The truth is, you can! But… it’s hard work. Many who go this route give up within a few years because the work aspect vastly outweighs the fun. Instead of doing what they love, they end up hating what they once loved. It’s also quite risky. For every make-money-playing-games success story, there are hundreds of others who tried and failed.
It’s not something I’d recommend unless you are young, single, and willing to commit several years knowing that it may all be for nothing. But it’s certainly possible! Here are 7 potential ways to make this dream a reality.
1. Become a playtester
If you enjoy really getting into the guts of a game and pushing it to the limits – basically, trying to break it – then becoming a playtester may be a good fit for you! As a playtester, you’re often provided with a video game in a pre-release state (along with some testing guidelines) and then asked to play the game extensively. You’ll need to provide equally extensive reporting on how the game responds. Some of these positions actually require a geographical location – like being close to the game company’s headquarters – but many companies are also considering remote playtesters these days. To find these positions, keep an eye on your favorite companies’ websites – they’ll occasionally put out a call for playtesters, though they sometimes compensate with product rather than pay – or keep tabs on the positions open at QA companies like VMC. You can also sign up to be a playtester at PlaytestCloud and Playtestix.
2. Become a game tester
You might also want to give Gaming Jobs Online a try as other testers have done since 2008. Not only can you try new games and potentially earn at least $30 an hour, but you can also get paid to watch movie and game trailers, take surveys, and participate in focus groups. You might even be able to make this game playing a full-time hobby as the Gaming Jobs Online website says it is possible to earn $39,000 as a professional video game tester.
3. Recording ‘Let’s Play’ Videos
Most of you by now would have heard of or even watched one of these Let’s Play videos. They are basically a recording of the player’s in-game playthrough and often accompanied by commentary by the player. Think of PewDiePie, Markiplier and these famous Youtubers that often publish these Let’s Play videos. Twitch is also an excellent platform for you to become a partner and start publishing your playthroughs, although the difficulty arises from gaining viewership. You have to be interesting enough to capture your audience’s attention and entertain them. So if you’re a natural born entertainer, this might be a good option for you.
There’s a lot of competition, but truly entertaining gamers can become YouTube celebrities and earn ad revenue off videos of them talking about and playing games. Just understand that you’ll need to hit 10,000 lifetime views on your YouTube channel before you can start showing ads, and you’ll likely want to keep it family friendly to ensure a large audience.
4. Start a Gaming Blog
The great thing about it is that you can choose what games to review and talk about, unlike being a games tester. You can earn affiliate income from your blog by recommending various consoles, games, and accessories. Depending on the interest of your audience, you can even create your own products and guides to sell that visitors can buy with the Shopify digital cart. You can also sell your own products (think guides), affiliate with places like Amazon so people can buy the games, and sell advertising space on your website.
You can earn:
- $50 – $10,000 / month (depends on how much time you’ll invest)
- $200 / sale from such affiliate partnerships like WP Engine
- GOAL: get as much traffic as you can that clicks on your affiliate links
It will take you probably:
- 1 week to build a site you’re okay with
- 3 months to write at least 10 really good posts which will start generating affiliate income
- 1 year to start generating $1000 – $2000 / month
- 2 years to generate $5000 – $10,000 / month
If you love games and gaming community but aren’t the best player or entertainer, maybe you’re really into writing and creating awesome non-video stuff (video stuff like YouTube)
5. Online Casinos
If you like to gamble and are willing to bet money, it’s possible to get paid from these virtual casinos that cater to “high rollers.” Other websites mentioned in the first section also allow you to get paid for paying casino games like poker or blackjack, but this is for people who are willing to bet real money to earn more than a few dollars at one time.
Swagbucks is more than a platform to play games online. You can also get paid to surf and search the web, watch videos, and take surveys. With each activity, you get paid rewards points called “Swagbucks.” There are a few free games that allow you to earn Swagbucks. There are memory games and also action games where you guide a character to jump over pits and obstacles to gain points.
If you do “pay-to-play” online games on GSN, Swagbucks will pay you up to 18 bucks per $1 spent on games ranging from the various slots games, Bejeweled 2, and games based on shows like Super Plinko from The Price is Right game show.
Whether you win or lose, you can earn a little extra money by playing on GSN using Swagbucks.
You can spend the accumulated bucks on gift cards to nearly any restaurant or retail store. A second option is to exchange for PayPal cash.
7. Become a pro player and win tournaments
You don’t have to be the best player in the world to win money gaming. In fact anyone can do it. Competition brings big bucks. This is how very skilled players make so much money. Playing professional level video game competitions are often called as “eSports”.
The team that won at Valve’s 2011 DOTA 2 tournament went home with one million dollars, $100,000 was given to the winner of the 2011 North American Star League Starcraft 2 tournament while the winner of last US Monopoly National Championship took home $20,580.
Of course, only a number of players receive big cash payouts at competitions. Just like in any tournaments, those professional video gamers who win are those have the talent and the dedication.
Finding corporations to sponsor you as a professional gamer is another way of earning cash in tournaments. Nike and Nascar, for example, are heavily into corporate branding and have sponsored some professional gamers.
In the past, even the likes of Intel, Western Digital, and SteelSeries, a developer of gaming peripherals have also ventured into corporate sponsorship of gamers.
The Bottom Line
If you like playing games, these are some awesome opportunities for you to not only do something you enjoy but also get paid for doing it. I hope that you have learnt some new ways to earn money from Gaming. It will take time and effort, but just like anything else in life, success rewards the hardworking.
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