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How to Make Money Playing Video Games?

Remember the days when your parents thought that gaming was a waste of time and you should spend more time outside? Well, times have changed.

Gaming these days, on a competitive and entertaining level, can help turn people into celebrities and millionaires. Popular games like Fortnite, Dota, Minecraft, and League of Legends have helped streamers and influencers get million-dollar deals with brands like Monster Energy, NordVPN, or the famous Raid Shadowlegends.

Celebrities like Pewdiepie, Markiplier, Vanossgaming, and Ninja are all on top of the gaming industry. But its much bigger than that!

According to some stats by Reuters, the high-end eSport gaming industry was worth around $1 billion in 2019. This number will continue to escalate.

But let’s face some facts before we switch on our favorite games, fire up a Twitch membership and start blasting away our beloved games through live streams!

How can you start making money with video games and what to expect as a newbie? Let’s find out together!

What are the best ways to make money as a gamer?

Source: https://www.financialexpress.com/

Become a Paid Game Tester

Before Electronic Arts, Blizzard or Microsoft releases their next big gaming project, they go through a round of tests to get some product feedback. Many games that are not on an early release or pre-order get a few rounds of tests for the story, graphics, AI, and gameplay.

As a professional game tester, your job is to review the game from a professional angle. Are there any bugs that render the gameplay useless, is your avatar response, can there be any new improvements. You are basically an unopinionated gaming consultant that looks at a game’s features, user-experience, and user-interface.

The pay can be pretty neat too. A first glance at Indeed’s payout for amature game testers says that the salary in the US for testers is about $15 per hour.

However for full-time employees according to Glassdoor can earn up to USD50,030 per year! Be aware that full-time game testers not only play a game but test code and try out multiple functions for NPC development, visual designs and motion tracking while searching for bugs and errors. (Something that Ubisoft and EA should do more of.)

Play-to-Earn

One of the latest trends of making some serious money online is to perform in play-to-earn games that reward gamers. in competitive gaming, players get different virtual assets as profits for good gameplay and diligence. This can be in the form of new avatar features, skins, weapons or upgrades.

While these existed early on in many MMORPGs or multiplayer games, with the rise of the Metaverse and NFTs, many digital assets can be converted into cryptocurrencies and later real cash.

Two popular platforms for playing in play-to-earn are Decentraland or The Sandbox. In Decentraland you can use MANA, a cryptocurrencies to exchange and sell off different digital assets you’ve earned while playing. There is also an opportunity to perform in gambling, although it’s something I don’t advise.

Gaming Affiliate Programs

We couldn’t go on with this article without mentioning Twitch streaming and its lucrative monetization methods. So how do streamers make their money?

For starters there is the Twitch Affiliate Program and Twitch Partner Program. These have been strictly established by Twitch to avoid relying heavily on ad revenue and rather through promos. One of the most common ways for streamers to make money is through affiliate marketing where a gamer plays a popular game that can be purchased through Twitch. If a viewer likes the game, they can directly purchase it and the streamer earns a small commission from that purchase.

There are of course other income sources for Twitch streamers through subscriptions, bids and occasionally some ads or promo live streams.

When can you get start making money on Twitch?

In order to qualify and become eligible for monetizing the platform, you’d need at least 50 Twitch followers and 500 broadcast minutes over the next 30 days! On top of all these, you’d need to have 7 unique broadcast days, and an average of 3 or more concurrent viewers to qualify.

Starting out from rock bottom might not be easy, but if you have a network of friends who can support you from the beginning, this can be a piece of cake.

Enter the Metaverse

The Metaverse is the next hot topic of the year 2022! Will it actually become mainstream is still a big question since the technology and our understanding of the Metaverse is not yet 100% clear. But tech giants like Microsoft, Meta, and Nvidia have made plans to build virtual platforms of their own to conquer this digital market. So far only smaller players like Decentraland and The Sandbox are leading the metaverse revolution.

You can purchase and sell digital land, sell NFT’s (non-fungible tokens) and enter competitive gaming that will reward you with gear that you can sell for cryptocurrencies like MANA or SAND.

Youtube Gamers

Twitch streaming tutorial

Youtube might be the old school of gaming, but its monetization potential is still huge. With billions of daily users, Youtube is a juggernaut of video platforms. If you are a gamer that enjoys PvP or all-nighter challenges and can go through Dark Souls with zero damage… you should upload your videos on Youtube!

Youtube is a competitive space, where its algorithm can turn average noobs into celebrities overnight.

How much do Youtuber gamers make on average?

Professional gamers can utilize Youtube’s Adsense monetization platform to earn an estimated CPM of $0.25 to $4.0 per 1000 views. A gamer with 100K monthly views you’d have an estimated $25 to $418. This depends on several factors like your audience’s demographics, browsing habits (clicks, engagement and impression) and how much advertisers are willing to bid for a gaming-related keyword.

Adsense revenue
My Adsense revenue with roughly 15,000 monthly visits and 174 clicks!

When it comes to Adsense alone, your average salary will vary every month and it might be insufficient even for pro gamers to eke out a living.

This is why Youtube is such a great platform because you can diversify your income stream with various ideas and promotions once you’ve reached a big enough audience.

Like many YouTubers, you can adhere to the following monetization methods:

  1. Apply for Patreons
  2. Direct advertising through sponsorships
  3. Unboxing videos of gamer accessories and gadgets
  4. Sell your Merch like shirts, hoodies or gaming accessories
  5. Affiliate promotions that you can place in your video’s description

Start Writing Gaming Reviews

If you’re not comfortable with the whole streaming and showing your face-thing to strangers on the internet, there are other great ways to make money with yourn affinity for games.

As an introvert myself who is too lazy to shoot videos and upload them on Twitch or Youtube, I write articles And you can do the same thing by writing reviews about your favorite games, explaining a game’s lore, history or just sharing your unbiased opinion.

Of course, there are two stages for game reviwers. One done on a hobby level and one left for professinals.

How much money can professional game reviewers make?

pro bloggers, game reviewers, and journalists in this niche can expect to earn up to USD26,000 per year. While this does not offer a lavish salary, a game reviewer is more of a part-time job, one that can be done at someone’s leisure.

Of course, there are many ways for you to increase your earnings per article. If you have a love for writing content and share your views on games, blogging about them can be a great career path.

To start a website, you can do so with the button below on Bluehost!

Try Bluehost

Become a Speedrunner

Ok, you might be wondering what the hell is speedrunning in the gaming industry? Good question!

As explained by Twitch TV, SpeedRunners are all players in a multiplayer running game where 4 avatars compete against each other online and stream the whole process. While this may sound like fun, your next question might be: how do gamers make money as a Speedrunner?

Speedrunners can earn some money in two ways.

  • Subscribers who pay either monthly like with Patreon
  • Receive individual donations

This can be a good source of income for more popular gamers whose names are already known in the industry and have built up some loyal followers. If you are a beginner, you should try speedrunning at a later stage.

Final Remarks

Unlike our parents who started enjoying the early days of gaming, now we can start making money with them like it’s a full-time job. Gaming can seem a lucrative career and there is no doubt about the fact that behind the scenes, there is a lot of effort associated with gaming success.

If gaming is not your thing, we have a dozen other tips to help you make money:

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