Making Money in Gaming
Video games are fun, well most of them – at least. This is almost a fact in modern society, as computers and gaming have become an integral part of society, that has really advanced the human race, and given us a new free-time activity. Where there’s popularity, there is usually money. Today I am going to look at 3 ways for which you can make money in the gaming industry.
1 – Make Games
Making games is probably the most obvious way to make money, and it is needed in the world. With publishing websites like Aestuo, Itch.io, and Gamejolt – it has never been easier for game developers to put their games out there, and turn a small profit on them. Being a developer myself, it is a very fun process, that can be very rewarding – even without profit (all of my games have been free so far).
So, how do you make money this way? Making money from game development is simple, on the surface, but very complicated if you dive deeper. At face value, you just give a publishing site like Itch.io your payment information or PayPal – you answer a few questions about yourself, and you are away, once you make a product and put it on the site. The industry standard for these sites’ cuts is 30%, but sometimes they offer 10%. However, it is not this simple, and do not let that fool you – it is not that simple. This is just half of the equation – you actually have to tell the world about your project. Personally, I recommend making a discord server, and sharing your game – and that server, around – mainly on Game development discord servers. This may not get you far, but it will give you a start. Next, you may want a Twitter, to advertise your projects there. Most of the time, smaller sites like Aestuo (this is where I should probably mention that we are owned by Aestuo), will do some advertising for you – but don’t let this be your main source of advertisement.
2 – Run a Game Server
Some games let the players create their own servers, connecting unique communities together through the game. Many people, especially in the Minecraft community, have made businesses out of this. I’m going to focus on Minecraft servers because I’ve been playing the game for about 6 years – and I know, out of all the games I play, most about Minecraft servers.
So, you want your very own server – and you want money from it. Unfortunately, this is going to cost you – unlike game development – where you can get a very good engine for free. Typically, Minecraft servers cost around $5-50, depending on what server you desire to create. If you want to make a profit, you can certainly do it on a small server, but you might want to look at a bigger investment. Personally, I’ve been recommended a service called Server.pro by a server owner that I know, but there are many options. I don’t personally recommend free servers on websites such as that site, but I can personally recommend a service called CubedCraft, which lets you host your own small server within their own server, for free. I use this to host an SMP series, and have used it in the past for other purposes, but never tried to turn a profit from it.
I should note that I have run a server in the past, small ones – at least – and I have spoken to server owners – but I’m not experienced in turning a profit – so do your own research before you invest actual money.
Once you have your server space set up, you want some solid game modes, or perks on your server. You can add multiple worlds with a plugin called Multiverse-Core – which lets you connect to other worlds all on the same server. Once you have some cool game modes, you want to set up BuyCraft – this is where my inexperience comes in. BuyCraft lets you add monetised perks to your server, which you can sell. Popular perks are ranks or special cosmetics. Just be wary of the Mojang EULA, which states what you can and can’t sell. You also want to manage the community well, with moderators and other staff. It can be a big investment, and is a big risk – but if it pays off – you can make some good money.
3 – Record / Stream
This is the most unrealistic on this list, for the average person, but it is certainly a dream to aspire to. Sites like YouTube and Twitch can be good, but an unreliable source of income for you. They have made many people a lot of money, like British YouTuber Daniel Middleton, whose net worth (in 2017) was reported by Forbes as $16.5 million (USD).
Internet personalities earn a living by playing games, recording themselves doing so, and releasing regular content for their viewers to enjoy. These personalities earn money from ad-revenue and merchandise sales. Daniel Middleton earned some money from doing a big tour – and I am only using him as an example because he was the richest British YouTuber, or something like that). Creating a YouTube channel is easy, but growing it is not. If you want to make a living from YouTube, you probably want a backup plan – because it is unlikely, but if you are really committed – you might be able to gain a humble following and make a bit of money from it – but you need the good stuff. If you want a good microphone for cheap, I would say it depends on your budget. If you want a pretty decent and cheap microphone, I recommend the Blue Snowball ICE, it is the one I have – and it is about £45 GBP – which is good for a microphone of this quality. Despite this, if you have a bit more cash, the Blue Yeti is an all-around better microphone, for still a reasonable price, but not as affordable. If you are just starting out, a laptop built-in mic is fine, for the first few videos, but you do need to invest in a decent microphone.
In conclusion, there are quite a few options to make money from the gaming industry. There are many I haven’t even gone over – but these are just a few that spring to mind. Though you will probably not make a living from any of these, realistically, straight away, if you keep at it – you never know. Just make sure you follow any rules, and double check them on a regular basis. Good luck!
Indie Game Developer also a writer for Sip Read Repeat. Aviation and space enthusiast, has a bit of a thing for coffee.