Ninja to depart Twitch to become a Mixer streamer

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On Thursday, Tyler “Ninja” Blevins shocked the streaming world by announcing that he had departed Twitch and would now exclusively host his live gaming broadcasts on Mixer.

Blevins revealed that he’d switched platforms in a video on Twitter. In it, the gamer hosted a mock press conference regarding the change. Notably, the streamer didn’t get into his reasons for leaving the Amazon-owned streaming video service. However, he did reassure his fans that his content won’t be changing. He also shared that he’s excited to join the Microsoft subsidiary.

Ninja’s announcement clip reflected his popularity by racking up nearly eight million views in 14 hours. Before his abrupt exit, Blevins spent eight years streaming on Twitch. In that time, he attracted an audience of more than 14 million, a follower account that made him the platform’s most-followed content creator.

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Though Blevins hasn’t made an inaugural Mixer broadcast, his page notes that he’ll be streaming live from this year’s Lollapalooza music festival.

Why did Ninja Leave Twitch?

As of this writing, neither Ninja nor Mixer have offered any details about why the game streamer left his old platform.

The streaming video service told The Verge that it’s “thrilled” that Blevins had jumped platforms. Similarly, Ninja implied in a post-announcement video update that his move to Mixer had been in the works for a while. He also expressed enthusiasm to “get back to [his] streaming roots.”

Several outlets have posited that Blevins made the transition because Microsoft offered him a hefty new contract. Indeed, despite being created by one of the world’s largest tech companies, Mixer hasn’t attracted a large audience. In early 2018, the platform reportedly had 10 million monthly active users. Comparatively, Twitch commands a monthly audience of more than 100 million viewers.

As such, the Windows maker presumably offered Ninja a lot of money to bring new eyes to its platform. However, Blevins may have made the jump for reasons other than a big payday.

Taking the Long View

While Ninja’s reasons for leaving his original platform are presently mysterious, a few potential factors stand out.

For one thing, Blevins isn’t Twitch’s biggest attraction anymore. Last month, Business Insider reported that Turner “Tfue” Tenney drew larger audiences than Ninja in April, May, and June. Admittedly, Blevins has more than double Tenney’s follower count. But Twitch users spent 30 million hours watching Tfue’s content in the second quarter, compared to 24 million hours they spent consuming Ninja’s streams.

If the gamer believes that he hit an oversaturation point on Twitch, moving to Mixer makes sense. Moreover, Amazon’s video streaming platform currently hosts around 1.5 million streamers, whereas its rival is home to 69,000 performers. By changing services, Blevins has established himself as a very big fish in a tiny pond.

Besides, Ninja is one of the world’s most famous gamers and is a burgeoning mainstream celebrity. But his ability to book appearances on “The Tonight Show” and play “Fortnite” with Drake depends on his ability to project a favorable public image.

Unfortunately, Twitch has found itself in the middle of a host of controversies recently. Last month, the platform briefly suspended star gamer Guy “Dr Disrespect” Beahm for live streaming from an E3 2019 bathroom. Additionally, popular Twitch personality Kacey “Kaceytron” Kaviness just hosted an online event highlighting the harassment that the service’s female streamers have faced.

Conversely, Mixer isn’t big enough to have any star performers, let alone any controversial ones. Furthermore, the platform has taken steps to highlight its anti-harassment-focused code of conduct. Because of its cleaner reputation and a more structured ecosystem, it might be a better fit for Ninja’s maturing brand.

Right now, the only thing certain is that Tyler “Ninja” Blevins makes millions of dollars every year because people like watching him play video games.