Fortnite streamer Tyler “Ninja” Blevins currently makes around $500,000 a month.
The 26-year-old former professional Halo player told CNBC his astonishing monthly revenue comes from a combination of factors that includes his mammoth 3.7m Twitch followers, 5m YouTube subscribers and millions of social media followers.
The bulk of the revenue comes from Amazon and Twitch Prime subscribers, however. It costs $4.99 a month to subscribe to a streamer’s channel. In the interview, Ninja said he had benefited from a promotion between Twitch and Fortnite maker Epic that lets Amazon and Twitch Prime subscribers obtain loot in the free-to-download Battle Royale game. This is “one of the main reasons for the influx of subscribers currently to my stream” he said.
Ninja will also have benefited greatly from a recent high-profile Fortnite gaming session with rapper Drake, which he said during the stream had added 10,000 subscribers to his Twitch channel alone. Ninja has become the biggest streamer on Twitch since switching to playing Fortnite, which is pretty much the hottest game on earth right now.
“I think I offer high-tier gameplay they can’t get with a lot of other content creators,” Ninja said when asked about his appeal. “It’s very difficult to be one of the best at a video game – or anything at all in the world.
“I’m very goofy. I do impressions, and just crazy shenanigans. The combination of that – it’s a hybrid. It’s just really fun to watch and a pretty positive environment as well.”
Tyler '@Ninja' Blevins says he makes 0,000 a month playing video games. pic.twitter.com/jk9fvOiNZV
— CNBC (@CNBC) March 19, 2018
While Ninja’s Fortnite-fuelled rise on Twitch has been meteoric, he has worked hard to get to this point – and he’s certainly come a long way since his professional Halo-playing days a decade ago.
“I maintained my job I was working at Noodles and Company and I stayed in college while I was doing all these things,” he said. “I continued to do well in school and focus on the future of my life as well as working on streaming and competing in Halo.
“It was one of those things where, if I was doing well in school, putting in the time and effort there, in soccer as well, that I would be rewarded with playing as many games as I wanted.
“Honestly, I encourage everyone to do that. All the kids out there: you can’t just drop everything to focus on playing video games for a living. It’s also becoming a very competitive career choice. You want to make sure you’re securing your future while putting the extra time to make this happen as well.”
With a whopping half a million dollars coming in every month, Ninja has plenty of money to play with. So what’s he doing with it? Investing and saving, as well as making charitable donations, he said.
“Definitely investing and saving it as much as possible. I don’t plan on doing anything crazy with it right now. Me and my wife are sponsoring an animal every month.”