Twitch Uses Mario Reference To Let Viewers Know Ninja Left

Illustration for article titled Twitch Uses Mario Reference To Let Viewers Know Ninja Left
Screenshot: Foone (Super Mario Bros.)

Last Thursday, Tyler “Ninja” Blevins announced he was leaving Twitch to stream exclusively on Mixer. Twitch has subsequently added a tongue-in-cheek reference to the original Super Mario Bros. at the top of his channel to mark the popular streamer’s departure.

“The Ninja you’re looking for is in another castle,” a banner at the top of the page now reads. It then encourages viewers to “check out these popular live channels” instead, before listing a couple dozen channels for other Fortnite streamers. If any of the roughly 14 million users following the account pop over without having heard the latest news, at least they’ll know not to keep waiting.

Illustration for article titled Twitch Uses Mario Reference To Let Viewers Know Ninja Left

While Twitch removed the purple “partner” check mark next to Blevins’ name as soon as he revealed he was moving to Microsoft’s platform, the rest of his video archive is still up on Twitch, at least for now. That’s just over 900 videos, each with thousands to millions of views.

While the emphasis is usually on the “live” part of live streaming, it’ll be interesting to see what happens to arguably one of the platform’s most notable and prized collections of gaming content. Twitch normally only saves the archived work of Twitch Turbo users for 60 days.

Thanks to a promotion where Microsoft is letting people subscribe to Blevins on Mixer for free for the next month, the streamer has reportedly picked up over 500,000 new subscribers on the platform, which is substantially higher than he had on Twitch according to Twitch Tracker.

Correction: 8/5/19, 9:39 a.m. ET: A previous version of this story stated that Ninja had 14 million subscribers to his channel at the time of publishing. That was actually the number of followers on his channel.

Kotaku staff writer. You can reach him at

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So, here’s the thing with this move, and why I believe it was brilliant on the part of Microsoft/Mixer:

I was not a subscriber to Ninja on Twitch (although I’m quite familiar with him, as he would frequently do squads with DrLupo, to whom I do subscribe). However, the spectacle of Ninja ditching the biggest streaming platform to move to a much smaller one was so fascinating to me that I, like many others, jumped onto Mixer to check it out. Of course, Ninja’s announcement was more than 24 hours before he would actually start streaming, so in the meantime there was nothing to do but poke around and see what else there is to see on Mixer...

In doing so, I ended up watching some other players stream, some of whom I now follow.

The end result is that, in the past week, while I’ve still spent some time on Twitch (for Lupo), I’ve probably spent 3x as much total time watching new (to me) players on Mixer, a streaming platform that I wasn’t even really aware of before.

I know I’m just one guy, but it is possible others’ viewing behaviors have been similarly affected. (Anyone?)

Also, if Twitch isn’t currently cooking up some high-dollar exclusivity contracts for a few other streamers by now (*cough* Lupo, Tim *cough) they’re fools. I don’t think it would take many more defectors to really start to tip the scales at this point.`