The launch of World of Warcraft: Classic has been surprisingly popular so far, with long queue times as players log onto busy servers, and among them, Tyler “Ninja” Blevins is also enjoying the game for the first time.
While Ninja is most well known for his Fortnite streaming content, it seems that some of his friends finally convinced him to try out Classic. Despite having never played the original game, his tweet on the matter seems to indicate that he may be returning to Azeroth often:
I've literally accepted one quest in wow and I'm addicted. Send help— Ninja (@Ninja) September 3, 2019
Ninja is no stranger to the MMORPGs, though not with WoW. In the past, Ninja has had experience with both Star Wars: The Old Republic and Final Fantasy XI. It appears that friend and fellow Fortnite streamer Ben “DrLupo” Lupo is the individual we have to thank for convincing Ninja to have WoW a try. A quick warning to readers, as Ninja did not realize he was on speaker phone and uses some NSFW language as he finally gives in to the request to try out the game.
The news of Ninja’s arrival in WoW: Classic comes at an interesting time, because as many have expected, his deal with Microsoft to leave Twitch and join Mixer comes with agreements to focus on certain games as they release. Later today, Ninja will be playing Gears 5 in a sneak peak at the campaign mode of the game. Would he be playing were it not for the Microsoft deal? Probably not, but such is the life of corporate sponsorship.
Partnering with Microsoft to bring you the first ever Gears of war 5 campaign playthrough tonight at 5 central! Check out the Trailer here and I'll see you tonight at https://t.co/d21XV8MWPv >:) https://t.co/7voWqAxgc0 pic.twitter.com/6TJZmUYcQ3— Ninja (@Ninja) September 3, 2019
Since Ninja joined Mixer, no other streamers have been brought over in similar deals from Twitch. Perhaps Microsoft considers Ninja to be a sufficient powerhouse to attract attention onto their games by himself.
Still, that Ninja is promoting Gears 5 makes us wonder if the other big names in gaming will do the same. With Sony and Nintendo making exclusive content for their consoles, it would make perfect sense to capitalize on the relatively new influence of streamers to promote a game. Imagine if Dr. DisRespect were paid to promote the next God of War title, including thematic face war-paint, but still with all his normal tactical gear.
Partnerships for promoting games would also help avoid certain embarrassments, like when popular Teamfight Tactics’ streamer Jeremy “Disguised Toast” Wang returned a promotional card reveal to Blizzard for their Hearthstone expansion. We appear to be in the earliest stages of having popular streamers play games through specific partnerships, and it should surprise no one to see more deals like what Ninja has in the near future, especially as the next-generation consoles for Sony and Microsoft near release in 2020.
Whether or not Ninja and other popular streamers stick with WoW: Classic is yet to be seen, but so far the launching of the fifteen year old game has certainly hit all the right notes with fans of the original game. At the very least, it is proving that not all players demand quick leveling and instant gratification that seems to flood other MMO games.