So you’re a video game fanatic and looking to take your hobby to the next level! Luckily for you, the industry is so huge nowadays that it is entirely possible to make a full-blown career from gaming. There are several avenues you can explore to boost your career. So let’s investigate what you need to know and how to start a gaming career.
You don’t have to have a passion for gaming to know that its competitive scene has exploded in recent years. With an ever-increasing audience, prize pools are getting larger – we’re talking into the tens of millions. But it doesn’t just stem from prize money; huge global companies are beginning to heavily invest in eSports. Teams are striking partnerships with the likes of Marvel, Intel, Red Bull, and McDonald’s. With such money being thrown around the industry, there’s definitely scope to make it a full-time career.
eSports competitions cover a wide range of video games. So whether you’re into your first-person shooter games like Call of Duty or you’re an avid FIFA player, there’s an opportunity for you.
With the rise of competitive gaming, it’s getting increasingly difficult to become a professional. If there’s a game you feel you are good enough at, then stick with it. If you’re going down the competitive pre built PC gaming route, you’ll want to have the very best setup – you don’t want to be left behind purely because your competitors have a better processor than you.
Above all else, it’s practice, practice, practice. Watch the most elite competitive gamers and study their tactics. Enroll in lower-level competitions – just like in physical sports, there are agents out there who keep tabs on these.
The life of a YouTuber may seem lucrative, but these individuals work extremely hard to build their audience and keep their viewers interested. The competition in the YouTube gaming scene has become incredibly diluted. Therefore it’s wise to choose your niche – typical genres include walkthroughs & let’s plays, gaming comedy, and reviews. What are you going to offer your audience? Think different from the diluted content out there.
You’ll need to have the right equipment – your content can be really entertaining, but if it’s low quality then you’ll have a hard time retaining viewers. Have a look online for the best equipment for YouTube – there’s a ton of good kit out there for good value. As you’re just starting out, it’s likely that you won’t have the money to hire a video editor, so you’ll have to become proficient in editing. Luckily there are many good courses out there that you can learn from.
What is very important throughout your YouTube venture, but especially during the early stages, is to engage with your audience. It’s the most effective way to build a community that will regularly return to your channel and views your content. It’s also good to figure out what resonates best with your audience. Becoming a YouTuber is a great adventure of trial and error. A lot of what you may initially post may not be well received, but it’s a good thing to discover what works and what doesn’t.
Once you hit 1,000 subscribers, and if you have an AdSense account, you’ll become eligible for YouTube’s partner program. This is where you’ll be able to make some money. It’s important to stay active and post regularly in order to maximize your channel’s growth. If you don’t post for 6 months, you risk losing your spot in the YouTube partner program. Should you grow your channel large enough, you may be lucky enough to have brands reach out to you to promote their products – another revenue stream.
Streaming may be something that you can do alongside YouTube or something you solely dedicate your time to. Getting into streaming is extremely similar to becoming established on YouTube.
You’ll want to focus on a particular video game at first, but it’s incredibly important to have a backup. The last thing you want is to have an entertaining Twitch channel that dies because your audience has fallen out of love with a particular game.
Make sure you have your internet connection in order. If your connection drops mid-stream, viewers will most likely switch their attention elsewhere.
If you’re passionate about gaming then you will have heard about the top publications like IGN, Kotaku, GamesRadar+, and Polygon. Social media has made it very easy for everyone to broadcast their opinion to the world, with people screaming “This game sucks!”. What is more specialist is to give a detailed critique of a video game.
Start off freelance and think about running your own blog. Most avid gamers appreciate a detailed review of a video game. When reviewing, avoid your own biases – break down the bits you like about the game, and things that don’t sit well with you.
With online publishers growing their audience, they’ll be looking out for new contributors. It’s good to have a good portfolio of work behind you to showcase why you’d be a good writer for particular brands.
Being a video game reviewer or journalist can be the dream – you can get paid to play and review games, and you may find yourself getting early access to upcoming titles.
Another dream job for gamers is being paid to play games all day long. However, the truth of it is that there’s a lot more to playtesting than it may seem.
The role of a playtester is to run through a game and identify any bugs or glitches then do it again… and again…and again. Each time the tester replays a mission, they have to try all options in order to identify as many bugs as they can and escalate to the development team. While it may not be the “being paid to play games” dream you may have thought, it’s still not a bad career path with decent pay.
Having a passion for gaming will only get you so far if you’re looking to become a playtester. Game developers will be looking for individuals with a strong work ethic and a good eye for detail. Having a degree in game design or software development would also be advantageous.
Your passion for gaming can take you a long way and opens a fair few doors. Casual gamers may be happy with their current career and playing outside of work suits them, but more avid gamers have many opportunities available.
Whether you’re looking to take to the stage on the competitive scene or entertain others on your YouTube channel, there’s money to be made. If being front and center is not quite for you then there still are plenty of options available to you in journalism or development.
Oliver Griffiths has a passion for film, video games, and technology. He can be found at Tillison Consulting running a number of clients’ digital marketing campaigns across all sectors and platforms.