Publishers are reportedly paying popular livestreamers upwards of $50,000 to play their latest games live in an attempt to dethrone games like Fortnite.
Electronic Arts, Activision Blizzard, Ubisoft and Take-Two Interactive Software are some of the publishers shelling out serious cash to streamers, according to a report published Saturday by The Wall Street Journal.
Publishers sometimes send the streamers a beta of their game ahead of the release date. The streamer will then play through the demo on Twitch, a livestreaming platform, or upload a video of the play-through onto their YouTube channel.
For example, Take-Two will reportedly pay livestreamers to test Borderlands 3 and Ubisoft plans to give streamers access to Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Breakpoint.
"Having celebrity streamers play games is an important part of the business," Strauss Zelnick, Take-Two's chief executive, said in an interview with the Journal. "It is relatively new, but it has to be organic. The streamers have to believe in it."
Publishers understand that "professional gamers" have massive followings and it's one of the best ways to advertise their games. For example, streamers Tyler "Ninja" Blevins and Sean "Jacksepticeye" McLoughlin have more than 22 million subscribers (respectively) to date. McLoughlin earns about $300,000 per month and Blevins earns between $500,000 and $1 million per month, according to Celebrity Networth.
Electronic Arts, Activision Blizzard, Ubisoft and Take-Two Interactive Software didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.