Battle royale game Apex Legends released without any prior pomp and show on February 4 and quickly captured a huge following for itself. And it was after its release that the game generated any hype and fan following, and this was helped by the fact that top streamers took to playing the game on a regular basis over games that they play on a regular basis. Streamers such as Shroud and Ninja even stopped playing PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds and Fortnite respectively in favor of Apex Legends. This resulted in Apex Legends garnering 10 million users in the first 72 hours of its release.
But now according to a report by Reuters, the top streamers like Ninja and Shroud were paid huge sums of money by EA to promote Apex Legends. Ninja was apparently paid $1 million, while the amount paid to Shroud has not been revealed. Shroud and Ninja are two of the most popular Twitch streamers in the world with 6 million and 11 million subscribers respectively. This means that they have huge potential as influencers of the gaming world.
Aright broys the corp is allowing me to reveal some of the super secret stuff from Thursday's super secret LA trip. This Monday we’ll be stomping in an all new Battle Royale by @Respawn. Maybe these guys will be there too. That is all. #ApexPartner pic.twitter.com/AgO9ra0LVE
— Michael Grzesiek (@shroud) February 4, 2019
But it was not like the streamers were absolutely silent about this, and there were hints of something of the sort happening at the time because the streamers started tweeting with the #ApexPartner and #Ad. But this has still raised a lot of brows and questions in the gaming world and the ethics that popular influencers should and should not abide by. The streamers appeared to be enjoying the game while they were playing, and after the revelation, the ambiguity of whether they were actually doing so or just doing it because they were paid is raised.
Apex Legends has already achieved acquiring a quarter of the players that Fortnite has and that too in just a month. And as for EA, its shares have increased in value by 16 percent since the launch of the game and it is now $4 billion richer than it was before.