A New York Times report says Felix Lengyel, the streamer better known as xQc, has signed a deal with Twitch rival Kick worth $70 million over two years, with incentives that could push the total value of the deal up to $100 million in total.
"Kick is allowing me to try and do things I haven’t been able to before," xQc said. "I'm extremely excited to take this opportunity and maximize it into new creative and fresh ideas over coming years."
IT'S TIME pic.twitter.com/jHRWkn5WEPJune 16, 2023
xQc’s agent, Ryan Morrison, told PC Gamer that he believes the streamer’s contract with Kick is “one of the top 25 talent deals of all time period, including sports.”
What makes the deal even more astonishing is that it's not exclusive: xQc can continue streaming on other platforms, and in fact he still plans to maintain a presence on Twitch, although not to the extent that he has until now.
In terms of audience size, Kick is much smaller than Twitch, but it pays a much better rate: Where Twitch takes a 50% cut from most of its streamers (although it recently adjusted that to 30% for a small number, with several restrictions), Kick takes only 5%. It's also much more permissive about certain content: While Twitch has very tight guidelines on gambling streams, Kick has an entire category dedicated to it.
That shouldn't be entirely surprising: Kick co-founder and CEO Ed Craven is also the co-founder of Stake.com, an online crypto-casino incorporated in Curaçao. But in a perverse sort of way, it's also a good fit for xQc, who has a pretty well-known taste for gambling jones. In May 2022 he admitted to losing roughly $2 million on bad bets in the previous month alone, although a few weeks later he said he had no intention of changing his ways.
"I love gambling," he said during a stream. "I like to gamble, so I'm just going to gamble. End of story."
Kick may look a little sketchy—in December 2022, former Twitch director of creative development Marcus "djWHEAT" Graham called Kick "a sham"—but at the very least it seems serious about building a bigger, more mainstream audience. It may not work out: Mixer paid a reported $50 million to pry Ninja away from Twitch, only to announce a shutdown less than a year later, and it was backed by Microsoft money.
But for now, at least, the deal is attracting attention: Just over an hour after announcing his Kick presence, xQc's verified channel on the platform already has more than 50,000 followers.
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Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.