Video games were seen as a pastime or, at best, a recurring hobby. People didn't perceive them as a source of income. In recent years, however, the video game market has grown to become a multi-billion-industry supported by millions of people around the globe — and everybody wants in on it.
Getting into the gaming industry can earn you thousands to millions of dollars a year, depending on the field you choose. Aside from earnings, companies also dip their toes into the gaming market as part of their strategic marketing plan to promote their businesses.
Looking to become a player in this growing industry as well? Here are a few ways you can do so.
Video Game Development
If you have a knack for coding, a unique idea for a game, or artistic skills, perhaps video game development is the route for you. An average game developer earns around $100,000 a year depending on their experience and the company they work for.
To become a game developer, you’ll need a combination of creative and analytical skills. You also need to improve your math and physics skills, gain or expand your knowledge in software engineering, and hone your storytelling capabilities.
Starting a full-fledged game company can earn you more, up to millions of dollars, but it will take a lot more capital and time than being a game developer. You also need to hire the right people (programmers, graphic designers, sound engineers, etc) to create a game that could take months or years to complete.
Creating Game Guides and Tutorials
Game guides and tutorials help players familiarize themselves with the games they play or pass levels they can’t beat. Gameplay walkthroughs also allow them to discover new strategies to become better players, especially for multiplayer player-versus-player (PvP) titles.
It’s no wonder that guides and tutorials remain popular among players. This relevance is also why there’s a market for earning money through this niche.
The best part about this work is there are different routes you can take for it. You can launch a website to post your guides, create a YouTube channel, or publish them as eBooks.
However, you need to have good writing skills and unmatched expertise to create a guide or tutorial that players will find useful.
Live-streaming video games has been around for over a decade, but it gained significant traction during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Today, the streaming market is expected to reach a valuation of $7.2 billion by 2032.
It’s one of the few ways that allow you to play the games that you like while also earning from it. You can make a living through streaming by:
Accepting donations from viewers
Having avid viewers sign up for paid subscriptions or memberships to your streaming channel
Getting brand sponsorships and partnership deals
Running advertisements while streaming
Selling your merchandise
To ensure your success in the streaming world, you need to either be a good player (to attract gamers) or an entertaining person (to pull in casual viewers). It’s a bonus if you have both of these attributes as it allows you to draw in both certified gamers and casual viewers.
Choosing the right platform is also an important part of this endeavor. The top streaming platform right now is Twitch with 33.2 million users in the US. YouTube Gaming and Facebook Gaming are other viable options as they are steadily growing in popularity among viewers.
Don’t want a live audience watching you play? Consider becoming a gaming content creator instead. In this niche, you can post virtually any gaming-related content — whether that’s a video game walkthrough, podcast, or newsletter.
Unlike live streaming, being a content creator means you can edit your content before publishing or uploading them. That control of choosing what should or should not be on your videos also allows you to make mistakes without the fear of instant scrutiny from your audience.
Digital content can also serve as a passive income. For instance, you can get revenue from views and ad plays as long as someone streams your YouTube content.
The challenging part about being a content creator is that it can be difficult to get views and grow your audience if you’re starting from scratch. Conceptualizing unique gaming content is another hurdle you need to overcome, considering the number of competitions you have in the content creation space.
If you’re extremely good at a game, especially tactical PvP shooters, you can try your hand at competitive gaming or esports. It’s the gamer equivalent of being a professional athlete, meaning you compete in tournaments to win prizes or qualify for bigger competitions.
Professional gamers make most of their income from tournament winnings, but they can also make extra earnings from sponsorship deals. They also earn salaries if they are part of an esports organization.
Establishing or investing in an esports organization is another way you can make money from competitive gaming. These groups can earn up to millions of dollars through sponsorships, advertising, ticket sales, merchandising, and media rights.
The gaming industry has long opened its doors to people looking to make a living out of video games. Its recent rise only widened this doorway and provided more opportunities for a growing community — some of which are listed above. Before you start a career in the video game field, though, make sure that you’ve done your research and will choose a path that is compatible with your interests and skills.
Written by Chatty Garrate
Chatty is a freelance writer from Manila. She finds joy in inspiring and educating others through writing. That's why aside from her job as a language evaluator for local and international students, she spends her leisure time writing about various topics such as lifestyle, technology, and business.
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