In the 90s and even into the 00s, video games were denoted to be addictive, harmful products that sapped the attention spans of children and cause a multitude of behavioural problems. While there will always be a certain subset of people that maintain that belief, the reality is that today, video games have readily been accepted and embraced. In fact, the video game industry soared during the pandemic and it is reported that they exceeded the sports and film industry combined. With video games becoming so popular, many decide to turn their passion into a career and try to make an income out of it – to varying levels of success.
It is certainly possible to make a career out of gaming. One only has to look at how esports has evolved in recent years, attracting a massive following and generating staggering amounts of money. Video game developer and publisher Valve hosted a competitive video game tournament in 2019 that had a prize pool of $34.3 million. When impressionable teenagers see sums as large as this, it is no surprise why they aspire to be professional gamers. This notion is even being supported by colleges and universities across the world as it is now becoming increasingly common to see scholarships being offered to students who demonstrate a natural affinity in games.
The worldwide pandemic saw a large percentage of the population turn to alternative forms of entertainment to get by during lockdown periods. Whilst some turned to activities such as gambling using sites just like these, many flocked to their consoles at home in hopes of escaping into their games. This has undoubtedly caused a surge of active players in many multiplayer games and likely increased interest in competitive gaming as a result.
The less gifted players are not only forced to select esports as an option if they desire to make gaming their career. Many gamers have been able to make a living off of creating videos of them playing games and uploading them to sites like YouTube. Here, there is no prize money to be won but revenue instead comes through sponsorships and advertisement on the platform. This route offers a more stable form of employment compared to the competitive scene as it is possible for games to slowly fade into obscurity. The players who have dedicated thousands of hours in that game would then see a loss of income and be forced to either adapt to another game or search for a different career. Interestingly, rare cases exist where YouTubers can earn more than esports champions. In the case of PewDiePie, a famous YouTuber, it is estimated that he earns $58.2 million a year.
For gifted gamers, it is very possible to make a highly profitable, albeit short-term career out of gaming. For those casual gamers who want to have fun instead of play with intense competition, content creation also remains an option. It is clear though that opportunities to break into a career in gaming are higher than ever.