.