There’s no doubt that video games in the modern world can be profitable. When children are completely enthralled by video games that they spend a big chunk of their free time playing online, more than studying or reading, parents tend to worry. However, did you know you can actually make money from video games?
For example, people know PewDiePie – his real name is Felix Arvid Ulf Kjellberg and his estimated net worth ranges between $14.5 million and $30 million, but they know that he is the most well-known “YouTuber” ever.
Since PewDiePie started in a time when few people knew earning money from video games was even possible, most people can’t make as much as he does. Even so, that doesn’t mean you or your offspring can’t make money either.
Although we don’t recommend it unless you are young, single, and willing to put in several years of work, earning money through video games is certainly possible! Here are some possibilities!
Any user can stream their gameplay in real-time to the world, building an audience (which can be monetized by advertising) or a loyal following (to earn money through donations and subscriptions). Twitch is the biggest platform for streaming, although YouTube is also a viable option.
Building an audience for a live stream is challenging for most streamers. You may not reach 10 viewers for several months, and you may not reach 100 viewers for years. In order to earn a living streaming video games, you’ll need thousands of regular viewers.
Overly saturated streams are challenging to stand out from the crowd. How do you stand out on the competitive streaming landscape? Stand out with your own brand of humor or personality, by being a world-class player, or by playing games no one else is playing.
You can either join a preexisting site or make your own and start writing news, reviews, and interviews for a certain game, genre, or industry. The sites that you join may pay you per article if you work for them as a freelancer.
If you run your own website, you can monetize it with advertising, Patreon subscriptions, or something similar.There is a competitive market for games journalism. Many people wish to write about games for a living. If writing for an established site, you will likely have to work for next to nothing while you build your portfolio.
Building a site from scratch requires years of effort before you can earn enough money to live on. The practice of journalism is highly demanding. News writing requires you to work around the clock to get scoops before others do. Reviews and interviews can take hours to prepare. And, in general, writing every day can take a toll on your mental energy.
Creating Video game guide and tutorials
Many casual gamers prefer to read guides, especially for multiplayer PvP games. You can monetize guide creation for PvP games by creating a website featuring written guides, posting guides on YouTube, or publishing ebooks.
The only way to make money from writing guides is to write them for popular games-but write them for popular ones, or you’ll run into stiff competition. To set your guides apart, provide more information than others can provide, which means investing a lot of time and becoming an expert.
Additionally, you’ll need excellent writing skills. Your guides should be dense and comprehensive, as well as entertaining, as well as comprehensible. With ebooks and articles, formatting skills are important, too.
Gaming Podcast or YouTube Channel
You can create your own daily, weekly, or monthly gaming show. It could be a roundtable discussion, an interview with a high-profile player, a tip and trick show, or anything else that is interesting.
The revenue generated from podcasts and YouTube videos can be monetized by advertising and sponsorship, but these formats can also be supported with Patreon subscriptions.
Before you can expect revenue, your show must have a large audience. It must be engaging enough that people will tune in. A show that has boring content, is shallow, has poor production quality, or lacks consistency will not succeed.
As such, it’s like a hybrid of guides (#3) and live streams (#1). You need the knowledge and insight of a guide creator, along with diligence and charisma of a streamer.
Gaming Tournaments and Acquiring Sponsorships
PvP games are notorious for having tournaments. Of course, the more popular a game becomes, the larger the prize pool becomes.
Most competitive gamers take advantage of live streams to earn additional income. If you’re good enough to join an eSports organization, you can earn a living salary through winnings and sponsorships.
Even world-class poker players can lose in tournaments and leave empty handed. Even if you do win some cash, it may not cover the cost of hotels and flights. If you’re not consistently at the top, forget about living off of the winnings.
QA testers deal with products that already meet a certain level of quality as desired by the developers. This is the difference between them and ‘Beta Testers’ or ‘Game Testers’. The role of a ‘Tester’ involves literally breaking a game or finding ways to screw it up or analyzing why it may or may not be enjoyable.
Playtesters are someone who examines a game with fresh eyes near its completion. Their job is to find and document bugs, as well as other problems.
A game tester’s work can be mind-numbing, especially when you have to keep rechecking the same places after each revision. Playing to intentionally break a game can become tedious fast. Game testing jobs pay about the same as the minimum wage (or a bit more) and most of them are for mobile games, unless you land an internal position with a large game development company.
Sell Accounts or Digital Items
As one example, you can resell the Steam Trading Cards you earn by playing games to members of your friends’ guilds who want to collect them. Although you won’t earn large sums of money from this, you might be able to afford the next game you want to purchase.
It’s possible to sell an account. For example, in Overwatch, the practice of using a “smurf” account (a secondary account ranked much lower than the player’s actual skill level) is common.
Due to the requirement to reach a certain level, players who wish to smurf might pay someone else to rank up their account. Likewise, players who believe you’re better at the game might pay you to increase your account’s rank.
Despite the ease of earning game income, it’s still not the best option. Unless you already possess extra accounts or rare items, it’s barely worth pursuing unless you already have extra accounts. Just like playtesting, grinding a game to earn new cards or reach a certain level is boring. And there’s no guarantee that people will want to buy your product.
In 2014, Twitch was the fourth-largest source of internet traffic in the U.S.. Twitch is a live streaming video platform that was acquired by Amazon for $970 million.
Partners in the Twitch Partner Program get paid $3 per 1,000 views of ads; $5 per month for each subscriber. When combined with sponsorships, Amazon referral links and PayPal contributions, gamers can begin to build their audience and their income.
Twitch is more popular than YouTube because video games are streamed on the site. Content producers can share advertising revenue with Twitch through its Partner Program, although at one time the platform required that prospective partners have at least 500 viewers per month.
If you love gaming, think twice before making it a career. You might regret it. But games can give us an escape from reality; if it becomes your job, it will lose its fun aspect.
It’s still possible to make a living from gaming, but the options here are the best options right now. Of course, you can always make your own game and earn money through sales or in-app purchases. But game development is time-consuming and requires a completely different set of skills.