Video games, despite their humble beginnings, have taken the world by storm and it seems that every decade raises the bar higher as the industry keeps surprising. At the beginning of the millennium, the industry was still not taken seriously as parents and much of the public thought they were products that caused apathy and aggression. Today, the industry has taken over movies and music combined, showing just how quickly it has risen in popularity. Before video games were embraced by the public, it was essentially a fantasy to think that a person could make a career playing them. As a result of the growth of the industry though, the idea is a very real prospect. Let’s see gaming careers: content creation vs streaming.
The leading two ways into playing video games for profit are content creation and streaming. Content creators typically play video games and record themselves talking to the audience, but there is no interaction here as their audience can only comment on the video once it has been uploaded. While some may prefer this style, others may find it to be a lonely experience as they cannot talk to anyone but themselves unless they are playing online with someone else, typically another content creator. Those who opt to go down this route receive income based on viewership, and the bigger the audience a content creator has the more money they will receive. This income can also be boosted through sponsorships where the content creator will promote a specific brand in their video.
On the other hand, many more people may choose to enter the streaming world, which is seeing dramatic growth itself. Gaming popularised the platform, but it has since hosted seen weddings streamed and even gamblers who play at casinos just like these, showing that the form is versatile. Those who stream as a job will play games in front of a live audience who can interact with them as they play. This makes the experience more social and is one way in which it differs from traditional content creation. Twitch is the leading platform for streaming, and it pays its streamers based on subscription, offering a slightly different model when compared to content creation. Despite having different payment systems, one cannot be more profitable than the other as it will always depend on the size of the audience and sponsorship deals.
Video streaming sites like YouTube have been around much longer than streaming sites like Twitch, so it will come as no surprise that it is harder for people new to the scene to become an established player on YouTube. There are many channels that already have millions of subscribers and the fact that gaming is not exactly a niche does not help. Twitch offers a much easier way to enter the scene as it is a newer service and still in its phase of growth.
Both career paths offer a lucrative income and the opportunity to grow a massive audience, but those new to the scene might enjoy more success on Twitch given how established the gaming scene is on YouTube.