Gaming is seen as just a cheap pastime by some of the more jaded folk in the world, but it’s far from that. Gaming is a great way to let off some steam of course. However, there should be no judgment for gaming in this day and age. To say it has no option for a career is ridiculous. Gaming in this day and age has become a potentially good way to earn money. Whether it’s a side hustle or a full-time job, there are plenty of professions related to gaming one can do.
To earn from gaming, you need to have in-depth knowledge of the latest gaming trends, determination, gaming skills, as well as a bit of good luck. It might seem like easy work to the average person, but making gaming a career is surprisingly difficult. However, it’s also a very fun way to earn off your favorite hobbies.
This is a broad term that covers all non-streaming and non “pure” let’s play content. These can cover the gamut from speedrunning to in-depth video essays on specific video game topics. Many have made a living off of YouTube talking about the games that they adore.
Video essayists such as Super Eyepatch Wolf and Jacob Geller have built strong numbers on Patreon from their informative video essays. These essays are often done with a lot of research and require some basic editing skills to start with.
As previously said, speedrunners have also been used by many gamers to not just earn money for themselves, but also charity. It’s a skill-intensive path to pursue, but it’s got a very dedicated niche audience. In addition to speedrunning, people could also make achievement guides, playstyle tutorials, and a whole lot of other informative video game content on their respective platforms.
Online markets are big things in gaming. From cosmetics to items that give actual in-game advantages, people shell out some surprisingly huge sums for in-game items. These can be done either in an in-game marketplace or through online external marketplaces.
Be wary of external online marketplaces, because the game studios bear no responsibility if you get scammed. Otherwise, it’s a lucrative way to earn money on the side. One of the best examples of a successful online market is the CS:GO skins market. Despite being around a decade old at this point, it still manages to be a lucrative community for CS: GO players to find specific cosmetics.
This profession is essentially running on pure charisma and entertainment factor. Whether their money is through donations or affiliated sponsorships, this path often means making money by being entertaining to watch. Platforms like Twitch and YouTube are the most popular sites to become lets players.
YouTube is better suited for edited content while Twitch is more popular for streaming types. This is a very competitive market right now, so take care if you decide to pursue this. You need to stand out from the crowd and advertise yourself in the best possible ways. This can be done by collaborating with other creators, starting on a game that you believe will be trending, and building your brand online. Confidence and knowing the algorithm are important skills for this field of work.
Professional gaming is a lot more involved than normal streaming. With pro gaming, you don’t necessarily have to be entertaining while playing (though it certainly gives you some great gamer cred). Your first and foremost skill needs to be “being good at video games”. Regular streamers can afford to be terrible at games if they can make the content entertaining.
The same cannot be said for pro gaming. Pro gaming requires you to hone your skills constantly. In the same way that athletes are always practicing to best their opponents, the same goes for professional gamers. It’s a path that requires a lot of dedication, but with pot winnings for the biggest games reaching millions of dollars, it’s well worth it for some people.
Not to mention, if you get enough social engagement on social media, you or your team might be eligible for some major sponsorships. E-sports players often get huge sponsorships by marketing themselves to companies that might be interested in advertising their brand to the gamer demographic. Examples include the computer companies like Intel sponsoring pro teams and providing them with tech.
Game testing and QA testing are two different things, even if they may seem similar on the surface. Knowing the difference is important because one of these might not be something you’d be interested in doing. Game testers are crucial for early game development. It is their job to “break” the game at every opportunity. Repeatedly going through walls, finding bugged-out enemies, and other game-breaking actions need to be done repeatedly.
In contrast, QA testers are for the later stages of development. They are meant to play the game the way it’s meant to be played. This is to see if any bugs are still present on a normal pass of the game. Both types of testers are required to laboriously record any weird things they find. This is a great option for those looking to learn more about game development.
Game/ QA testing is a stable job, and while it’s not the highest-earning way to gain profit from gaming, it is the safest if you pass the game company’s interview. A keen eye for details, some rudimentary programming knowledge, and patience are needed for this path.
Gaming is a fun activity, and it can also be a profitable one too. Just remember though, success in the gaming industry isn’t achieved through numbers or “gaming” the system alone. Many gamers end up burning themselves out over a hobby they once loved. Always make sure that your mindset favors gaming as fun instead of a chore.