Want to earn five figures an hour for a job that you do not have to leave your house or get dressed to complete?
That may seem like a dream for many but for some elite video-game players, or “live-streamers,” that vision has become reality.
According to a recent report from The Wall Street Journal, some video game publishers are now paying big bucks to have celebrity gamers play their newest releases live online. A famous gamer could earn up to $50,000 an hour for participating, reports The Journal, citing marketing and talent agents.
On a launch day, streamers with massive followings (attracting a minimum of 15,000 viewers simultaneously) can earn anywhere between $25,000 to $35,000 per hour.
Ubisoft Entertainment SA, Take-Two Interactive Software, Electronic Arts and Activision Blizzard are just a handful of the publishers paying for live broadcast streams, according to the publication.
“Having celebrity streamers play games is an important part of the business,” Strauss Zelnick, Take-Two’s chief executive, said in an interview with the outlet. “It is relatively new, but it has to be organic. The streamers have to believe in it.”
The company said they’ll pay streamers to play the game “Borderlands 3” when it comes out in September.
Users watching video game content on Twitch, Amazon’s video-streaming site, spent nearly 9 billion hours — a 2.6 billion increase from 2017 — on the site in 2018, The Journal reported.
Just as critics eye the box office during a blockbuster film's opening weekend to determine a movie's immediate success, gaming companies also pay close attention to their launch.
The $130 billion video game industry, like the movies, are particularly engaged in first-week revenue, thus the focus on getting big names — backed by big money — to play and essentially promote new titles.