How To Make Money Playing Videogames

You’ve seen the news, how Mr. Jamie Bateson supported his family by just playing videogames, in particular FIFA. Ever wondered, “Gee, I wish I could play games all day and get paid for it”?

What would be the butt of a joke- “You won’t be rich playing games! Go to work!” and “Haa go and play all the games you want till you full, no need to eat!”, now you can literally do so- figuratively, on the latter, you get full playing games because it earned you money to buy food, not outright eat those expensive discs.

Local mom jokes aside, now you can prove you parents wrong because there’s plenty of opportunities to earn money by just playing videogames, here’s a some options you can try out.

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Source: IGN

Be a QA Tester

In terms of manufacturing, QA (Quality Assurance), some places prefer the term QC (Quality Control) or QM (Quality Management) is the work done to ensure the shipped product is of quality- with little to no defects. You don’t want to buy something broken, which does not do what it is advertised.

While in most factories, this means some labour intensive checking stuff for defects, in the games industry, that labour intensive checking is playing videogames all day long!

Bear in mind, you’re playing an unfinished, most-likely bug-ridden games and your job as a QA Tester is to report such bugs when encountered to help the programmers fix it. That means writing some reports on what the issue is, where is it, how to replicate it, etc.

There’s a career path to be have here. It’s the most entry level for someone to be involved in games development, and later move to positions more related to the development.

Going this route will make you to appreciate more about game development, by seeing how the sausage is made, a the cost of the not having the great anticipation to play the game you’ve tested on launch. If you’ve played countless of builds of that particular game, you won’t be wowed as much as others when playing it the first time.

Also, we don’t have a huge game development industry locally. People in Canada has plenty of opportunities of these. So, why no something more locally recognised, such as..

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Team SatuDuaTiga, now known as Taring, winning the Malaysian Cyber Games 2015 Dota 2 Championship. Source: e-club Malaysia

Be an e-Sports Athlete

Dota is huge here in Malaysia. To the point when most people talks about game, the first thing to ask is whether you play Dota. Good thing Dota 2 and CS:GO has a sizeable community here, with good talent too. Our local boys have made it to the world finals of The International, the de facto grand tourney for Dota 2, several times.

With the latest Malaysian Cyber Games event last year, even the government is taking interest, sponsoring the Dota 2 tourney winners, along with a new team name, to represent Malaysia.

Not interested in Dota 2? Other e-sports worthy games are out there too! Call of Duty has a regional tournament. Fighting games have a strong community too, with the upcoming Street Fighter V to be a major staple for most tournaments. Even Rocket League is now played competitively, as well as the card game Hearthstone.

How do e-sports players make money? Tournament prizes, and sponsorships. It’s a competitive world though, and winning one major championship isn’t enough. For example, team Na’vi, winner of the inaugural The International, had to face a team reshuffle due to streaks of low performance. Gotta stay in the game to survive, and that means practising the same game over and over, learning the smallest of details for a competitive advantage.

If you got the talent, why not prove yourselves in local tourneys. Who knows, maybe you can go far as an e-sports athlete. But if you’re outright horrible in competitive games, there’s still an alternative, which is..

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Be a YouTuber/Twitch Streamer

You know why there’s a sudden influx of Let’s Plays? The money from doing it is good! The fascinating growth of the Let’s Play videos, as discussed in this article,  is supported by how lucrative the money you can get via advertisements.

Do you how much top YouTuber Pewdiepie makes? In 2014, he made $4 million dollars. That’s the ceiling right now, but smaller channels can make good money of it too. For example, the collective known as the Super Best Friends Zaibatsu, some of the members used to be QA testers (they’re Canadians). They quit their jobs to go full-time doing YouTube videos. Thy’re not as big, but judging from all the games, toys, and other geeky paraphernalia they’re doing fine. Of course, Mr. Bateson who is mentioned earlier is another success story.

What it takes to be a great YouTuber? Your guess is as good as mine. Skill doesn’t matter- channels like Dark Side Phil is notorious for his lack of skill, but still have viewers.

On another hand, a more recent trend is livestreaming via Twitch. Subscribing to a streamer requires payment- and which many are willing to pay for it seems. Not only that, there’s an option to even tip a streamer. Watching a few streams myself, the community on Twitch are willing to throw a few bucks to those that entertain them, which could reach hundreds of US Dollars in one streaming session.

To my knowledge there hasn’t any success story from Malaysian streaming on Twitch. Maybe it’s time to make history?

But then what if you’re not confident in front of cameras? Maybe you are better at articulating your thoughts on paper- or any written form? Maybe you prefer reading (since you’re clearly have read/skimmed this far already) and writing. So why not…

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Now this is a little bit meta.

Be a Writer on a Games Site

Yeah, why not try a shot and write stuff about games instead of just reading it on popular sites you frequent for news and the occasional write-ups? As long as you know how to write, and convey your idea in form that’s easy and enjoyable to read, you have the chance to write professionally about games, and get paid doing so.

Where to start? Do a blog. Doing one personally (link at the end of article) is all well, but some sites, like Destructoid and Kotaku, has a community and community blogs. Surrounding yourselves with good people would allow you to get more feedback- as well as friends and potential networking. But starting solo requires you to learn how to attract visitors to your blogs: tags, SEOs, and such.

With the right connections, you can start writing on a games site one day, or just write on your own and make revenue from ads of the site alone. Essentially making your blog a games site worth visiting.

(Just a note: Writers and Contributors for GamerMalaya are not monetarily paid at the moment. But hey, you get paid in exposure, and something to put in the resume/portfolio of yours)

Conclusion

In short, there’s plenty of opportunities making financial gains via sitting all day playing videogames. Find one that suits you and go for it! Some requires less commitment than others, so you can effectively make a second income (#2kerja ). Others. are full-time jobs, even a potential career. So the choice is yours and yours alone.

Good luck, and remember to have fun.

[This article originally appeared on the author’s personal site, meckronos.wordpress.com]

About The Author
Amirul Ashraf

Muslim, Gamer, Programmer. Grew up playing racers and RPGs but now has a penchant on fighting games, strategy of the 4X kind, and obscure indie titles.

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