Fortnite streamer Tyler “Ninja” Blevins is one of the best-known players of the hugely popular multiplayer game. Ninja has more than five million subscribers on YouTube, as well as a hefty amount of Twitch Prime subscribers who contribute to the half a million dollars that the streamer makes each month. Fans regularly tune in to watch the player’s impressive antics in the game, but a recent decision by the streamer has left some of those millions of fans unhappy.
Recently, Ninja revealed that he would be making an effort to swear less in his streams in an effort to make his channel more family-friendly. The streamer, who has previously spoken about how streamers are “molding and shaping” the minds of children, said that he wanted to make his channel like “classic Spongebob Squarepants” where there may be dirty jokes, but children are oblivious. The popular Fortnite player has also introduced age ratings for some YouTube videos and Twitch streams depending on the content.
Ninja has recently come under fire for using the n-word during a stream. The streamer apologized, but it may have further opened his eyes to just how much of an impact that the language he uses in a stream can have. Ninja is also well aware of how many children tune into his streams, with recent headlines stating that parents and politicians are concerned about just how much time young people are spending playing and engaging with Fortnite.
One thing I am going to start doing is applying a “rated” (pg,pg13,R) in some YouTube videos and twitch stream titles depending on the content. I understand some celebs I play with might be a little more.. tasteful than others lol.
PS: going for 200k in total shirt sales 2night
— Ninja (@Ninja) May 8, 2018
To everyone mad at @Ninja for not swearing much anymore-The majority of fans he has come up to him while we are out are 7-13 y/o boys and girls whose parents say "wish I could let them watch with sound" Tyler feels a moral obligation to tone it down for the younger ears.
— Jessica (@JGhosty) May 10, 2018
But while some are praising the Fortnite streamer for the decision to become more family-friendly, others are slamming it. As Kotaku notes, some people have called Ninja a “sellout,” with many replies to the age ratings tweet accusing the streamer of just doing this for the money and because Ninja is desperate to be “mainstream.”
Ninja, meanwhile, says that the decision came about after a parent emailed the streamer to explain that they had to mute the stream in order to watch it with their children due to the swearing. In a tweet, Ninja’s wife and manager Jennifer “JGhosty” Goch also explained that the streamer feels that he has a “moral obligation to tone it down for the younger ears.”
Those in defense of Ninja’s decision may argue that the streamer is already mainstream. Ninja has played the game with Drake and Travis Scott, he has also been interviewed by American cable news channel CNBC, and he has also smashed through records on Twitch. This reasoning is unlikely to sate those disappointed at Ninja’s recent lack of bad language, but it seems that the streamer plans to keep his family-friendly policies in place for now.
Fortnite is available now in early access for iOS, PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.