The entertainment industry, in general, and the gaming industry in particular, is growing bigger each year, and this is because a lot of new people are discovering their love for gaming. Thanks to our economy moving away from manual and repetitive labor and embracing a knowledge-based model, there are a lot of new career paths you can attempt if you love playing games. You don’t need to slave away at a job you hate, as you can earn money doing something you love, and this is a list of suitable career paths for people who just love playing games:
This is the classic job for a gaming enthusiast. Do you want to spend 8 hours playing yet-to-be-released video games and finding issues, bugs, and mistakes within them? This job is for you. There are some clear advantages to becoming a game tester over other jobs on this list:
- You’ll get to play games before everyone else, and if you are able to land a job in one of the bigger gaming companies, this could be pretty cool.
- The job is stable and the pay is good – you don’t need to worry about how much income you’re generating.
- The job doesn’t involve a lot of difficult tasks that require a lot of research and work – you sit down, relax, and document the bugs. If you don’t like a challenging job, this could be for you.
However, you must remember that being a game tester is not without its disadvantages:
- While unchallenging can be good, it also means it can be boring and uninteresting at times. There aren’t going to be a lot of new things happening at work.
- Testing games isn’t exactly like playing them for leisure. Sometimes, you have to play a single level hundreds of times meticulously, and this can be pretty draining. Some testers have even reported getting tired of playing games after being a tester for a couple of months.
- There isn’t much room for career advancement – an experienced game tester isn’t much more valuable than an inexperienced one, and this job might lock you in your position for quite a while. If you’re ambitious, a lack of advancement opportunities will definitely be a big minus for this job.
- You’ll sometimes have to spend time playing games you don’t enjoy testing. Switching between League of Legends accounts might be fun when you do it in your own free time, but MMOs and similar games are notoriously hard to test, due to all the information on the screen.
While being a let’s player is unconventional, and some won’t even think about it as a career, it is undeniable that the top names in the field are making millions each year, and there are many more that earn a livable wage recording themselves playing games and then uploading the footage to Youtube.
You might be surprised, but becoming a let’s player offers many advantages that almost no other career path provides:
- Complete flexibility: it is hard to overstate how flexible you are with this job. You can go on a long playing session spanning hours, edit the gameplay and cut it into reasonably-lengthed pieces, and then stop working and upload it over the next week. You can work hard and produce a couple of videos in a day. You can take it easy and produce a few videos in a month. You can even take long hiatuses and go on a vacation for weeks on end – it is not like anyone can fire you.
- No starting cost: you need a lot of training to become a game dev, you need to apply to a lot of gaming companies to land a job as a game tester, but you don’t need anything to become a let’s player. If you have a computer, a mic that sounds okay, and a webcam (optional), then you’re ready to roll. This lack of startup cost means you can also do other stuff while trying to become a let’s player.
- Growth Opportunity: becoming a let’s player is just like owning your own business, and as such, you can grow as much as you want to. The top earners make more than 10 million dollars a year, and they continue bringing in more revenue each year. From organic advertisement to product placement and a myriad of other options, the opportunities to profit are almost limitless. This means you can diversify your sources of revenue and stop being reliant on a single person or company for money (which you normally have to do in a regular job). Not to mention, with the rise of small custom software development companies and indie game devs, who really love to promote their games and products by contacting lets players, you can only expect the potential for making a profit increase.
Now, we also need to talk about the disadvantages that come with being self-employed and depending on the internet for money:
- Uncertainty: there is a certain uncertainty that comes with being a let’s player. First of all, you’ll be almost exclusively tied to Youtube at the beginning, and the things that happen on that platform will directly affect your livelihood. This isn’t unheard of, either. Just a few years ago, many YouTubers lost their livelihood due to an event known as “the adpocalypse,” which started when major companies decided to boycott Youtube. Not to mention, at any minute, changes in YouTube algorithms might result in your channel getting much fewer views. You need to know about the inherent risks of being tied to a single platform, and you should start diversifying as soon as possible.
- Public persona: when you become a let’s player, you are not selling the game, but rather you’re selling your personality and sense of humor. The audience liking you and finding you entertaining is key to success. This is why your public image is very important – you need to appear relatable, kind, and genuine. A single inappropriate word might be the end of your career, not to mention if you were involved in a scandal (which, for some inexplicable reason, is common among YouTubers). Always be careful about the way you present yourself, and try to create a public persona others enjoy watching.
- Gathering a base: although starting is easy, succeeding is not. Due to how easy it is to start recording gameplay and uploading it to the internet, in fact, sites like Youtube are oversaturated with low-quality channels trying to earn money using this method. That’s why you need to take the job seriously, upload consistently, listen to your viewers, and try to maintain a production value. This is quite time-consuming, and a few weeks or months might pass before you see the results and gather a fanbase, which is why most let’s players fail during those crucial first few months.