Playing games isn’t just an act of leisure, it’s also a great way to make some money. I mean, there are plenty of gamers out there who make their living off of streaming their game-play on Twitch or making videos for YouTube. There’s a lot of opportunities for gamers to make some money off their hobby, and this isn’t just limited to professional players. Even amateurs can cash in on gaming. The next time you are enjoying your bingo blitz, make sure to find a way to get paid. But, prior to starting any ventures like this, you’ll need a fanbase and a following. It’s one thing to play video games and entertain yourself, but it’s another thing entirely to entertain thousands of people who tune in each day just so they can watch you play.
I know what you’re probably thinking, and no, it’s not that hard to build a following. If you’re good at what you do, people will come. And for those of you who may need some ideas on how to get your name on the map, allow me to offer some suggestions;
- Affiliate programs through YouTube and Twitch
Twitch is one of the leading live streaming platforms for gamers and is dedicated to video game culture and community. The site has primarily been known as a place where you can stream games that you’re playing live. It’s not just about watching other people play, though, Twitch actually allows users to interact with each other while they play. With this site, it’s easier than ever to customize your own channel so that your viewers will feel like they’re getting a special experience every time they watch you play.
YouTube is another one of the most popular sites for streaming live gameplay videos. It’s another avenue through which users can broadcast their content, build a following and profit off of it eventually. There are plenty of people who have been able to turn their YouTube channels into professional careers by making videos and having active fanbases.
YouTube has had a partnership with Twitch so that as you grow on Twitch, your YouTube channel also grows with viewers tuning in to watch you play just like on Twitch.
- Fan donations and support
Another way for gamers to make some extra cash is through fan donations. You can set up a goal of how much money you want to make each month and then use that money to buy games that you love or open up new doors of opportunity for other things. Just like with YouTube or Twitch streaming, it’s all about getting exposure.
A lot of people have been able to make a living by using PayPal’s donation system because it offers an option for income from your fans. First off, you need to have a PayPal account and then you can set up a PayPal button on your YouTube or Twitch channel so that viewers can pay you via their PayPal accounts.
- Brand deals and sponsorship contracts
I know when I was a kid I used to be pretty attached to Nintendo and Sega because they were the companies that had the most hype in the early 2000’s and I felt like many of their games were classics, so naturally I wanted to see them succeed financially as well. That’s why when I was first introduced to this concept of corporate partnerships, I thought, “Huh, and they want me to endorse these companies on my channels?” But now that I think about it there’s a lot of benefits for both parties involved. For the company you can get a lot more exposure than you would otherwise.
For the gamer, you’ll have the opportunity to earn a substantial amount of money doing something that you love so much. These corporations are more than willing to pay top dollar for your talent and when you get to be featured in their ad campaigns, it can really elevate your channel’s reach.
- Tournament winnings
Tournament winnings are a bit different for players who have the ability to travel around and attend in-person regional tournaments or world championship events, but there are still resources available for online tournaments and cash prizes. A lot of people play games for a couple years before they get serious about competing in tournament settings. These players have a proven track record and experience to win competitions, but there’s still a lot of resources that can be made that you can choose from.
- Paid game testing
One of the biggest opportunities in gaming right now is paid game testing. What this means is that companies are willing to pay you money to play their games for hours on end so that they can see how users will react to them. This means that gamers can take the time out of their day and just play video games rather than having to worry about it as a full-time job or as some types of freelance jobs.
There’s actually a lot of different sites that offer this type of gaming opportunity. Test out a lot of them and see which one matches your preferences the best because it’ll definitely be worth your while to do so.
Crowdfunding is becoming more popular in the gaming community every day and there are plenty of opportunities for gamers who want to make money through these platforms. Most people who use crowdfunding do so because they want to make their own game, get some funding for their startup or relocate to another city, but it can also be used for other purposes like investing in video game startups, creating communities around games and starting up organized tournaments with cash prizes.
- Creating and selling game merchandise.
This is a completely different form of making money through gaming. Sure, it might not pay the bills as much as streaming or playing tournaments, but it’s still a great way to monetize through gaming. You can sell t-shirts, mugs, posters and even 3D printable objects of your favorite games for people who want to be able to show their loyalty. Or if you like creating content, you can use merchandising to sell your art to people to show off on their walls.
All of these methods of making money through video games are completely legitimate as long as you’re not infringing on someone else’s rights. Being creative with how you use gaming to make money is quite fun and it’s a very nice alternative to a 9-5 office job.