Tyler Blevins aka. Ninja gave out his phone number to his followers on Twitter on Aug. 11, but it may not just be because he wants to chat with them. Ninja has been in gaming industry news a lot recently with his departure from Twitch to work with Mixer exclusively. Some saw this as a risky move for Ninja, as he first became famous streaming on Twitch. Ninja helped popularize the entire battle royale genre of games, starting with H1Z1 before moving on to PlayerUnknown's BATTLEGROUNDS and Fortnite. However, the risk seems to have paid off as Ninja accumulated one million subscribers on Mixer in just five days.
Even more recently, things between Ninja and Twitch seem to have considerably soured. Previously, Ninja called out the streaming giant for using his old channel to promote other channels and even pornography, which is not allowed according to Twitch's own rules. This was an unprecedented move as Twitch was trying to use content created on its platform without the knowledge or consent of the actual content creator. After making his concerns known to his followers on Twitter, Twitch returned his channel to its original, offline status.
Ninja gave out his phone number on Twitter on Aug. 11, and according to Polygon, the motives behind it aren't exactly friendly. In the video, Ninja explains that anyone who texts the number will get a link that leads to a form where fans can fill out their own information. Fans who fill it out will get "behind the scenes" access to Ninja's home and work life. Ninja also promises to text a few players, personally, and invite them to play with him on Fortnite.
312-584-4684 yes this is my number. Yes I will receive each and every text. I'll try to reply to as many as possible. This is gunna be fun... longterm!! pic.twitter.com/iHBpupMTe5— Ninja (@Ninja) August 11, 2019
The internet's effect on the entire world cannot be understated, and in a lot ways, it has made things better. However, it has also made some things objectively worse. Although many will understand what this is when they see it, Ninja has many young fans who will not know what they are signing up for. It is unknown whether Ninja has actually interacted with his fans since revealing his number, but that's almost beside the point. PR stunts like this continue to blur the line between what is real and what is commercialism, and there is no sign of it slowing down.