Tyler ‘Ninja’ Blevins has explained why his decline on streaming platform Twitch does not bother him, explaining that he has “no intention” of being that guy anymore.
Few streamers have seen anything even comparable to the meteoric rise Ninja experienced in late 2017. Off the back of Fortnite’s similarly staggering explosion in popularity, the former Halo pro’s top-tier gameplay and fiery spirit endeared millions of fans to flock to his Twitch streams.
He remains the most-followed streamer on the Amazon-owned streaming service, sitting at over 17 million followers. However, it hasn’t been all plain sailing for the 30-year-old.
A move to Microsoft’s Mixer ended with the service collapsing, and his return to Twitch has never seen him regain his prior popularity. According to TwitchTracker, Blevins’ streams average around 11,000 viewers. That is compared to audiences in the hundreds of thousands at his peak.
Despite the fall in viewership and audience engagement, a recent interview with the Washington Post saw Ninja explain why he doesn’t mind the changes.
“No one’s gonna stay on top forever, especially when it comes to live-streaming; there’s always somebody new and hot,” Blevins said. “I have no intention of being that guy anymore. I know I’m not going to pull 100,000 viewers on [Twitch] anymore. I don’t have time to do that. I have a wife, I have a family.”
Fortnite itself does not pull in the viewers it once did, and Ninja (alongside many other former-Fortnite streamers) can be found playing a variety of titles now.
He continued: “[Fans] are focusing on what they can see in front of them, which is numbers and ‘Ninja isn’t getting 100,000 viewers anymore’, but what they don’t see is everything we created while we were massive and [the] global recognition we have that’s bigger than just streaming on Twitch.”
At his biggest, Ninja broke the records for most concurrent viewers on a single streamer’s broadcast (666,000 in a Fortnite session with Drake) and most subscribed creator on the platform (269,000). Both records have since been broken.
It goes to show that nothing lasts forever and, as Ninja is keen to emphasize, fans don’t always see the whole picture when they go solely off numbers.