Video games may be an entertaining, competitive, and enthralling pastime, but they can also be a source of income. In fact, over the last decade gamers have been turning their passion for play into lucrative, independent business ventures involving everything from competitive play to content creation. Let’s take a look at 5 of the most common ways people turn their play sessions into pay-sessions.
It goes without saying that becoming a professional gamer in any game is a challenge. But while this path may require a lot of dedication and practice—particularly in popular games—it can become incredibly lucrative if you reach the top of the pile.
Professional gamers start out like anyone else, with a simple passion for games. But if you want to take it to the next level, you need to start topping leaderboards, engaging in tournaments, and embedding yourself within the competitive community of the game you are playing.
When you have established yourself, you can gain income from playing for a specific team, winning tournament prize money and, perhaps most lucratively, getting involved with brand sponsorships and endorsements.
This isn’t a get rich quick scheme, but if you’re in it for the long-haul, it may be worth sharpening your skill and turning your passion for gaming into a professional career.
Slightly more accessible, streaming comes in many different forms. It essentially requires you to provide a style of stream which will captivate a large and loyal audience. That could be through speed-running, being a particularly good competitive player, being an educator, being a developer or simply being an entertainer who goofs around.
While it’s easy to look a pew-die-pie and the many streamers who followed in his footsteps and imagine that this is an easy path, it’s worth noting that streaming requires consistent, long-term commitment. After all, you’re looking to build a wide audience who is willing to tune in, donate and get involved with your stream.
When you do start gathering a following, you may find yourself with significant income from everything including donations, sponsorships and more.
Somewhat of a neighbour to streaming, content creation can encompass a variety of things when it comes to games. You could choose to make compilations, tell stories, provide educational content, review games and much, much more. Platforms like YouTube, and to a lesser extent TikTok, are a haven for gaming content creators.
While content creation can be a bit more sporadic, to make a consistent income from it you will want to be engaging in frequent and high-quality content creation, captivating your audience and encouraging them to share.
Much like streaming, once you gain a large enough following you will get your income from a variety of sources such as ad revenue, sponsorships and direct donations through platforms like Patreon.
Selling In-Game Services
If you don’t like being in front of a camera and aren’t a super competitive player, another option is to sell in-game services. Now, this only works for multiplayer games, particularly those with large enough player bases.
You may be wondering what type of services you can sell? There are plenty. You can farm currency or rare in-game items to sell. You can offer power-levelling services, also known as boosting, where you log into other players’ accounts and level up their characters. You can also create accounts and max them out, in order to sell the entire account.
These services can be done across most multiplayer games—everything from World of Warcraft to Apex Legends. Provided there are players trying to improve at the game, there are likely players willing to pay someone else to do the heavy lifting.
Sites like ElDorado.gg are hubs for these activities. To give one example, fans of Battle Royales can buy Apex Legends accounts! But players looking to earn can also use these platforms as marketplaces to safely sell their in-game services; from selling currency and items to power-levelling and accounts.
Perhaps you’re interested in how games actually work. Whether you are looking for a career in game development or simply are a very experienced player, game testing can be a very rewarding experience as it gives you the opportunity to interact with developers and let them know how their game is. And, if you get in with a top game studio, the money can be pretty good too.
Game Testing is a difficult process, though. It can be done on-site or remotely, but requires full attention from the tester. Often requiring you to do things like test boundaries, specific interactions and even replay sections in different ways to ensure that nothing is broken.
Needless to say, all this play testing provides valuable insight into how games are made, so can easily be translated into a career in game development.
Start Profiting from Play
As we have explored, there are various ways to earn real-world money from playing games. Whether that’s becoming a pro, streaming or creating content, selling in-game services or testing games, there is money to be made. But if you do start earning from playing games remember to have fun while doing so!