How Gamers Are Finding Success Gaming in the Gig Economy


At this point, it’s safe to say that gaming isn’t just a hobby anymore. A lot of savvy video game aficionados have figured out how to turn their passion into full-fledged careers. They end up making quite a bit of money for themselves along the way. Gaming in the gig economy is a newer way that gamers can earn money while doing something that they love.

Both YouTube and Twitch as online video platforms have taught us that there’s a very real (and very lucrative) market for watching and playing games in front of audiences around the world.

Gaming as Career

One of the major ways that gamers are finding success has to do with organizations like TSM, Cloud9, Team Liquid, and more. eSports organizations like these are hiring full-time, competitive players across the globe for a variety of games. Like football or soccer players, these full-time professional esports players sign contracts and work for the organization that hires them.

Moving into the Gig Economy

If you aren’t performing at a competitive level, you can still find success gaming in the gig economy. Gamers can become full-time content creators during the pandemic for platforms like YouTube or Twitch. Some may affiliate with a brand or organization, while many choose to be their own boss.

Whether you simply play through a hot title from beginning to end, attempt a “speed run” to break a record, or just give your detailed thoughts and breakdowns by way of a fun and creative review, people like Valkyrae, xQc, Ninja and others have proven that they’re a new generation of entertainers who are very, very skilled at their craft.

Monetizing Your Gaming

A lot of gaming fans are using their passion to create something of a side hustle for themselves and are having a great deal of fun as a result. There are plenty of chances to be successful at online gaming without topping the highest earner lists, of course. Just look at the rise of new accounts or subscriptions for Twitch and YouTube – at this point, literally anyone of any age can game together (and gain together) online.

Earning Through Subscriptions

Sponsorships may be difficult to acquire, but gamers in the gig economy have smaller, easier ways to earn as they game. For example, let’s look at Twitch, one of the most popular gaming streaming platforms. Streamers (gamers who record themselves playing video games and post the videos online) can earn money through the tiered subscription service, ranging from $4.99 per month to $24.99 per month. While new streamers usually share the subscription fee 50/50 with Twitch, more popular streamers can negotiate to a 70/30 split in their favor.

Earning From Ad Revenue and Donations

Both Youtube and Twitch have ad revenue payouts for influencers and streamers on their platform. These payouts often depend on the amount of subscribers or viewers a content creator has. The Influencer Marketing Hub reports that the average advertising revenue on Twitch is about $250 per 100 subscribers, and about $18 per 1,000 ad views on Youtube.

Gamers can also receive donations from their viewers. At first, this may seem unreliable. However, tipping a streamer is similar to tipping a musician or performer whose entertainment you enjoy.

In the end, it’s beyond clear that the social side of gaming positively flourished in 2020. It is a trend that shows absolutely no signs of slowing down anytime soon. Whether you love to play video games or just want to watch, you’re certainly not alone any longer. If you approach things from the right angle, you may just walk away with extra money because of it. Gaming in the gig economy can be extremely lucrative for professional, competitive gamers. Or it can be a fun side hustle for a casual gamer who can build up their social web and capitalize on ads and donations.

About the Author: Stephen Lilley earned his Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of Toledo in Toledo, Ohio. Over the last decade as a professional writer he has written more than 15,000 unique pieces of content in areas ranging from entertainment to technology to finance, real estate and more.