It’s a bizarre reality to see teenagers, some as young as 16, raking in so much money that they will never have to work again. And it’s even more bizarre when you realise that these teenagers are making millions from video games. That’s right, they are making a mint off video games. Not casino games or games that are known for having huge jackpots. They are simply playing Destiny Doom, MineCraft, World of Warcraft and other favourites. Most amazing of all is that this industry did not even exist 3 decades ago. And today, an ambitious teenager with the right frame of mind can make a full time living, or even earn millions virtually overnight.
It’s a phenomenon that is sweeping the world, and has come about so quickly that most aren’t even sure what to make of it. An industry this new does not yet have anything close to a veteran, or expert, meaning that major corporations, desperate to get a slice of the pie, aren’t even sure how to go about doing so.
Let’s Play Channels
The concept of a Let’s Play is a simple one. A person simply sits, plays a video game, and allows strangers to watch them doing so, online. Assuming that enough people watch, a person can earn a bit of money by, yes, playing video games. All that is required is having a bit of charm and personality. The most common platform for doing these broadcast Let’s Plays is Twitch, which also allows users to subscribe to a favourite personality for a few dollars.
If, however, the viewership is big enough, advertising partnerships are possible, and that’s where the real money starts rolling in. Anyone can take to these platforms, but it isn’t as easy as it sounds. In fact, it’s incredibly demanding and difficult, according to Elspeth Eastman.
Eastman has 103,000 followers, and makes a full time living doing Let’s Plays on Twitch. But, she is quick to point out, it isn’t as easy as one might assume. Eastman does everything herself, including lighting, her own wardrobe and make-up, as well as handling the technical side of the operation. It’s absolutely your own business, Eastman says, but it isn’t easy.
Game Making Millionaires
Playing video games for a living is one thing, especially if competing in eSports tournaments, but making them is something completely different. But, it turns out; you don’t need a degree to make successful video games. And apparently you don’t even need to be old enough to drive a car. Modern software has made video game creation easier than it has ever been, and a successful game can be created by a teenager, and can earn them a few million in a matter of weeks.
Anthony Tan is a high school student living in Australia, who is currently creating a highly anticipated video game. Tan is 18, and in a recent interview shared some details about how he managed to become a successful video game developer before his 20th birthday. According to him he started out making ‘crappy little games’ when he was 8, and the situation simply progressed from there.
But Tan, level headed and grounded about his success, was quick to point out that not everyone is going to make millions off their own games. And, in his opinion, the most important part of making games for him was ‘scratching the entrepreneurial itch.’
A Bright Future
With the video game industry itself still being young, and such incredible talent clearly driving the industry forward, the future looks like a bright one. If anything, the world will be holding its breath, waiting for these ambitious young people to mature, and take their talents even further. One can only hope that being millionaires at a young age will push them into even greater things.