How to make money on video games

How to make money on video games

We combine the pleasant with the pleasant.

Gaming is a hobby that about 2.5 billion people around the world are already fond of in one way or another. According to stereotypes, this is just stupid entertainment, which at worst is addictive, and at best it just “grows out” sooner or later. Such people should be told that gamers, in fact, can earn quite good money — there are many ways to do this.

Stream or make gaming videos

At first glance, the most direct conversion of gaming into a relatively stable income: either show your gameplay and comment on what is happening live, or record and edit videos. Of course, there are pitfalls: streamers have almost no vacations, as they seriously hit the number of regular viewers; for the sake of growth, you have to stream according to a strict schedule, for many hours a day. Youtubers can either make letsplays — it will take as much time as streaming — or make short videos, but high-quality editing is also not done quickly.

But if successful, you can live like a superstar: 29-year-old Fortnite streamer Tyler «Ninja» Blevins earns about 500 thousand dollars (38 million rubles) per monthand also concludes multi-million dollar contracts in excess of this amount.

Be a gamer

If you not only play regularly, but also know how to put words into sentences, and even better, you cannot live without an outpouring of your structured and reasoned thoughts, then this path is for you. Gaming journalism, especially in Russia, is not a profession with which you can earn money for an apartment, a fancy car, or other attributes of high income. But you will always be at the forefront of the industry, often playing important new games a few days or weeks before the rest of the world, sometimes going on interesting business trips and chatting with your idol developers

Also, of course, a full-time game journalist generally saves a significant amount on gamesif he gets them from the publisher — however, review codes and press copies need to be worked out by writing texts, so you can’t call them free.

Farming in online games

Those who love the process of gaming very much, but do not have special skills — except, perhaps, perseverance — can earn extra money with rather monotonous, but demanded work. This category of people helps people who are ready to spend a lot of real money on the game to immediately plunge into top content. Although in the vast majority of games such a scheme is illegal, boosting other people’s accounts is in great demand: climb to the top of the rankings, upgrade a character, complete some kind of hardcore tests. Another related area is the sale of in-game valuables from virtual currency to things and even real estate — again, this violates the user agreement of most games, but few people stop.

It all depends on your skill and the work to be done. For example, for boosting a League of Legends account you can earn up to several hundred eurosbut farming gold in World of Warcraft cannot be called profitable — it is mainly engaged in underground offices, including in China, where employees are paid mere pennies close to the minimum wage.

Create content in games

Developers have long realized that one of the most effective ways to support everlasting games is to allow gamers to add new ideas and features to them. Of course, although fans are ready to do it for free, it is better to motivate the creation of high-quality content with a real fee, which is what has been done in some large projects.

In Minecraft and Roblox, the most popular building games in history, players can apply to publish skins for characters, levels, mods, and more on the official store. Other players will be able to buy the content that has passed the selection for real money, and the developers will transfer a significant part of the profits to the players: in Minecraft for the first 2 months of the existence of the Marketplace, when there were only 12 authors, paid a total of $2 millionand in Roblox, creator players generally receive several tens of millions of dollars annually.

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This way of earning requires diligence and real talent, but it is better than most other options. After all, once you start making money from creating worlds for Minecraft, it will be easier for you to join a real game dev, and high-quality and well-selling projects will look great in your portfolio.

Making games

Why not? The gaming industry, as you can understand from the often emerging investigations into the phenomenon of crunch (constant overtime) is sometimes a rather tough area in which you can figuratively burn out or turn into a workaholic. On the other hand, you will actually get a chance to maybe work on one of the games that will be talked about by millions of gamers, and your name will forever be inscribed in its credits — it’s hard not to be proud of such an achievement. And for those who like to solve complex problems and experience a rush of endorphin from a long-term project that has finally been completed, this is an ideal job.

Just get ready for the fact that you will most likely not be able to work on the largest projects right away. You will have to start either with indie or mobile games — the latter, by the way, are often not inferior to classic blockbusters in terms of profitability.

Salary varies depending on many variables: position, experience, project scale, country of development, and so on. A beginner 2D artist in Moscow can earn about 60 thousand rubles a month, and managers, senior analysts or experienced programmers with knowledge of game engines can earn more than 200 thousand rubles a month. Of course, in theory, you can become a superstar like Hideo Kojima or Markus Persson — the latter lives in a mansion and is secured for life thanks to the success of his Minecraft.

Become an eSportsman

An increasingly popular option for young gamers: according to scientific studies, the brain’s reaction speed starts to slow down around the age of 24, and until then it is possible to unleash your potential in any esports discipline. MOBAs, shooters, simulations, collectible card games, strategy games – there are plenty of choices, although it’s worth going to more popular games if you want to earn as much as possible. Although it is important here to really burn with the game, because it can take years to practice and prove yourself in tournaments.

If you’re wondering if it’s worth it, you’ll certainly be inspired by the example of Fortnite pro player Kyle Giersdorf: in 2019, a 16-year-old boy made $3 millionthat is, about a quarter of a billion rubles.

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