For many around the world, video games are more than an interest, they are a passion that proves time and time again to be intensely enjoyable. Over the last 30 years, the industry has seen a meteoric rise in technology and consequently players are enjoying the innovative games that studios are creating. Once a controversial subject, they have now become ingrained into western culture, and it would be hard to find someone who has not heard of titans such as Grand Theft Auto or Call of Duty. Having a career playing video games was once thought to be a fantasy, but today, that prospect is very achievable and highly lucrative for the right kind of person.
Those who want to be part of the creation of video games have a lot of opportunities to get into the industry. The programmer is a vital part of game creation and there are always plentiful openings at various studios across the world. But what about people who simply want to play and enjoy games rather than be involved in creating them? The creation of sites like YouTube makes this notion possible as they allow gamers to record and post their content online. As sites like this generate advertisement revenue, a big enough audience can yield high returns and is a feasible way to earn money for playing games.
However, in recent years, streaming has become a more popular way of playing games and earning money. When Twitch entered the scene, everything was forever changed. The fact that the video game streaming service was bought by Amazon should be indicative of how popular streaming has become. On the platform, gamers are available to show their audience live gameplay and talk to them through a chat feature. This method is generally preferred over the traditional content creation format due to the increased level of interaction – streamers are not just talking to themselves like they would with recorded content and their audience are able to talk to their favourite streamers.
Because YouTube has grown so much this decade, it is very difficult for people new to the scene to get started and gain a foothold in the viewership the YouTube giants already have. This makes sense too, especially in the case of the audience. Why would people watch someone much smaller than someone they have already come to know and love? The barrier for entry on Twitch is much smaller in comparison. This is in part due to the community and ease of access on Twitch – it is much easier to find up and coming steamers on the platform and bigger streamers are generally supportive of them by utilising the audience-sharing ‘host’ feature.
Streaming is on the rise and is steadily taking over traditional forms of content creation. The rise can even be seen in other industries, there are many casino streamers on Twitch and is telling of how the form is going to continue to become more popular in years to come.