It seems like every summer your kid turns into a blob that does nothing but play video games. Believe it or not, your gamer kid could be making a fortune one day. But the criteria for earning the big bucks is pretty steep.
Video game companies are courting professional gamers to promote their new livestream games. The more famous the livestream player, the more money he or she gets.
In one case, a popular livestreamer makes up to $1 million a month. For video game companies trying to create the next “Fortnite,” shelling out that kind of money is worth it.
The quest for the next big livestreaming game
As the name suggests, livestreaming games are played in real time on the internet with millions of people logging on. “Fortnite” currently holds the crown as the most popular livestreaming game in the world.
Initially a free video game, in 2017 the developers at Epic Games produced an online-only multiplayer mode for “Fortnite” called “Battle Royale.” Since adding “Battle Royale,” the number of “Fortnite” registered users now stands at about 250 million.
Epic Games makes money from “Fortnite” by allowing players to buy in-game currency called V-bucks. Players use V-bucks to buy items that can help raise their avatar’s profile. One-hundred V-bucks equal about $1.
In 2018, “Fortnite” alone made about $2 billion for Epic Games. Those are the stakes in the ultra-competitive video game industry.
And that’s why video game makers are reportedly paying popular livestreamers as much as $50,000 a month to play their latest games. But not just any gamer can make that type of money.
Gaming companies chase popular livestreamers
Hard as it is to believe, there are “professional gamers” out there. Gaming companies are seeking out players with a massive amount of followers. Massive as in more than 20 million followers.
With followings that large, these professional gamers are highly influential. Their followers look to them when deciding what the next big game is.
Electronic Arts, Activision Blizzard, Ubisoft and Take-Two Interactive Software are some of the publishers shelling out serious cash to streamers, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal.
“Having celebrity streamers play games is an important part of the business,” Strauss Zelnick, Take-Two’s chief executive, told the Journal. “It is relatively new, but it has to be organic. The streamers have to believe in it.”
Among the most popular influencers are Tyler “Ninja” Blevins and Sean “Jacksepticeye” McLoughlin. They each have 22 million subscribers to their YouTube channels. They earn money through their subscribers and sponsorships.
Now, popular gamers can add money they receive from game publishers who want them to test their newest products live on Twitch or post a video of their play on their YouTube channels.
According to Celebrity Net Worth, McLoughlin earns about $300,000 per month and Blevins earns between $500,000 and $1 million per month through video game companies.