Twitch Streamer Ninja Getting Loot Drops Worth $6 Million a Year

In about a week, audiences will pack into theaters to watch the film adaptation of Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One, the best-selling novel that has attracted equal parts adulation and ridicule for its imagined world in which people earn a living playing a video game called OASIS. In the real world, however, people are already making a living playing video games, and Ninja, a Twitch streamer who set a record for most views by playing Fortnite with Drake, is already making $6 million a year just playing video games all day.

Ninja, real name Tyler Blevins, used to be a professional HALO player, which involves competing in tournaments for prize money, much like a professional golfer. Now his income comes from Twitch subscribers, as his viewers pay $5 a month for some benefits that amount to bragging rights. Half goes to him and half goes to Twitch’s parent company Amazon. But Amazon Prime members can subscribe to a Twitch channel for free every month, and the owner of the channel still gets the $2.50 from Amazon. Blevins told CNBC that a lot of his monthly income right now is coming from people finding his channel through an Amazon Prime/Fortnite promotion which sends players of the current most popular game in the world to Twitch for some in-game loot.

I mean, good for him. I’d expect with an annual income of $6 million he could do something about his hair and maybe buy a nicer shirt, something with buttons for a TV appearance, but whatever. Dude worked at Noodles and Company and went to college, and he’s putting that degree to work by being really good at video games. And he’s saving and investing it, because how long is this career going to last? Oh god, this is going to last forever, isn’t it?

I suppose I’d rather see someone making millions of dollars playing video games than as a Wall Street banker. No one is going to have their house foreclosed because Ninja had a sick Dr. Mario run. Well, maybe the red germ, but that little fucker has been on thin ice with me for years anyway, always sticking his tongue out at me when I’m getting nothing but blue-yellow pills.

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