Probably, at some point everyone comes up with the idea to achieve success in professional gaming. Often, when I watch some competitive game, a la League of Legends or Dota 2, it occurs to me: “It would be great to be able to do this myself.” Indeed, it would be great, but not everyone is as dexterous with the keyboard and mouse as “Suma1l” in Dota 2 and “Faker” in League of Legends. I consider myself a pretty good player, but I just don’t have what it takes to be a pro, and I think a lot of people reading this feel the same way about themselves. Fortunately, there are plenty of other interesting activities in the gaming industry besides professional gaming.
Writing articles about games is probably the most accessible and varied activity in the gaming industry for most people. Every major gaming site (including mmoglobus.ru) needs skilled writers to cover the latest news, write opinions, reviews and previews. High-quality content provides a steady flow of visitors, which in turn generates advertising revenue. The more we grow, the more article writers we can hire, the more we hire, the more we expand.
Where to start: The best way to become a good writer is to start your own blog and post the best quality content possible. If a potential employer asks you for a sample of your writing, just show them your blog. Alternatively, you can offer your services to a reputable gaming portal for free. I’m not suggesting that anyone write for free all the time, but it’s a good way to build a resume and take your first steps in the industry. A specialized education is not necessary, but it definitely does not hurt. Sites such as GameJournalismJobs.com, an English-language service, can help you in your job search by find a job abroad from big companies like Activision Blizzard and Riot Games. But in this case, you will need a brilliant knowledge of English.
Keep in mind that just because you’re interested in games doesn’t mean you can succeed in the industry as a writer. Writing articles and opinions is fun, but rewriting gaming news can be pretty boring. Article writers often have to promote their work through social media and understand popular online publishing platforms like WordPress. Most of the work is pretty routine as sites will squeeze as much quality content out of you as possible.
Anyone with a decent PC and a solid internet connection these days can stream thanks to services like Twitch and Youtube Gaming. The development of these streaming sites over the past few years has given rise to unprecedented opportunities for players to create their own shows or streams. Most users of the services stream “for the soul”, but for an increasing number of people, streams are becoming the main method of earning money, not bad, by the way. Jeffrey Sheen aka “TrumpSC” (Hearthstone streamer) was quoted in Forbes as saying that popular streamers make over $100,000 a year just for streaming, and that’s not counting Youtube videos, sponsorships, etc.
Where to start: The best part is that breaking into professional streaming is pretty damn easy. You just need to download streaming software (for example, OBS – Open Broadcast Software), configure it, and go ahead – the path is open. Remember: finding an audience on Twitch is not easy, it takes patience. You also have to be damn good at the game you’re streaming or entertain viewers (both ideally). Don’t expect instant success, and try to stream regularly to attract subscribers.
Keep in mind, it’s not easy to make a living streaming alone, it takes a FUCKING hard work. In an interview with DailyDot with Stephen Bonnel, aka Destiny, the latter stated that he streamed around 200-250 hours a month, which is about 60 hours a week. That’s 20 hours more than a typical work week. Most gamers probably don’t see streaming as a full-time “job,” but at some point it gets tiring. We know from the interview that Destiny has made about $100,000 in his streaming career, which is pretty good, but not everyone can reach his level of popularity (on average, his streams are visited by about 2,500 unique viewers).
Like streaming, the creation of gaming-related video content is available to almost everyone. All you need is a video capture program like Fraps (OBS is fine too) and a decent PC. Any kind of video content will do, as long as it gets views. Quality content creators earn, on average, $1 per 1,000 views, which doesn’t sound like much, but it’s an average. However, just like streaming, regularly creating new content is hard work that few people can handle.
Where to start: Create a channel and start uploading videos. That’s how simple it is! It’s hard to find subscribers and attract an audience: it can take years. The best way to rise quickly is to create unique content that viewers will share with friends.
Keep in mind: make good videos! Youtube has countless channels with many videos and no views at all. Making a simple gameplay video of a new Call of Duty installment is not the best way to stand out, because the bigger channels have probably already done it for you. Instead, it’s better to create useful guides for recent releases or review smaller projects that other channels have missed. Making videos of lesser known games is very important because there is much less competition along the way, which means your video is much easier to stumble upon when someone is looking for that game.
In fact, coding for video games is probably the least accessible profession on the list, but also the most stable. Anyone can try to become famous on Twitch or Youtube, but most of those who dare fail. Programming services, on the other hand, are almost always in high demand. Even if the gaming industry slows down, skilled programmers can find work in the booming IT industry. The term “programmer” is used here in a broad sense, and there are countless different areas in programming, and therefore professionals: from networking to artificial intelligence developers
Where to start: anyone can get basic programming skills for free on special sites. Websites are great for starting self-learning, but those who want to build a serious career need specialized education. Jobs can be found through ordinary job search services. Programmers can also try starting their own projects. Marcus Presson, better known as Notch, single-handedly created Minecraft, which he sold for $2.5 billion!
Keep in mind: most games are based on well-known engines like Unity or Unreal, which are usually available for free (as demos or for personal use). Study these engines inside and out, and you will increase your value in the eyes of a potential employer. It also makes sense to focus on the rapidly developing areas of the gaming industry. Now, for example, such a direction is the development of mobile applications.
This is just a small list of options for those who want to find a career in the gaming industry, and it is far from complete. Anyone can find a place in the industry: from talented artists who can create cool concept art, to composers who create great melodies. And let’s not forget about game designers who develop the very concept of the game even before they even begin to create it. If you are passionate about video games, there is absolutely no reason why you cannot find a job in the gaming industry. And if programming is not available to everyone, then writing articles on games, streaming and shooting near-game videos are open to everyone and everyone, you can start right now, without any formal training and education. What are you waiting for? Start a blog, start streaming, or start your own Youtube channel.
Or maybe all at once!