Ninja's Monthly Earnings Top $500,000 Streaming Fortnite on Twitch

What a time to be alive.

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Tyler "Ninja" Blevins is having a pretty great month. The Twitch streamer has been catapulted to the top of the live streaming platform on the back of his excellent Fornite streams and star-studded live stream featuring Drake. Fortnite Mania is here and CNBC sat down to talk with Ninja about his newfound success.

"I think that I offer a combination of high-tier game play that they really can't get with a lot of other content creators. It's very difficult to be one of the very best at a video game," Blevins said. Ninja went on to highlight the importance of Twitch in present day gaming culture. 

CNBC asked Ninja what he thought was the driving force of the current Fornite Mania. "The fact that it is free to play is super huge, and it's already across all the [major] platforms," Ninja said. "Just accessibility and how friendly the game is, they are just hitting every single mark perfectly."

It is great to see a gamer like Ninja who is talented, hard-working and fun to watch be rewarded. Fortnite continues to draw massive amounts of coverage and attention. Fortnite mobile just launched, and Ninja even mentioned rumors of a version for Nintendo Switch being in the works. Keep it locked on Shacknews for all the Fortnite news and guides.

Asif Khan is the CEO and majority shareholder of Shacknews. He began his career in video game journalism as a freelancer in 2001 for Tendobox.com. Asif is a CPA and was formerly an investment adviser representative. After much success in his own personal investments, he retired from his day job in financial services and is currently focused on new private investments. His favorite PC game of all time is Duke Nukem 3D, and he is an unapologetic fan of most things Nintendo. Asif first frequented the Shack when it was sCary's Shugashack to find all things Quake. When he is not immersed in investments or gaming he is a purveyor of fine electronic music. Asif also has an irrational love of Cleveland sports.

From The Chatty

  • reply
    March 19, 2018 6:30 PM

    Asif Khan posted a new article, Ninja's Monthly Earnings Top $500,000 Streaming Fortnite on Twitch

    • reply
      March 19, 2018 6:39 PM

      That's what Asif makes during lunch break

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        March 19, 2018 8:08 PM

        That’s good. Hopefully some of ninja’s charity gifting goes towards search.

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        March 20, 2018 12:24 PM

        But he doesn't eat lunch.

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      March 19, 2018 7:27 PM

      He comes off incredibly well spoken and level headed in that interview.

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      March 20, 2018 1:40 AM

      Damnnn

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      March 20, 2018 3:33 AM

      That kind of unproductive income needs to be taxed like 80% and the money put back into education and public health.

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        March 20, 2018 4:21 AM

        Wtf. No.

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        March 20, 2018 4:39 AM

        Since when was entertainment unproductive?

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          March 20, 2018 4:48 AM

          This is a special case because it creates almost no value for society as a whole. Maybe it should be treated as a capital gains or something. I dunno, seems obscene.

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            March 20, 2018 6:28 AM

            Capital gains would actually be taxed less...

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            March 20, 2018 6:39 AM

            Counter-point: People like to de-stress. Even something that has almost no lasting cultural value can still be useful.

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            March 20, 2018 7:22 AM

            like television/netflix content?

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            March 20, 2018 7:39 AM

            literally like movies and television?

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              March 20, 2018 7:57 AM

              And all sports, music, theater and fine art. And presumably we should be taxing the person who chooses to be entertained. Why should we all be free to play games when we could be "contributing"? We should pay the difference!

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            March 20, 2018 7:59 AM

            Yeah, all those people employed by twitch add nothing to society or the economy

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            March 20, 2018 8:00 AM

            This is a special case because it creates almost no value for society as a whole.

            Hi, this is like 98% of TV and the internet, also games and whatever else.

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              March 20, 2018 8:38 AM

              this is next level meaningless content for a new, completely attention bankrupt generation

              they can’t even play the fucking games theyre being sold because it requires too much focus

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                March 20, 2018 8:40 AM

                this isnt to say i think we can draw any formal distinction meaningfully enough to tax it differently than other forms of entertainment

                just an observation about the genre

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                March 20, 2018 8:42 AM

                Are you guys seriously trying to define what content is and isn't acceptable for the youths of today? Can you not just picture your parents doing literally the exact same thing about South Park, The Simpsons, (going further back) MTV, videogames in general, etc etc?

                What is the difference if ppl like to watch a videogame being played vs any other kind of content?

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                  March 20, 2018 8:50 AM

                  i clarified in my followup that no meaningful distinction can be drawn well enough to legitimately divide content. especially at the level the IRS would need.

                  do i still think the fact people are paid to play games on streams is depressing? yes. video games possess one of the lowest barriers for entry. individuals still prefer to watch than play.

                  i accept that it may be a function of generational divide, but i also think a lot of meaningful divisions have occurred in the last 10-20+ years that are fundamentally different from years past, altering the way humans interact and operate far more radically than ever before.

                  i believe the affinity for this content is a direct byproduct of ever shrinking attention spans. its the ultimate push-button-dispense-diarrhea-content system. i think its only going to get worse in this regard, and i am entirely content with missing that boat.

                  humanity is going through a serious shift rn. it is to be seen whether this is for the better.

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                    March 20, 2018 8:55 AM

                    Nah, I think you're just getting older and doing what all old people do: think the younger generation is somehow different from yours and is going into the shitter. Your kids will think the same thing when they get to your age.

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                      March 20, 2018 9:12 AM

                      you’re entitled to that opinion. there are legitimate and measurable changes happening to society right now as a byproduct of the internet, machine learning leveraged for ad targeting, and the trivially low barrier for launching content globally.

                      humans are going to be changing in ways to this that we havent had to change - at least not this radically.

                      dismissing it as strictly age-related is your right, but it’s a comically low-effort retort and very intentionally myopic approach to looking back at the consequences of the role technology and advertising play in our lives.

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                        March 20, 2018 9:23 AM

                        So are you wanting to tax it or start a rebellion? Because 1/2 of that is crazy sauce with a side of regrettable nonfiction.

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                          March 20, 2018 9:25 AM

                          Oh shit, we changed people in this subthread. We need name tags.

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                    March 20, 2018 11:40 AM

                    I dont see how watching someone play a video game is any more ADD inducing than me watching knight rider and the a-team as a kid.

                    You could argue tv shows are worse, you have commercials, quick cuts, constant explosions and drama, your brain gets more thirst for that action. Watching a video game, you're more engaged because you know the game, you figure out new ideas on how to play the game, and in a way you play the game in the back of your mind. And yes there are people who watch not for the game but for the streamer to get that social feeling, but I dont think thats any worse than me refreshing shacknews 100 times a day :/

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                March 20, 2018 8:45 AM

                how can you guys not realise people had this exact opinion about novels, and rock and roll as well...

                morally corrupt youth like _______ and ________, it's all bad and the world is going to SHIT

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                  March 20, 2018 8:53 AM

                  its not a moral issue at all. theres nothing morally at issue with enjoying the content.

                  i clarify in a response above that i believe humanity is at an inflection point. we are becoming different types of organisms, or perhaps instead we have perfected the systems for exploiting the pleasure centers of our brains.

                  the next 20 years are going to be wild.

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                    March 20, 2018 9:48 AM

                    I was going to disagree, but then I read all of your posts and thought about my own twitch/internet habits. With so much information and so much multitasking, I actually waste a lot of time going from facebook to reddit to gdax to twitch to youtube to shacknews, etc.

                    I make an active effort not to multitask at work, instead defining tasks and prioritizing so I complete the most in a single workday; but I don't do this with my personal time, and I do think its had an effect. When we hire people in their 20s, I can definitely see the distraction in their work.

                    I agree that there is a major shift happening. Being Gen X, I can see it in myself in pre/early internet me and me today. Its not just getting older and hating what the kids like.

                    now get off my lawn!

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                  March 20, 2018 9:27 AM

                  Yep. The great arbiters of societal value pop up to condemn the new and different from time to time.

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                  March 20, 2018 10:56 AM

                  I think that’s a different argument.

                  Personally I don’t understand this trend of watching people do things they could do on their own. It’s like people have more fun talking about what they watched other people do. Why does everything have to be so “meta?”

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                    March 20, 2018 11:04 AM

                    Queue same conversation about reality tv or before that videos games where you were outside and your parents didn't understand why you were pushing buttons to run in track and field instead of just doing it.

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                      March 20, 2018 11:43 AM

                      not the same thing at all. this is the equivalent to watching a show about people who watch reality TV.

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                        March 20, 2018 11:46 AM

                        Where does MST3K fall in all this. Do I have ADD now because I watched people watch a movie when I was younger?

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                          March 20, 2018 12:40 PM

                          way to use a great example to blow apart my argument. *shakes fist*

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                        March 20, 2018 3:12 PM

                        You're not making the leap that the video game is a normal activity no longer a "Watch TV" lazy activity in the minds of future generations.

                        So you're watching a person do X. Just like you're watching a person on reality tv or *were* playing a game about something you do outside.

                        You're watching someone do something instead of watching someone being entertained. You're only once removed where in your mind you're twice because that's how you grew up.

                        You can draw all kinds of conclusions based on games with physical activities that don't seem weird to watch(see DDR) then slowly move that back to someone who is good at Fortnite, wallah!

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                    March 20, 2018 11:53 AM

                    Same exact reason people like to watch sports. Not hard to grasp why people are entertained by watching other good players.

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                      March 20, 2018 12:41 PM

                      that’s not the same again. do you watch other people watching sports, or do you watch sports?

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                        March 20, 2018 12:43 PM

                        I watch professionals play sports while others commentate on it. Seems pretty similar. Replace athlete with gamer.

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            March 20, 2018 9:01 AM

            The social value of entertainment is that society continues to function.

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            March 20, 2018 12:25 PM

            What value does movie, music, art, etc create for society that's different from this?

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        March 20, 2018 4:48 AM

        ^ PUBG fan

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        March 20, 2018 4:56 AM

        Ok. Just rethought this. Bad idea.

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        March 20, 2018 6:35 AM

        Not bad.

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          March 20, 2018 6:37 AM

          You like that, red-br0?

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            March 20, 2018 6:39 AM

            Yeah, it has that air of believability plus combined with the username you can almost think that he's serious

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        March 20, 2018 6:40 AM

        I'd rather do that to footballers.

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          March 20, 2018 10:43 AM

          Don't NFL players generally make significantly less than their counterparts in the NBA and MLB because of salary caps?

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            March 20, 2018 10:45 AM

            Usually 52 people or so on a typical nfl roster. NBA/MLB are smaller. Owners still cleaning up though.

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              March 20, 2018 10:51 AM

              Makes sense (sorta).

              I wonder how NFL players do for side earnings by comparison.

              I know Cam Newton and The Gronk and a whole host of other NFL players have been in a fair number of commercials etc but it seems like NBA players still are in a league of their own for that stuff.

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                March 20, 2018 11:00 AM

                I think we can agree they needed a tax cut, really struggling out there.

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                  March 20, 2018 11:23 AM

                  lol I was just wondering why node was singling out football... unless he's talking about international footballers in which case I don't know anything


                  • reply
                    March 20, 2018 11:46 AM

                    Their salaries are on par if not higher I'd say.

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                March 20, 2018 12:33 PM

                Linemen are fucked. They have the shortest careers and the lowest salaries and when is the last time you saw a shoe named after an offensive lineman?

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            March 20, 2018 10:58 AM

            They get about 50% of the revenue, which is roughly what MLB and NBA get as well. They need to figure out how to get more guaranteed contracts, which MLB and NBA excel at.

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        March 20, 2018 6:41 AM

        Pinko commie!

      • reply
        March 20, 2018 6:45 AM

        communism

      • reply
        March 20, 2018 7:20 AM

        Is a man not entitled to the sweat of his brow?

        "No", says the man on Shacknews, "it belongs to the poor"

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          March 20, 2018 7:28 AM

          brow buttons

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            March 20, 2018 7:34 AM

            lol, twitch streaming is hard work!

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              March 20, 2018 8:28 AM

              yes? can you entertain people for like 4 hours strait every night?

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                March 20, 2018 8:33 AM

                smdever cannot, and I think we can all agree that is the true socioeconomic tragedy here.

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          March 20, 2018 9:57 AM

          I suspect the motivation is not caring for the poor but rather hating the "rich."

          By the way, if what he does is so easy and bullshit, I assume anyone on the shack could go and make 500k a year streaming on twitch. So go ahead and do it and give it all to the poor.

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          March 20, 2018 12:21 PM

          As an old man who yells at clouds daily, I am offended that you think theghostofsmdever's post fits that meme.

      • reply
        March 20, 2018 8:40 AM

        How much would you want it taxed if this was you?

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          March 20, 2018 8:44 AM

          i would tax income of that magnitude heavily regardless of its source

          society is completely on tilt right now as we divide into haves and have nots. humans deserve better than this.

          it really only adds insult to injury that producing such vapid content generates so much revenue. a population desperate to consume content so as to more readily forget that there is no light at the end of the tunnel.

          /debbiedowner

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          March 20, 2018 9:02 AM

          I would happily pay 70% on anything over 200k.

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            March 20, 2018 9:15 AM

            wtf do you need 30% of all that money for??? are you being productive with it???

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            March 20, 2018 9:26 AM

            orly? im guessing you probably make sub $40k or so now as a single dude without dependents so that seems like a whole heck of a lot of money to ya?

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            March 20, 2018 9:50 AM

            I have a feeling your willingness to pay 70% tax always starts roughly 50,000 more than what you actually make.

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              March 20, 2018 5:48 PM

              i'd be happy to pay taxes on 70% of what i make over even a third of my present salary if it meant *everyone else* was also doing the same

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            March 20, 2018 11:55 AM

            That's really hard to believe.

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        March 20, 2018 10:44 AM

        How about we just tax all rich people at higher rates? I know it's crazy but...

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        March 20, 2018 11:01 AM

        Lucky for you it's in the hands of an adolescent looking fool who will probably spend it as fast as possible therefore disseminating it into the hands of others. Twitter down economics.

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        March 20, 2018 12:35 PM

        While I find it gross as well, that kind of logic could be applied to almost any white collar job.

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      March 20, 2018 8:10 AM

      Dude is amazingly good, but god damn, that game looks incredibly dumb being played at a high level. Random floating walls flying up as he's jumping on them.

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        March 20, 2018 8:33 AM

        He is good, does Fortnite use any proper ELO or matchmaking system? Seems like 50% of servers are total plebs. The decent streamers basically just meme almost all of their kills and with a free game it seems like it’s just a bunch of chumps and a few good players.

        Not trying to diss on ninja or any other decent streamer, but this feels like pre pubg ranking days when you’d get people stringing like 6+ solo chicken dinners and then they pushed in ranking and that all but went away.

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      March 20, 2018 8:45 AM

      Also why doesn’t article mention that the majority of the influx of subs is pure luck that the prime skin bots are targeting him? Lucky him in all the ways.

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        March 20, 2018 9:17 AM

        They're targeting Ninja with those free subs b/c he dominates Fortnite viewership when he's online. Drake found him on Instagram, then looked up his YouTube channel, then found his Twitch. So it's a lot less about luck and more about Ninja putting himself in a position to succeed by being the first streamer with a decent following to 100% commit to playing Fortnite.

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      March 20, 2018 11:48 AM

      in a year no one will remember this ninja dude, he better enjoy it while it lasts

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        March 20, 2018 12:25 PM

        If he has a remotely competent money manager, a year of that income will set him up for life and then some.

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          March 20, 2018 12:28 PM

          I can almost guarantee you he doesn't and chances are high he blows a ton of it thinking he's going to be making bank for many years. And who knows, maybe he will make a lot more bank. That dope with the goofy hats that went to the suicide forest has already made over 10 mil.

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            March 20, 2018 12:31 PM

            On CNBC he specifically said he's hoarding his cash, followed up with him talking about the fundraising efforts he's been involved with.

            Maybe he's full of shit but idk why people automatically assume the worst

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      March 20, 2018 11:54 AM

      I am jealous of this guys hair