Here’s what you can earn playing video games

Do you love gaming? Just absolutely love it?!

Whether it’s Xbox or PlayStation, Halo or Assassin’s Creed – all you want to do is play. The hours of practice have paid off and your somewhat of a cyber-legend amongst fellow gamers.

I’m sure if we’ve just described you, you’ll know that you can earn money from gaming. The question is, how much?

Wow247 have analysed people who are currently earning playing video games – from the big-name stars to the more average salaries – and bring them to you below!


Let’s start with the basics, and the most profitable. Recording footage of your video gameplay, commentating over it with a humorous or informative style, and then uploading that video to YouTube, from which you will receive revenue based on the number of views your video gets, sounds very easy. But we’re sure every gamer understands the difficulty of launching yourself into the stratosphere.

One particular YouTube personality had no such difficulty with his career, as he became a massive internet hit relatively quickly, and the name PewDiePie has become common knowledge.

In just 21 hours at the time of writing, PewDiePie’s latest video has hit 1.4 million views.

So let’s get down to the maths. YouTube claims that the CPM (amount of money paid out per thousand views) of a pre-roll advertisement (adverts that play before your video) is $7.60. However, YouTube takes 45% of all profits, so let’s reduce that figure to $4.60 (rounded up).

So if PewDiePie receives an average of $4.60 for every 1,000 views, in the last 21 hours he has earned $6,440, which is £4,191 to us Brits.

His estimated yearly earnings – which are extremely broad, due to little personal information and Youtube’s unreliable algorithms – is somewhere between $800,000 and $8 million, and most people believe it to be nearer to the latter.

That's ridiculous

At this point however, it’s important to consider that the average gaming video on YouTube will receive around 3,000 views.

So if you were to set up a YouTube channel, and get just above the average views on a video (which really isn’t that hard, as that average is greatly dragged down by the abundance of terrible twoddle tagged under ‘gaming’), then you could be earning around $23, which is £15 per day.

That may not sound like much, but for the joy of playing video games, and bearing in mind that the channel would be constantly growing, there’s every chance that an avid gamer could make a modest living out of it at some point.

Tournament gaming

COD tourney

Now this is where it gets a little bit more tricky, on account of…. well, having to be one of the best players in the world to compete. Gaming tournaments always focus on one specific game, and require plenty of qualification and preliminary practice in order to gain admittance.

However, once you get into the ‘big leagues’, it’s very profitable. At the latest Dota 2 World Championships, the overall winning team, The Evil Geniuses, which was made up of five members, took home $6.6 million just in prize money.

So that’s $1.32 million or £860,000 each, for playing a video game,

The prize money for the winner of Wimbledon 2015 was £1.88 million, meaning that the winners of the Dota 2 World Championships, earned nearly twice as much as the semi-finalists of the most prestigious tennis competition on the planet.

Okay, so maybe it’s a little out of our reach to become the best in the world at a game, but you don’t have to win to earn money from it.

At the 2001 Counterstrike World Championship, 32 teams competed for the grand prize. Teams that placed 25th to 32nd, received $1,000. That’s $1,000, just for getting to the tournament.

Live streaming

Twitch TV

Live streaming is relatively new to the gaming/entertainment scene, with regular content producers only recently starting to utilise the opportunities that it offers. Even if you’re not into live streaming though, you must have heard of Twitch TV, which is probably the biggest source of gaming streams at the moment.

Anyway, face-cams and live gameplay are extremely popular in the community, with some generous viewers even going as far as to donate money to the person that they are viewing (I’ve seen somebody donate £250 in one go, and I nearly died of shock). Twitch streaming also provides other revenue offers including viewership based advertising.

One user, who goes by the name of Jeffrey Shih, streams every single night, and gathers about 15,000 viewers every day. He earns approximately $7,500 per month, which is $90,000 a year.

Shih himself estimates that holding an average of 5,000 regular viewers would be enough earn a stable yearly wage, and with bonuses and donations, a regular life can be lived with just 2,000 loyal viewers.

As Daniel Fenner demonstrates in his article about his life as a professional Twitch streamer, it’s extremely hard work to earn a living from it. But how hard can playing video games get, right?

That's the dream

What needs to be remembered, is that you could earn a living off of any one of these methods of professional gaming, but most gamers combine the methods to maximise their workload and internet presence.

With millions now tuning in to watch people play, we’re not surprised that CaptainSparkelz bought a £2.9 million mansion.
If you making money out of playing video games all day sounds perfect, then you need to make sure you understand the technology behind it to keep one step ahead. Check out our computing courses at The Sheffield College today, and begin your quest to legendary status!


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