EA unleashed their marketing powers by paying out huge amounts of money for popular streamers to play Apex Legends.
Apex Legends launched as a surprise on February 4 and quickly took over Twitch viewership, becoming one of the most popular games on the platform.
Ninja, Shroud and other top streamers switched over from battle royale games like Fortnite, PUBG and Blackout to give Apex a chance.
— Ninja :usa: (@Ninja) February 7, 2019
How much did it cost? Reuters is now reporting that Ninja was paid $1 million to play and promote Apex Legends.
Shroud was also paid to play the game, though the same source would not divulge how much.
— Ninja :usa: (@Ninja) February 5, 2019
Aright broys the corp is allowing me to reveal some of the super secret stuff from Thursday's super secret LA trip. This Monday we’ll be stomping in an all new Battle Royale by @Respawn. Maybe these guys will be there too. That is all. #ApexPartner pic.twitter.com/AgO9ra0LVE
— Michael Grzesiek (@shroud) February 4, 2019
While the report calls into question the increasingly blurred lines between entertainment and advertising in the video game industry, the paid streamers began tweeting with the hashtag “ApexPartner” and #Ad, during the launch of the game, indicating they had some involvement with EA.
Apex Legends quickly established itself in the battle royale genre, gaining 10 million players during its launch week, growing to over 50 million with current estimates.
Up next for the popular title is a March content update, which will include new characters, cosmetics and other items - and possibly another round of "ApexPartners."