Top Fortnite streamer Tyler "Ninja" Blevins earned almost $10 million last year.
Talking to CNN (thanks, GameSpot), Blevins said he’d earned nearly $10 million in 2018, attributing 70 per cent of that revenue to Twitch and YouTube, and the other 30 per cent to revenue made via ads, subscriptions, and sponsorships deals with Samsung, Uber Eats and Red Bull. As GameSpot acknowledges, this is likely a pre-tax figure.
To generate that income, Blevins streams around 12 hours a day, and estimated that he’d played around 4000 hours of Fortnite throughout 2018. Equating his streams to running a "small coffee shop", Blevins "sees himself as a small business owner". "They’re gonna find another coffee shop if you’re not there … you have to be there all the time," he said. He also acknowledged that he and his wife/manager Jess dwell on money lost when subscribers fall away, and said they hadn’t had a holiday since their honeymoon eight years ago… "and even that trip […] was still cut short for professional gaming".
While he has no current plans to move away from Fortnite just yet, the streamer is nonetheless experimenting with other ways to generate income, including clothing ranges and music.
Ninja is Twitch’s first 10-million-plus streamer, thanks in no small part to Fortnite. Hitting the 10 million milestone was "seriously ridiculous" and put gaming’s biggest name in a league all of his own, with no competitor coming anywhere close to these extraordinary numbers.
Ninja has been a mainstay of the streaming circuit for a number of years now. Of course, Fortnite is still both Ninja and Twitch’s number one, but growing titles like Realm Royale get a look in, too. Earlier this year, Ninja joined forces with Canadian rapper Drake to livestream Fortnite, and the pair’s collaboration broke the all-time concurrent viewers record on Twitch, as well as bagging Ninja an extra 50,000 subscriptions. Ninja also recently saw in the New Year via a 12-hour Fortnite stream from Times Square in New York City.