Popular Fortnite streamer Tyler “Ninja” Blevins made waves when he decided to leave Twitch for Mixer on Aug. 1. Although many fans believed the streamer “sold out,” his wife and business manager, Jessica Blevins, set the record straight.
Blevins gave fans the inside scoop in an interview with Business Insider, explaining that her husband’s financial decision to move to Mixer was about licensing and growing the brand outside of gaming.
After months of contract negotiations, Blevins and her husband felt that Twitch wasn’t listening to their wishes. The couple wanted to stay with the popular streaming platform, but the proposed agreement sought to limit Ninja’s licensing deals.
“With the wording of how that contract was going, he wouldn’t have been able to grow his brand much outside of gaming,” Blevins said. “And we were like, ‘Straight up guys, we’ve worked so, so hard to grow the Ninja brand to license things and get his name out there. We can’t go backwards with it.’ So that’s where that deal just really started not making sense.”
It seems like being the most popular streamer on Twitch wasn’t enough to buy Ninja’s happiness. While contract negotiations definitely put a damper on the Blevins family, Ninja’s enthusiasm for streaming on Twitch was also on the decline.
“I could tell as his wife, the last few months on Twitch, he just didn’t seem like the Ninja that I knew,” Blevins said. “He didn’t seem as enthusiastic, as loud, as hyped up about wins and motivated to stream. It really seemed like he was kind of losing himself and his love for streaming.”
To the Blevins family, it seemed like everything was going awry—until Microsoft came knocking on the door.
Mixer was able to provide the couple with support, accommodations, and a contract that allowed Team Ninja to grow outside of the gaming sphere. Microsoft even invited Ninja out to Seattle where the streamer could preview games that won’t be announced until next year.
“He’s like little-kid excited again,” Blevins said.
Ninja is the most-watched streamer on Mixer and still has the most followers on Twitch.