Throughout my high school-college years, I had a dream of becoming a professional gamer and that dream also included making a ton of money doing this. During this time, YouTube wasn’t as popular as it is now. Twitch didn’t exist and let’s just say the avenues to make my dream a reality were limited.
Not so today, and while my dream has changed to chasing something else, I did learn how to make money through other online means and mixing that with what I already know about gaming, I’d like to give you, the person reading this who wants to explore and possibly become a businessman/earner playing games a tutorial on what you can do, what you can expect and even warnings on whether or not this is the type of business you want to go into.
First, my personal story about gaming and how far I got into it…
During my teen years (high school), one VERY big title at the time was StarCraft (Broodwar), one of the first and possibly most popular online war games of all time. This was the period where having 56k connection was considered good and if you had DSL at the time, you were a king when it came to internet connections.
From it stemmed other big names such as Warhammer, Age of Empires, DOTA, Civilization, and tons of other games that were either similar and/or because of Starcraft’s popularity, the road was open to creating today’s viral level popularity games.
Starcraft, despite coming out all the way back before 2000, was SO popular at the time that it was literally a national “sport” in South Korea and championship games were played there and other places including the U.S.
Professional players in Starcraft earned six figures in certain areas if they were popular enough and entire stadiums could be filled with fans if the tournaments/championships/leagues were hosted in Korea.
At the time though, this popularity was severely limited to the way it is today in 2017, but despite that, I personally was a HUGE fan of it and went quite far in that I played it for countless hours a day, I reached very high ranks in leagues where you could get tough competition and I even beat several pros.
I had fans and I had the talent to make this work, but I never took it as far as I could have, which in part was due to my ego and the fact that college and life occupied everything.
Had the opportunities to market yourself as a player that exist today, existed back then, my path in life may have very easily swung into the professional gaming world, but it did not.
However, I do in part thank my years of experience in Starcraft because the idea of sitting around and making money stayed with me long after I stopped playing it, and so that pushed me to find a different, more popular way (at the time) to reach this goal.
The quest I went through following that led me to what I have now: A full time online business where even though I don’t really play nearly as much as I used to, I still make money the way I wanted to.
And now that I have actual, tangible experiences and I see what opportunities lie today before those seeking to live a dream I once attempted to live but couldn’t, I will give you some awesome ideas to possibly make a living through this…
There’s really 1 or 2 qualifications you need:
1) Talent in the game/s you play. Whether it’s Starcraft, Warcraft or any other title you can think of, there will always be SOME sort of competition out there. And in that if you can personally stand out with your skills and rise in the ranks, you will be noticed, believe me. From that, will come the tips I’ll give you later on in how to market that talent.
2) You need to have personality/popularity. A boring player who streams and doesn’t give their audience fun/smart commentary will not go as far as the one who does. Games are entertaining, but if you’re the one playing them and you’re seeking to make money of the people who watch you, you will need to entertain them with more than just your skills.
Now with these 2 qualifications, you can get away with having just one. For example…
You can be really talented in playing, but a total bore to listen to, but if you can play the popular games out there and well, you will have an audience that will want to watch you. You will also have to be prepared to try your skills in other titles in the event that the one you’re really good at loses it’s popularity (which will happen).
You can also have NO talent, be completely horrible, but because you have personality and charisma can make people watching you enjoy the show. I’ve watched plenty of popular streamers before who are terrible at playing, but are completely hilarious to listen to and so I stay and watch.
Ideally though, having both these qualities is what will help you further your career in this industry though…
Now for the options…
You may likely know these and they may seem obvious, but if you connect the following platforms with a good personality and talent, you can explode in popularity and success overtime…
YouTube streaming. Live games are streamed ALL the time now by YouTubers. Check out some of the most popular channels out there and see how they go about playing what it is they play. Streaming is now a BIG part of the YouTube platform and one you should really, really look into.
Find the popular video games people play these days, and if you’re good at it or have a commentary to listen to, consider playing them live. It’s very likely you won’t amass a huge following quickly, but if you see that streaming gives you more and more YouTube subscribers, that is proof you have something that can be built off.
Twitch. This is arguably one of the best platforms to build a name for yourself on as MANY players go here to stream and rise in popularity. There’s tons of people who use this platform to get donations and viewers, which they then can advertise something like a YouTube channel to and cross promote within each channel.
And speaking of donations, I’ve seen channels (LifesaGlitchTV on YouTube) earn $100’s and even $500 in donations. There’s real people giving away THIS kind of money out there. That channel in particular has 2 people who run it and provide hilarious commentary/playing experiences, just so you understand why they’re so popular. If you can have this, you can really do a lot in this business.
You can sell private lessons to people (I’ve purchased this before, if you’re popular enough, people will pay you to teach them.).
On a side note, popular names like Demetrious Johnson, flyweight champion of the UFC is also a known Twitch user, just so you know how popular this industry has become and he’s not even what you would consider a “professional” player.
You can also promote gaming products such as computers that have powerful capabilities. These are huge too because if you know something about this industry, it’s that when it comes to computers, you NEED to have the high end ones to be able to play things like Call of Duty, League of Legends, ect…
I am personally NOT an expert in computer parameters which I need so if you can get a popular channel going, offer services in helping people build their own powerful computer and sell them a service where you can either build it for them or promote accessories on Amazon that will help boost their computer to the next level.
These things cost $100’s and even $1,000’s to set up and believe me, there’s TONS of people willing to pay this money for that, they just need someone like you, who knows what they need to advertise it to them.
The business side from all of this comes from growing your name, your channel and proportionally offering services and lessons. You really can make this into an entire, workable business.
Warnings about this industry:
I really need to stress again how important it is that you have at least one of the qualifications I listed above. And even if you do have this, you need to understand that it may take a long time for you to become a popular, known player in the world, mainly because so many people are doing it now, so you need to stand out, with those qualifications.
Also you need to know that this may not be a good life. Playing for several hours every single day may take you away from the real world out there and make you avoid necessary experiences in life.
A lot of people who engage in this industry do not succeed and end up wasting a chunk of their life in trying to. But if you really love this industry and have talent as well as the other qualification, you can bet you have a lot of opportunities in today’s world to make it work.