Earning a living from gaming is now viable and respected
Due to the relatively young age of the medium, gaming has traditionally found it difficult to get the respect it deserves compared to other industries, like film, television and music.
Back in the 80s and 90s, gamers often had to hide the fact they played franchises like The Legend of Zelda and Super Mario due to outdated attitudes towards the hobby and the perception that it was only for children.
Fortunately, a lot has changed during the last decade or so. The public is waking up to the fact that playing games can be an avenue to a lucrative career via competitive esports, self-made YouTube channels and Twitch streaming, among others.
The global games market was predicted to rise in value to a staggering $159.3bn in 2020 as even more people turned to games during the pandemic. That figure dwarfs other industries, including film and music.
Even outside enthusiast circles, thanks to smartphones, there are a growing number of new gamers. Newzoo estimates that there were 2.5 billion mobile gamers at the end of last year, with many enjoying new subscription-based services from Apple, Google and Microsoft.
The fact that everyone now appears to be a gamer in some form has softened previous views that spending time on consoles, handhelds, and PCs was a waste of time.
The rise of esports and streaming
The lucrative nature of an increasingly mainstream esports industry is also showing how misguided is that opinion. Gamers now regularly compete in competitions based on games including Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Dota 2 and Overwatch.
Back in 2019, players competed for $30m in prize money at the inaugural Fortnite World Cup in New York, and 16-year-old ‘Bugha’ eventually won $3m for finishing in first place, while the rest of the top four took home more than $1m. Those sums are higher than golfers and tennis players earn when winning some of the biggest sports tournaments in the world.
It also requires vast skill and dedication to be among the most successful in esports, just like in any other coveted profession. The best pro players are completing a staggering 350 to 500 actions within a game every minute, which is around three to five times more than the average person.
“It’s fast, it’s twitchy, but it’s also about the bigger picture — you see an opponent do something and you have to provide a response to that,” said SuperData CEO Joost van Dreunen.
Increased exposure online
The incredible skills on show have made gaming more of a spectator sport, and the subsequent explosion in branding, advertising and merchandising has made it more visible to the public. Amazon’s recent acquisition of Twitch, an online streaming service, has also increased the exposure for esports and gaming personalities.
Twitch has allowed gamers to make a living from their own home by streaming their daily sessions to a captivated audience. The top account of Twitch, ‘Ranbolive’, currently has 110,321 paying monthly subscribers. The dream of playing games for a living is now much more viable due to new tech and platforms.
It is no surprise then that people are starting to play sweeps cash casinos for real prizes at online casinos both for entertainment and to win jackpots daily, hopefully. Gamers are now regularly turning to new sites to try out experiences that were not accessible just a few years ago.
Like in console and PC gaming, this digital revolution has helped increase the popularity of classic card games like poker and blackjack and paved the way for new and exciting slots and other casino-based games.
The trend is being driven by younger adults who have grown up watching the biggest annual Texas Hold’em events and more experienced players who have switched from or complemented their physical card room trips with more online sessions. Gamers can now access their favourite digital casinos at any time, either via a website or mobile app.
Traditional jobs are also coveted
The growing value of gaming means it is also possible to earn a living from other more traditional jobs in the industry. Not everyone wants to be a streaming star, and many instead harbour hopes of becoming a well-paid game developer or designer and gaining respect for the quality of their work.
That is possible with qualifications from higher education and relevant work experience. Some of the most respected gaming companies, such as Rockstar, also have video game development studios in the UK.
The more gaming thrives, the more opportunities there are for people to make money from the industry. There are now so many different career options to pursue. Artists, animators, engineers and gameplay testers use their vast skill set to contribute to something memorable.
Whether you want to take the more direct route of being a streamer or top esports player and play games for a living or opt for creating and working on them, it is now easier than ever to make a career in the industry being respected for what you achieve.