Ninja reportedly turned down a substantial offer from Facebook Gaming. What is next for one of the world’s most popular gamers?
Nearly a year ago, Microsoft dished out professional athlete-type contracts to Tyler “Ninja” Blevins and former Counter-Strike pro, Michael “Shroud” Grzesiek in order to elevate the Mixer streaming platform. Microsoft hoped that these acquisitions would boost their numbers. Unfortunately, their hopes did not translate to reality. Before they knew what happened, Mixer was ready to shut its doors and allow its two most prominent names to leave.
News broke earlier this week in regards to Ninja and the confirmed shutdown of Microsoft’s Mixer streaming platform. After joining Mixer back in late July of 2019, Ninja was eager to embark on a new journey in his streaming career outside of Twitch. The partnership did not last long, however, as Mixer struggled to keep up with rival platforms Twitch and YouTube Gaming. Rumors of Mixer’s issues soon came to fruition.
The Fall of Mixer
Mixer Partners, streamers, and community – today, we've got some very big news for you.
While we’ve decided to close the operations side of Mixer, we're officially partnering with @FacebookGaming and we're cordially inviting all of you to join.
— Mixer (@WatchMixer) June 22, 2020
Mixer became the butt of almost every joke across social media. Their numbers continued to decline despite bringing in two of Twitch’s biggest streamers. Ninja signed a three-year contract worth reportedly $30 million. Critics took aim at Ninja, stating that his move revolved only around the money. The former Halo pro turned Fortnite sensation left 14 million followers and hundreds of thousands of subscribers behind him. Ninja made his faith in Mixer known to both his audience and those who were quick to poke fun at his choice.
Despite his confidence in Mixer to draw in similar numbers to Twitch, it never happened. Ninja failed to attract the same numbers that he did at his former place of employment. He went from 30 to 70 thousand average viewers on Twitch to between 3 and 10 thousand on Mixer. It was a sizable hit to Ninja, considering his rise to fame in the early days of Fortnite and catastrophic numbers on Twitch.
At times, Ninja would defend his decision and reinforce the idea that Mixer is working towards something bigger and better. Now, just ten months into his three-year contract, Ninja is the most sought after free agent in the streaming market today. Mixer parted ways with a slew of talent that the platform helped build. Its two superstars in Ninja and Shroud prepared to hit the road and never look back. Microsoft soon reached an agreement with Facebook, which granted former Mixer personalities the chance to jump ship.
Ninja Turns Down a Ground-Breaking Offer
No matter where you choose to stream, the world is better with your gaming content in it. As the operations side of @WatchMixer is closing, we are inviting the Mixer Community to #FacebookGaming. More details: https://t.co/fRI2CBlTbZ pic.twitter.com/FVRTF9APVD
— Facebook Gaming (@FacebookGaming) June 22, 2020
In a last-ditch effort, Microsoft made the wise decision to collaborate with Facebook’s streaming platform, dubbed Facebook Gaming. Mixer ultimately offered their loyal streamers an opportunity to join Facebook Gaming as a consolation for all of their hard work in building their brand under the Microsoft umbrella.
Some of the notable benefits included instant monetization and a direct line of feedback to the product and engineering team. Perhaps the most mind-boggling benefit of all was offered to Ninja.
The former Twitch and Mixer star had no shortage of offers on the table. One of these offers would see Ninja agree to a contract buyout with Mixer, which would grant him the $30 million promised in his original contract.
Sources familiar with the deal have informed me that while Facebook did try and negotiate to keep their big partners both Shroud and Ninja opted out. They have received their full payments and as of midnight yesterday were free to engage in talks with other platforms. Game on.
— Richard Lewis (@RLewisReports) June 22, 2020
The other saw Facebook Gaming offer a rumored $90 million if he decided to move over with the gobs of different Mixer personalities. Ninja reportedly said no, ultimately passing on an offer that would indisputably make him one of the wealthiest gamers of all time. The Metro UK reports the number for Ninja to join Facebook Gaming was $60 million while Shroud was offered $20 million.
Endless Amount of Options
I’m surprised a lot of people didn’t know what my tweet was about. If you didn’t know, after mixer was bought by Facebook gaming Ninja was completely released. He was offered 90m to come finish out the time on FB platform and he said no.
— The Fortnite Guy (@The_FortniteGuy) June 24, 2020
Ninja’s decision to pass on Facebook’s monumental offer speaks to his financial security and his preference to keep an open mind. To this day, Ninja possesses more followers than any other channel with 14.7 million and counting on Twitch. Ninja’s rival Turner “Tfue” Tenney sits behind him in second with just over 8.5 million. It’s quite a drop off considering Ninja’s been absent from Twitch for almost a full year.
Many are wondering what Ninja will choose next in his illustrious streaming career. It seems like a no-brainer, considering he’s already established a presence on Twitch. Ninja, now 29 years of age, started on Twitch and grew into one of the most recognizable gamers after years of hard work. But no one passes on $90 million without an end game.
Possible Landing Spots for Ninja
— Rod "4475 SR & Immortal peak" Breslau (@Slasher) June 23, 2020
Famed esports insider Rob “Slasher” Breslau has been knee-deep in the news since Mixer announced that it would shut down its service. According to his sources, Twitch is not the only option for Ninja. There are other sizable players in the streaming game, chief among all of them is YouTube Gaming, which launched in August of 2016.
YouTube has been arguably Twitch’s most significant rival since debuting four years ago. The Google subsidiary features one of the world’s most popular gamers, Felix “PewDiePie” Kjellberg. With that type of company, YouTube could be the landing spot for Ninja, but it will ultimately come down to dollars, cents and opportunities.
Will Ninja Return to Twitch?
I love my community and what we built together on Mixer. I have some decisions to make and will be thinking about you all as I make them.
— Ninja (@Ninja) June 22, 2020
It would not be a huge surprise to see Ninja make his triumphant return to Twitch soon. This decision would make sense both from a financial and a poetic standpoint. Twitch remains in a partnership with Amazon Prime, which offers a free subscription to any viewer with a Prime account.
Ninja recently released a new line of merchandise that he could easily promote to millions of viewers on any platform, but none would reach as far as Twitch. Last but not least, he made a name for himself on Twitch and still maintains a fanbase to this day. It will be a tough decision without a doubt. Ninja has a lot of thinking to do.
Featured image via Mixer