Gaming as a second source of income: 5 options to try

esports gaming income

You can make money from gaming, but not how you thought. That’s according to local gaming leader Ekasi Esports which says young people are turning to alternative sources of income as the pandemic bites and almost a third of us join the ranks of the unemployed.

“You can forget about being paid to test video games from the comfort of the couch,” says Perfect Zikhali, Creative Director for Ekasi Esports, which is a South African gaming and digital entertainment brand with a following in the country’s emerging urban areas.

When it comes to that other dream job of the early 2000s, Mr Zikhali also explains that being a successful video game developer requires many hours of post-school studying at recognised institutions like Vega and other colleges.

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. Streaming

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. Sponsorships

Once you have a respectable following for your gaming stream, search for brands that you like.

Use social media or good old-fashioned email to contact them about sponsoring you, either in-kind with products, or with that other old favourite–hard cash!

3. Creating how-to videos

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. Writing about games

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. eSports

If you know a group of likeminded 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 totally there which is very exciting,” concludes Mr Zikhali.

This article was supplied by Ekasi Esports.

Read more: Game Builder Garage: A Nintendo game that lets you make other games



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