Raid: Shadow Legends is a free-to-play RPG originally released for mobile devices in 2018 by Plarium Games that was ported to PC in early 2020. Its graphics are quite well-regarded, but its marketing is a different matter: Its pervasive online promotional campaigns and influencer tie-ins resulted in enough memes to justify its own Know Your Meme page.
There will probably be even more memes in the very near future, as Plarium announced today that Tyler "Ninja" Blevins will become a playable character in the game, beginning on July 16.
"Ninja isn’t just an amazing addition to our Champions because of his positive impact to the gaming industry—he has his own unique skill sets and special attacks that will be an incredible asset to any player’s roster," Plarium vice president of marketing Noam Sagie said. "Ninja will bring his fans along for the ride as he explores RAID with his new character across a series of exciting livestreams."
I had a quick poke around Twitch and Google, and as far as I can tell Ninja has never before played (or at least, never streamed) Raid: Shadow Legends. Nonetheless, he's "really excited to introduce RAID fans to my Champion, which was designed to match how I’ve always pictured myself in an RPG," he said. "As my fans know, I love the RPG genre, and to see myself as a fantasy character with my own set of special skills and attributes is awesome!"
The announcement includes a few images of Ninja's character, and I have to say they're a little baffling. The katana and bow give him a vaguely (but appropriately) ninja-like appearance, but he also has a wing—an actual, feathered, to-scale wing. That in itself isn't terribly odd in a fantasy game, but what is odd is that there's just one wing sprouting out of his right shoulder blade. There's absolutely nothing on the left. What the hell is he going to do with that, hover three feet off the ground and distract enemies by frantically flopping around in circles?
Ninja will reveal more about his character, including design influences, statistics, and unique special abilities, during a Twitch livestream on July 19. Hopefully he'll fill us in on that whole wing business, too.
Ninja's character will be free for all players, but only for three months—after that, it will no longer be available, although anyone who claims Ninja will keep him forever. To get yours, you'll need to log into the game for seven days over the three-month period—any seven, they don't have to be consecutive—beginning on July 16.
If you'd like to check out Raid: Shadow Legends to see what all the fuss is about, it's available on the Microsoft Store (opens in new tab) or at plarium.com (opens in new tab). If you really just want to see what Ninja is going to look like in the game, check out some images below.