Ninja left Twitch due to the restrictive contract

by October 3, 2019 0 comments

When Tyler Ninja Blevins announced that he would be moving from Twitch to Microsoft’s new streaming service Mixer, the world took a collective gasp. The most famous streamer in the world who brought video games to mainstream and had accrued millions of followers on Twitch was leaving the platform for another, which was lesser known and was yet to reach a stature as big as Twitch.

Soon, the rumours started making rounds regarding the money he was allegedly offered by Microsoft to make the move, even though to this day the official amount has not been made public. But it looks like money isn’t the only thing that made Ninja move to Mixer.

Talking to Business Insider, Ninja’s manager and wife Jessica Blevins said, “Money was the last thing on our mind. It’s like, they don’t even know what went on behind the scenes and how hard we tried to make that deal work – and then how amazing Microsoft was for us.”

Jessica also revealed how they had planned for a long time the next step for Team Ninja; Ninja’s own brand of apparel and merchandise. They contacted Twitch regarding that, but Jessica says it “felt like they weren’t listening to us”.

“Everything we were asking, it never came back reflecting our wishes – and that’s completely outside of finances,” she said. “And for us, two people who were streaming on Twitch, it was really upsetting for us to go months and months and keep reiterating that we love you guys, we’ve been here for a long time, but the things that are in the contract right now just don’t make sense.”

Jessica and Ninja

Jessica and Ninja

She also revealed that the contract’s wording was limiting them to grow outside of gaming and there were already conflicts with their current sponsors. According to her, with Twitch’s contract, they were having a hard time to secure licensing deals, which is tough already.

Twitch is infamous for its no competition clause as well. If you don’t know, there are three streamer tiers on Twitch: Regular streamers, Affiliates and Partners. To get the subscription button on Twitch you need to reach the rank of an Affiliate. Partners are the people with the verified mark next to their user name and a few extra perks which you can read about here. Further, Partners have to sign a contract with a no competition clause which states that they cannot Livestream on other platforms like YouTube but can use their past broadcast from Twitch and upload it on their YouTube channel later.

Furthermore, Jessica says that negotiations with Twitch regarding the contract were taking months when Mixer entered the fray and the negotiations took just weeks. “Microsoft was so aligned with what we wanted and where we were at”.

Another major thing that drove the decision was the toxicity on Ninja’s Twitch chatroom. “I could tell as his wife, the last few months on Twitch, he just didn’t seem like the Ninja that I knew,” Jessica 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.” Jessica says that after a month on Mixer, he is back to being “that energetic, pumped-up Ninja.”

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