Gaming has never been bigger or more popular than it is now. The industry has grown exponentially over the last few years making not just large-scale game publishers rich, but young teens as well. The growth of the gaming industry has led to new ways of making money which may not have been possible a few years ago.
From the game developing company’s point of view, the gaming industry has been very profitable for a long time now. However, only a few years ago was it possible for the people playing games to make a lot of money. There are teens and kids who haven’t even touched 20 years of age yet they are earning millions of dollars thanks to the gaming industry. There are multiple ways these kids earn their money, here are a few of them:
Making your own games
Nowadays, it’s possible for anyone to put up an idea and become successful. This is possible through the likes of different app stores such as Apple App Store, Google Play store and Steam. It’s free to upload your content and if it gets successful, well, you’re set! Many people have earned money like this.
For example, Alex Balfanz is an 18-year-old student at Duke University in North Carolina. He’s like any other university student, he studies and he enjoys leisure time. In his free time, he likes to play video games, and also make them. His own video game “jailbreak” got so popular that it yielded “seven-figure profits.”
“With creative industries, that’s always been the case, particularly in young people,” says Roger Altizer, co-founder of the entertainment arts and engineering programme at the University of Utah. He says that young people are trying to make use of their creativity to make monetary gains. Altizer is right, anyone can make any game they like and it has an equally likely chance of being a hit or a miss.
Take the famous Flappy bird, for example, the game was so simple yet so addictive. The sheer difficulty of the game made people keep coming back for more and it had so many downloads that the owner was generating tens of thousands of dollars on a daily basis.
Streaming and Youtube
Although the Youtube scene has been around for a while now, it’s still a worthy inclusion given that a lot more gamers are getting successful now thanks to the website. Many teens under the age of 20 or slightly above have made a fortune by playing video games and uploading their gameplay on Youtube.
Some of the most notable examples are of Youtubers like Pewdiepie and KSI with the former now having the most subscribers on Youtube. Imagine that, a person who plays video games every day, has over 50 million subscribers on Youtube. It’s common knowledge that people with a lot of subscribers get paid a lot of money, especially those who get a lot of views.
A few years ago, KSI bought a Lamborghini Aventador with his Youtube money. He got famous by playing FIFA and uploading his funny reactions to the gameplay. Playing games on Youtube can set you up for bigger things too. Using KSI as an example, he now has around 18 million subscribers and he’s quit gaming entirely. Now his youtube career is focused on rapping and boxing, who would’ve thought a kid playing FIFA would amount to this?
Streaming on Twitch is highly profitable too. There are multiple streamers who get a lot of views. The most recent example can be of Youtuber, and streamer, Ninja. Following the craze of the popular multiplayer game Fortnite, Ninja gets a lot of views per month and he earns almost $500,000 per month.
Although anyone can do this sort of thing, not everyone is successful. It takes talent to get the attention of other people and then to make sure the people who’re interested in you come back for more. That is how Youtubers and streamers are as successful as they are now because they were able to captivate their audiences. It takes a lot of effort, time and patience to be a successful personality on sites like Youtube and Twitch.
The idea of eSports is frowned upon by many people. A lot of people will tell you that competitive gaming is not a “sport”. However, competitive gaming is arguably the most rewarding amongst all options discussed above. Many young gamers have made millions by taking part in international competitive gaming competitions. The eSports industry also attracts over 600 million viewers and is expected to grow to a value of $1.4 billion by 2020.
Sumail Hassan is perhaps the first name you will hear when eSports is mentioned. This is because he’s the youngest player to earn more than 1 million dollars through eSports. He was only 15-16 years old when he won his first prize. He’s made more than $2.5 million playing Dota, a dream job for many.
“ESports have only gotten bigger since my career started in 2015,” Hassan says. He’s 19 now but has been gaming since he was seven. “I knew video games were the thing I was best at and so went pro.” Notice he says “pro”. Yes, it’s not possible for everyone to come into the competitive gaming scene. It takes a lot of effort, determination and time to become a professional gamer. Just like professional athletes, one needs to train really hard to be a pro gamer and just like in sports, not everyone gets a big break in eSports as well.
Nothing comes easy in life. It might seem unfair to think that a few ‘kids’ are earning millions of dollars by playing or making video games or one way or another. However, it requires a lot of talent which is why not every kid playing games is able to earn money through games. If it was truly easy, everyone would be doing it.
However, it is an undeniable fact that these kids owe their millions to the rising popularity and growth of the gaming industry. Working as a “full-time Dota player” or streaming video game gameplays for a living was not possible a decade ago. Thus, for all the negatives gaming might have, it certainly has had its positives for many people as well.