How do Gaming Influencers make Money? [The Right Way]

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Gone are those days when your mom would cut off the PC cords just to make you stop sitting in front of your PC for long hours. Instead, many parents have started encouraging their kids to play their favorite games looking at the way some of the best gaming influencers make money through online gaming.

According to Global Gaming Report 2020, gamers would have spent approximately $4.5 billion on immersive gaming by the end of the year. The industry expects to grow at a CAGR of 12% for the period 2020–2025. It is the fastest growing industry at this time. So, who wouldn’t want to be a part of this phenomenal craze?

Let’s see how gaming influencers all around the world have grabbed this opportunity to earn a fortune for themselves.

1. Stream your Dream!

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High-speed internet and fast processing devices have become easily accessible to many. It has compelled people to shift from content viewers to content creators. This shift has also allowed a lot of gamers to showcase their skills live to their audience. These gaming influencers make money by playing long hours of their favorite video games and streaming them on video hosting sites like YouTube, Twitch, Mixer, etc.

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To start earning on YouTube, at first you need to have an account on their platform. Once you are done setting up the account, next you need to know is how to monetize your channel. You can then earn income through advertising revenues, channel memberships, sale of merchandise, and super chats by subscribers. More the number of viewers you have more is the money you make. Here are a few of the most popular games streamed on YouTube.

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Twitch is another platform widely famous among streamers because of its game-friendly environment. Similar to YouTube, Twitch also has a feature where the viewers can donate on-stream to support the work of the broadcasters. However, Twitch offers two other dedicated ways by which gaming influencers make money on their platform. One way is to join the various Twitch Affiliate programs. Once a member, the Twitch Affiliates then market other company’s products online. On successful conversion, Twitch pays you a certain percentage of money from the buyer’s expense. Another way is to get an invitation as a Twitch Partner. It is generally offered only to a few gaming influencers depending on the quality of content they broadcast. Twitch partners earn their money based on the number of subscribers they have, so it is a relatively stable source of income.

Shroud and Ninja are two popular gaming influencers who made money by broadcasting their gameplay on Twitch with millions of followers. Recently they have moved on to Microsoft’s gaming platform called Mixer and according to a report by Bloomberg, the biggest streamers are earning as much as USD 40M over 3 to 5 years. Here is the list of Top 5 Video Game Streaming Platforms in 2020.

2. Go Pro

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One of the earliest ways of earning huge cash playing video games used to be through competitive tournaments. These tournaments attract a large number of video-game competitors across the world who either participate independently or as a team managed by eSport franchises. Some of the popular eSport teams are Cloud9, Team Liquid, Fnatic, etc. These teams select the best players for the games they represent. So, it might not be a walk in the park especially for average gamers to win or to even participate in such tournaments. However, if you think you are a pro gamer then you may be astonished by the prize pools of such tournaments. For example, the prize pool for The International 2019: Dota 2 Championships was somewhere close to $34 million. Fortnite World Cup Finals 2019 prize pool was close to $15 million. Some other popular eSport games are League of Legends and PUBG.

Apart from the prize earnings, the gaming influencers also earn money through the lucrative deals offered by the eSport franchises to represent their teams, sponsorships, brand endorsements, etc.

3. Game Reviews/Walkthroughs

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Many a time you might have come across videos on YouTube where gaming influencers would upload long hours of in-depth gameplay whenever a new game is released. Yes! These types of gaming influencers work to attract their viewers by offering them the latest content before anyone else. Viewers are glued to their respective screens for hours to watch how their gaming icons play their favorite games. These types of videos help viewers to decide between buying multiple games. Sometimes these videos even help other gamers to cross a difficult challenge they failed to overcome while playing the game.

But such contents need not require you to be a pro gamer. A lot of users who might not have previously participated in competitions also broadcast such content for the sake of entertaining their viewers. All such views then get monetized on their respective streaming platforms and generate income for the broadcaster. Sometimes, few gaming companies contact such gaming influencers who earn money by reviewing products online.

4. Beta Game Testers

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Now you might think why would anyone choose to test a game which sounds familiar to the 9 to 5 job that everyone runs away from. Well, no one would mind playing a game they love for those many hours. Especially, gamers, who would gladly accept to test out a game before it’s even released. And when you get paid for playing the same video game, you might as well not find it boring.

Before releasing out a game, many gaming companies turn to gamers for testing their product. These gamers try to break the beta version of the game in their best possible ways to find bugs and related issues. This helps them to deliver a smooth gaming experience to people who buy their games. Most companies allow users to register themselves as beta testers or even roll out the build on the internet for anyone to test the game. Although it may not sound as lucrative as the above-mentioned techniques, it’s a relatively easy way to earn quick money sitting at home. All you need is to have a compatible machine that can run the game smoothly.

5. Sponsorship Deals/Brand Endorsements

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Finally, once you have become a popular gaming influencer companies would try to catch hold of you for signing sponsorship deals, contracts, brand endorsements, etc. They would either approach directly or avail services of some of the best influencer marketing platforms to do their job. Such deals bring with them chunks of money as a contract for a year or more. After signing such deals, the gamers advertise the company’s brand, use company products, offer links to merchandise sold by the company, and so on as per the terms and conditions of the contract.


Surely, in the coming years, we are going to see huge technological advancements in the gaming industry with newer games, better equipment, and of course a larger fan base. There is a strong tide that’s taking this industry forward, so let’s see who are ready to sail with it.

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