Apex Legends‘ success story starts with its February 4 launch, a surprise announcement, and same-day release. Electronic Arts manufactured a surge of marketing to go alongside the battle royale’s launch, focusing on utilizing influencers and content creators to ensure Apex Legends received as much visibility in 24 hours as possible. Twitch streamers were a large part of that, with Fortnite‘s most popular streamer Ninja included. A new report makes it clear just how far EA was willing to go to pull Ninja away from Fortnite to play Apex Legends, an investment now proven well worth it.
According to Reuters, an anonymous source familiar with the Apex Legends launch says that EA ultimately paid Ninja $1 million for his participation and promotion of the event. It’s unclear if this also includes the streamer-only event held the week before launch. $1 million doubles what Ninja has said his usual monthly income is, about $500,000. Details regarding what EA paid the other sponsored streamers involved in Apex Legends’ launch were not provided, though many of Twitch’s most popular streamers participated.
The result speaks for itself. Apex Legends pulled over 25 million players into it in its first week of availability and over 50 million in its first month. Those are numbers that significantly faster than even Fortnite managed. Though whether Apex Legends can retain those numbers like Fortnite has, especially without a mobile version of the game, is unclear.
Neither EA nor Ninja have provided a comment confirming or denying the report. However, EA did state that all such Twitch sponsorship ended on mid-day February 5. All streaming that followed was “organic.”
While the marketing effort by EA has worked out exceptionally for Apex Legends, it’s less obvious a win for Ninja. While he heavily participated in the wave of viewers that came with Apex Legends‘ launch, he never led the pack in the same way that he did with Fortnite. He’s since gone back to Fortnite where he’s often the most-watch stream on Twitch.
Apex Legends is available now on PC, PS4, and Xbox One.