To all the kids out there whose parents have ever told them they’re wasting their lives playing video games, the Wall Street Journal has some news for you: Keep playing those games because it can make you rich.
As the WSJ reports, big video game publishers like Electronic Arts, Activision Blizzard, and Ubisoft are paying massive sums of money to popular video game streamers to play and stream their latest games to followers. A video game streamer, for those not in the know, is simply someone who plays video games and then streams footage of them playing their games live on platforms like YouTube and Twitch. Video game streamers can amass massive followings–and now major game developers are realizing just how influential those streamers can be.
The Wall Street Journal says the big video game publishers are paying the most popular streamers as much as $50,000 per hour–yes, per hour–to play and stream their latest video games online. To be clear, paying video game streamers to live-stream a publisher’s video game is nothing new. However, in the past it’s traditionally been smaller video game publishers that have paid to have their games played and live-streamed. They also paid much smaller sums of money.
But now that the big video game publishers have seen how big a return on investment paying a live streamer to play your game can be, they’re shelling out the big bucks to get in on the action. And wow, we’re talking big bucks. As the WSJ notes:
Coveted live-streamers, those who attract at least 15,000 viewers at once, can command between $25,000 and $35,000 an hour during a big launch, with the most popular ones earning more, according to Reed Duchscher, chief executive of Night Media Inc., a management firm that represents streamers and other online personalities.
So kids, don’t let anyone tell you playing video games is a total waste of your time. If you live-stream them and get popular enough, you could very well make in an hour what most people make in a year. Take that, parents.