One of the dreams of many gamers is to be able to earn money playing video games; Either sharing your passion for the Internet with recorded or streaming videos, with Patreon, trying video games or through platforms like Gamersfy, but is it possible to achieve it starting from scratch and starting today? We analyze it by talking to those who have succeeded and those who try.
If you are thinking of making money playing video games, in this article I will explain all the forms that exist with statements from those who have tried, are still at it, have failed or have been successful. It is very idyllic to believe that you can make a fortune overnight with this; that you will have a successful YouTube channel, a lot of people following you on Twitch, a very successful Patreon thanks to your texts, money coming through Ivoox thanks to your podcast, a payroll as a videogame editor, a great salary or pockets full thanks to the services of an app. This article has been made with statements from people who have lent themselves to tell us about their experiences and talk about figures, and that I will mention throughout this text. I do not intend to collect epic stories of success, nor to encourage or discourage anyone from launching into this profession, only to show the truth, without myths or lies.
Here you will not see any YouTuber with a million followers, only cases of people who have worked a lot, and who continue to do so, to make video games their profession. I hope their advice and experience help you understand the reality of making money playing video games. I begin by solving the following question: is it possible to earn money writing about video games on a blog, a website, a large medium, being the author of books or magazines? To answer this question, I am accompanied by different authors of different magazines and editors.
Neither setting up a website nor writing books is profitable
Is it possible to profit by writing books about video games?
Carlos Sánchez has been writing about video games for seven years, and started HyperHype two and a half years ago. In it, he and his colleagues write rigorous, quality articles that treat the video game as a cultural element. Regarding its profitability, he points out: “If I did accounts, I would realize that sustaining the project is not profitable for me, neither from an economic point of view, nor from the always sacrificed social sphere (…) Thanks to Google’s ads already occasional action, currently the web generates enough to subsist on its own”. In the last month, the website has had 30,000 visits.” Carlos is the director of the website, which requires not only writing, but also managing the content, correcting, answering emails … that’s why he emphasizes: “if I put aside my facet of ‘director’ to focus on writing (…), I could find a place where my texts would be remunerated, but from there to live fully of it there is a somewhat overwhelming void that I do not see myself capable of jumping. ” From what Carlos says, setting up a large editorial project with quality texts (and free of SEO), contributes a lot in a personal capacity, but it is not profitable. They cover expenses through the ads that appear on their website thanks to the Google AdSense network, but, after almost three years of work, Carlos does not see a way to earn money playing games.
The experience of Alberto Venegas is similar: “(…) approximately in 2014 (…) I decided to start publishing texts that had previously been strictly private (…) After the good reception of those first, uncertain and hesitant texts I began to receive invitations and to send proposals to write in blogs and pages, completely altruistic, where I spent years writing. ” Alberto wrote for “ZehnGames, PixelBusters, Akihabara Blues, Vadejuegos, Manual magazine, Games Tribune, DeVuego, Niveloculto, Anaitgames, Meristation and probably others that I cannot place right now” until, seeing that it was not possible for him to earn money with his texts, set up the website Presura, an excellent web space between the informative and the academic that hosts texts from some of the referents in serious studies of videogames in our country. After this journey, Alberto Venegas has immersed himself in videogame research and is about to get his doctorate with his thesis: “History and Videogames: World War II in contemporary culture and digital society”, has published two essays with the Héroes de Papel publishing house and has just launched his latest book: “Interactive past. Memory and history in the video game” with the publishing house Sans Soleil Ediciones. Is it possible to profit by writing books about video games? Alberto responds: “It is not possible, I’m sorry. The amount of money obtained from each sale, usually 10% of each book, will not meet your expectations (…). I have earned more than one monthly salary as a teacher high school, my job for 5 years, and I’ve spent more time than a month working as a high school teacher. “
Writing about video games is more secondary than primary, and if you want to be the latter you will have to make a lot of sacrifices
And start an editorial project? Can you make a living from a physical magazine? I ask Nacho Requena, founder and editor-in-chief of Manual. Manual is a magazine that publishes two issues per year, is purchased by subscription and brings together informative articles written by well-known pens from our country. Nacho answered me the following about what benefits his work in Manual brings him: “It gives to be able to pay the freelance fee every month, which is not little, so it is already something. Would I like him to give more? Of course, the same as I would like to pay much more per article and / or report, but for that you have to increase the subscriber base. If instead of 1,200 we had 12,000, probably 3-4 people would live full time from the magazine, and the texts would give for more, but it is what it is. “And he gives advice to anyone who wants to start this:” do not freak out. If you think you are going to make gold and buy a mansion, you are in the wrong place. Writing about videogames is more secondary than primary , and if you want to be the latter you are going to have to make a lot of sacrifices. “
What Nacho says is a reality today; it is also my reality. Anyone who wants to make money writing about video games will end up moonlighting. Nacho gets the bulk of his salary through other jobs in the communication area, and only the part corresponding to the quota of freelancers writing about video games. The same Alberto Venegas reveals to us about writing books. Carlos Sánchez’s experience shows us that setting up a collaborative website from scratch is not profitable; yes rewarding, but not profitable. But then? Isn’t it possible to earn money just playing and writing about video games? Yes you can. The following are two success stories : those of Antonio Piedrabuena, editor of 3DJuegos and Eva Cid, owner of a successful patreon. Toni lives exclusively from writing about videogames working eight hours a day, but she didn’t get it overnight. He has been trying with constant work since 2004 , he studied journalism to dedicate himself professionally to it. The moment he was able to start living from it was from 2014. Ten years fighting to achieve it.
The case of Eva Cid is also an example of effort and dedication. He has been writing about videogames for ten years because “I considered that videogames could be analyzed from many other perspectives, from different frameworks, with different approaches. Not because what was being done was wrong, but because I felt that different things could be done that expanded enrich the visions about the environment “, making collaborations in up to four media at the same time, a published essay book on video games, his recent fiction novel:” Behind that mountain is the shore “, and directing a successful patreon that, in the At the time of writing these it brings you between € 700 and € 750 per month. Eva told me about her situation: “right now all my professional activity and all my income comes from writing.
The reason for opening a patreon is that it recognizes that all the time that must be spent playing and analyzing video games is not properly remunerated. But even a relatively lucrative patreon has its drawbacks: unexpected stress: “I was not prepared for this pressure. Above all, because right now Patreon is not my only source of income, but it is my main one. Any minimal fluctuation of subscribers It gives me terrible anxiety. And then there is the question of not being able to embark on ‘adult life’ projects because logically your stability in the future is minimal. “The conclusion of this first block is that, to be successful monetizing your games at writing video games, you will have to study, spend about ten years generating enough texts to stand out and get you signed on one of the main pages of the country. Sound too high a toll?It is if you want it to be your main economic activity. For this reason, I am going to explain other ways to monetize this experience to which you have to dedicate: YouTube and twitch.
How to earn money played on twitch and YouTube?
To answer this question I have two YouTubers with more than 20,000 subscribers: Marc Rollán and Cole Train. They also accompany me: Pazos64 , with 118,000, and Jin Kisaragi with 160,000, both also with a twitch channel and Pazos64 with a patreon. With more than 460,000 I have Powerbazinga TV by my side. I start with Marc Rollán, who currently runs the Funs and Games section in this house. He did not get into YouTube with monetization in his head. Upload videos for the love of art and without worrying about metrics. After four years getting serious with his channel and with 21,1000 subscribers, he generates about € 20 per month. The videos of his channel are very worked, especially the series dedicated to the history of the video game. It takes seven to eight hours to complete 30 minutes of each one. The Cole Train case is similar. He is specialized in carrying out difficult challenges within the Dark Souls trilogy. Cole Train has been on YouTube since 2014; that is, four years to generate this number of followers, and dedicate between 23 and 25 hours a week. Your case is special, you must not only make the video, but prepare to overcome all Dark Souls 2 at level one or without receiving a hit, for example.
Marc Rollán acknowledges that he reached that number of followers for his participation in the Game Over podcast and in other spaces in the medium. Cole Train told me about his number of subscribers: “I think it was by word of mouth, many subscribers told me that they talked about me in forums and their friends on social networks and I think my way of explaining attracts viewers.” Last month he made about € 40 per ad, but says his average is between € 26 and € 30 a month. On the other hand, Jin Kisaragi, with more than 160,000 subscribers, has been uploading videos to his channel for 9 years . He spends 7 hours on each video he creates and, although he did not think of monetizing them at first, he says that now he can live on the income that comes from combining his twitch and YouTube channels. And it is autonomous. Generously, he gives me the numbers to get to in order to make a living from this: “If it’s on YouTube, you need at least 30 thousand views per video to be able to get a salary to pay for yourself and for yourself. On twitch, an average of 700 subs “. Jin does not attend to the metrics that YouTube provides to authors. He bet on uploading what he wanted to create a loyal audience. His advice for those who start is: “if you start on this thinking about making money … You will get bored and frustrated quite quickly. Do it as a hobby and upload what you like. If it happens that your content succeeds, you’re in luck. Today everything is invented and it is almost impossible to grow on the platform, both on YouTube and Twitch. ” To try to figure out how to grow up in the difficult situation that Jin paints, I speak with Powerbazinga.
“Without a doubt (…), in my case, SEO has been the key. I know it for sure, because my first guides were not very attractive content because of my first-time speaking”. The first time I met Powerbazinga it was looking for a guide to finding a weapon in Demons Souls. Powerbazinga’s tips ranked well in both YouTube and Google search engines, which facilitated its rapid growth in its early days. After that, little by little, he created his own style. I ask him about the YouTube metrics, does he notice them? “Yes, I pay attention a lot, since I am an engineer. Statistics have been key for me and unless you are a social phenomenon in the style of Auronplay, Rubius or a pioneer like Willyrex, this issue is very important (…). Live from uploading videos (my job is as an engineer), but if I dedicated myself exclusively to YouTube it would give me an average salary. Really the important thing is not the subs, but the video visits. The earnings come from the ads in the videos, sponsorships by brands and videos sponsored by companies. With dedication and videos between 50,000 and 100,000 visits, you can make a living on YouTube. It is a beautiful job, but it is not a bed of roses. You have to work hard, be constant and put in many hours ,like a normal job . “
Combining Youtube and Twitch with a patreon
A very interesting alternative is that of Pazos64: “after 6 months of creating content I started a Patreon and stuck with it. I also have Twitch and several partners such as Chrono, Humble or Amazon, but Patreon is one of the columns. To this day , If I had to keep up with what YouTube gives, I would have planted a long time ago because in my case it is unviable. I am lucky to have a community that supports me in everything I do, if it weren’t for that there would not be so many Pazos or blas. To earn a good living with YouTube you need hundreds of thousands of visits, especially initial ones, and it is not my case; apart from having to make content that YouTube considers very necessary to share and promote, and that apparently has never been my case either. (laughs) Also enter here what age range is your fan base,What kind of ads are they shown, the time of year and blah blah blah blah blah.
Pazos began creating content for YouTube in 2015, dedicating “too many hours (…) I dedicate all I can to it.” He explained to me that “for mental health I don’t keep track of views or subs, at least not on a daily basis. I love that people enjoy the content to the point of subscribing, but the need to analyze how the channel was doing on a daily basis It became a problem for me. Likewise, having 1 million subs does not ensure you earn a living. It is the views and the quality of these that will give you a floor, not the subscribed people (…). It is not the format that you create if not how you get on, be it playing, talking, cooking, etc. The viewer wants that reality and closeness. If you have 200 thousand subs but your average number of views is 15 thousand, for example, you are going to scratch little “.
Pazos has carried a policy in his videos of speaking leaving bile aside, creating community and caring for it. That is why he recommends to those who are going to start: “enter for pleasure and enjoy the trip. It is not incompatible with trying to earn a living, but look for a balance. Putting all your eggs in that basket is complicated.” In his case, the income comes to him because his “Take care there” or “The day that” have worked for their originality, but not for the monetization of YouTube, but for the 372 patrons of his patreon , with subscriptions between the euro and the 9.50.
What we learn from these experiences is that if you need to know about organic search engine positioning (SEO) to succeed on YouTube, you also need to know how to read the metrics; But it is also key to cultivate your own voice and dedicate many, many hours to it. And, as Pazos comments, setting up a patreon seems ideal to avoid the risks of monetization on YouTube. Of course, do not expect to get quick results. You can see how many years it has taken these workers to get to where they are. At this moment you are surely wondering: so, do I start with YouTube or twitch? This was answered by Nacho Requena. Nacho opened a twitch channel during the confinement. Through him, make a live podcast. On this, he explained to me that “the best platform is Twitch right now. Amazon has been the smartest of the class: the retribution per ad shown is higher than on YouTube, which allows the streamer or podcaster to take more money. In addition , It has something fundamental: Prime subscriptions. People do not worry about giving you Prime because it is something that is included in addition to another service; in fact, they even appreciate it because it is supporting something without an extra financial effort. And in return, Twitch is getting you on their platform. ” And how much does Nacho, founder of Manual, earn with Twitch ?: “Right now, about 300 euros. I always say that Twitch pays me the self-employed and Manual the mortgage. And then with my orders from other clients, because it gives me to live No problem.” But yes, Nacho has spent a lot of time writing in other media and working on his social networks to get here. It all adds up. Let’s analyze another case related to podcasting,but in Ivoox .
Does video game podcasts make money?
Personally, I love podcasting about video games as much as listening to them, but is it profitable? I speak with Sergio Tur, from El Batallón Pluto, one of the few video game podcasts that are members of Ivoox Originals, Ivoox’s platform to support creators. Sergio explains to me that carrying out the program takes him about fifteen hours a week, combining “the recording itself as editing, script writing, coordination with guests and complementary activities such as live broadcasts that help maintain the link with the community.” Currently, the program earns around 200 euros per month, having started its journey in April 2015. Knowing Nacho Requena’s experience with his podcasts on twitch, I became interested in why choose Ivoox Originals to upload and share his podcasts. Sergio replied: “(…) Ivoox Originals tries to put the podcaster at the center of the debate. By assigning the exploitation rights so that our programs are only reproduced on its platform, accurate consumption data and full control over each one of the advertising campaigns that they propose to us. It is a qualitative leap in order to dignify the role of the podcaster. As for who can belong to it, the decision corresponds to the company itself. The Pluto Battalion belongs to the second batch of programs selected by the platform, but they promise to integrate more in the future.”
The Pluto Battalion not only publishes current affairs programs, but also monographs, questions and answers from listeners and conducts interviews. It is a podcast very committed to the medium, with professional people who love what they do . What they offer is well worth a subscription to their program. Another podcast that I listen to frequently is Trigal Connection, dedicated to Pokémon. It is worn by another Sergio: Sergio Carlos González Sans, who is also an editor at Meristation. He doesn’t monetize it, why? “The idea of monetization with options like Patreon, at least for now, does not cross my mind, and let me explain: the act of monetizing would imply a commitment and dedication that I cannot currently guarantee.” I ask him if he thinks that by podcasting you can earn money and make a living from it: “radio is a close encounter between listener and speaker, it speaks a unique language with possibilities whose limits we do not yet know. The current trajectory invites us to think that Together, we will make it possible for more and more podcast creators to make a living from it.” But the truth is that I find it somewhat difficult, making myself a podcast associated with a patreon: the MGPodcast.
From what I have analyzed so far, it seems that the fastest and best way to make money from video games is twitch. To achieve this writing requires preparation, about 10 years of low paid or unpaid work, until you get an opportunity. Video game books don’t make money, nor do you set up a website. And it seems that in order to gain a lot of followers on YouTube and succeed, it takes a lot, a lot of metric analysis, finding a unique way to transmit and absolutely original content; which seems difficult. I have two topics left to touch: the professional game and the apps that pay you to play. Will it be profitable?
Is it advisable to earn money playing games (e-sports)?
On September 30 of this year, a press conference was held to explain the details of Top Gamers Academy , a talent contest in which participants have to learn to play professionally. Tinet Rubira, from Gestmusic, was asked about the future of eSports and he said it clearly. There are many people who want to dedicate themselves to this, but very, very few have something of value to contribute. García Acevedo comments that the salary of a top eSports player can reach 100,000 euros. But there are many risks and getting there is extremely difficult. Furthermore, there is a high price to pay.
For starters, these players tend to suffer from high levels of anxiety and stress. This is what happened to Forg1ven, a League of Legends player. When he became a professional player, he became frustrated and abandoned it, becoming interested in another title. That is, it is not a complicated sector only for the technical part, also for the mental. Nor is it very flattering to know that the average age at which they retire is around 25 years old, being very difficult to see players over 30 years old. That is why they are recommended as the optimal ages to start: 13 or 15 years. The Ramus Winther story”Caps”, the best League of Legends player in Europe, tells us about someone who had a brother who played professionally, which helped his parents understand that he had to play so much when under 16 years old.
Bi Lianli, manager of the Royan Never Give Up team, has his players training 14 hours a day, and they are players who have a special talent. As Will Partin points out on Polygon, this leaves us with millions of amateur gamers trying it and only a few, very, very few who manage to stand out. And what would be the first step? What is the way to know if you can compete? Get to the top positions in the competitive video game you’re interested in from home, of course. Because if you don’t show talent there, you will hardly show it by competing like a professional.. That is why of all the ways that exist to earn money playing video games, this is the most risky and the one with the highest probability of failure; Unless you are outstanding and combine this dedication to broadcasting on twitch or youtube. There are many notable players who do not compete professionally, making money from sponsors and advertisements on their channel; If this seems like an interesting middle way for you, take another look at the section where we talk about how to make money playing twitch and YouTube. You will have to study marketing .
Earn money playing games: Various apps and rewards
To end this article, I want to collect other ways to earn some money playing, if only to lower the price of future games that you are going to acquire. On the one hand, we have Microsoft Rewards. You can access them through your Microsoft account on PC. By clicking on links that it suggests and overcoming small challenges, you will get points and then exchange them for discounts. This option is also available on Game Pass. Earn money by Playing games and accessing the application, you also get points. There is also a Rewards program on the Xbox One itself. It gives you 50 points for achievements, 100 for overcoming various challenges and 5 for a clicked link. If you work hard, you can get 15 euros per day. On the other hand, there are apps like Gamersfy. With this application you cancompete to win money , but paying an entry fee and betting; which in itself carries the risk of losing it. The application is gamified, so you can also get money within the system to redeem it. But, again, you always run the risk of not getting your investment back.
After this extensive review, I hope I have solved many of the lies around this sector. It is not easy to garner visits and followers on YouTube or on Twitch, it requires a titanic work and many years. Half of the interviewees set time limits of about 10 years to be able to profit from this, and that if they are lucky. Writing about video games is not profitable in most casesNor does it record podcasts, and a YouTube channel is not set up overnight. The conclusion? That, today, the most profitable way to earn money playing video games is twitch; But the most normal thing is that you have to live moonlighting, dedicating a few hours to your subs and others to your usual job. This article is to help, guide and provide information on this topic. If you have an experience to tell about this, yours are the comments. Thanks for reading and participating.