By Perfect Zikhali
You can make money from gaming, but not how you thought.
Young people are turning to alternative sources of income as the pandemic bites and almost a third of them join the ranks of the unemployed.
You can forget about being paid to test video games from the comfort of the couch and when it comes to that other dream job of the early 2000s, being a successful video game developer requires many hours of post-school studying at recognised institutions.
For those with limited means to study gaming full time, there are at least five ways gaming enthusiasts can potentially make money from their favourite esport:
1. Focus on becoming an entertaining gamer that’s fun to watch. Interesting and animated gamers can become YouTube celebs and earn ad revenue from videos of themselves playing and talking about gaming. You can narrate what you’re doing while your YouTube subscribers watch you play. Join Twitch which is used by gamers to stream video game playing.
2. Once you have a respectable following for your gaming stream, search for brands that you like and use social media or good old-fashioned email to contact them about sponsoring you, either in kind with products, or with the old favourite, cash.
3. You can make money producing tutorials on how to play video games. You can do this for YouTube with a pay-per-click model after opening an account on Adsense. However, you may want to search for dedicated how-to platforms where people pay for courses, tutorials and explainers.
4. If you love gaming and have a knack for producing well-written content, you may even combine both those talents by becoming a freelance gaming journalist. Video game reviewers focus on writing about different aspects of the games they play and discussing possible improvements. The trick here is to get a gaming news media platform interested in your reviews and a suggestion is to build up a body of work by starting a blog.
5. If you know a group of like minded friends, all boasting impressive gaming skills, you could even get together to start a professional eSports team. Together or individually, you could compete in local or overseas eSports tournaments for prize money or to get noticed by professional scouts.
According to ironSource, a game developer platform, there are 2.51 billion gamers worldwide and in South Africa, Statista predicts that the video game market is expected to grow from R3.5 billion currently to R5.44 billion in 2023.
People do make money from gaming, even in South Africa. Right now, however, it’s most often a modest side hustle, but the potential is there which is very exciting.
Zikhali, Creative Director for Ekasi Esports
*The views expressed here are not necessarily those of IOL or of title sites