A Brief Look At: The Professional Gamer
Over ten years ago, the idea of a professional gamer would have been laughed at. Someone outside of the gaming industry making money? Impossible! There was also the idea that you could be a gaming journalist but even then the idea of that was still new and met with a lot of negative stereotypes.
However now it’s become quite the popular and highly sought after thing for many gamers.
Professional gamers are basically people who make gaming their…well…profession. They play games, make commentary, and promote the gaming community. Not all of them get paid for it but slowly and surely more of them are. One of the big reasons why this has happened is because of the rise of gaming as a spectatorship.
With the rise of Twitch, YouTube and other streaming services, you have the opening of a market for which people watch people play games. It sounds like a joke but there has been quite a bit of money made on the matter. It’s gained so much popularity that Amazon, the behemoth of the Internet, bought one of these live streaming services.
“On August 25, 2014, it was announced that Amazon.com would acquire Twitch Interactive for US$970 million. The deal was expected to be finalized by the end of 2014.Sources reported that the rumored Google deal had fallen through and allowed Amazon to make the bid; Forbes reported that Google had backed out of the deal due to potential antitrust concerns surrounding it and its existing ownership of YouTube. The acquisition was closed on September 25, 2014.”
This means that Twitch is worth literally millions of dollars. It has become one of the most trafficked sites in modern times, and that means there is a lot of market there. Millions of people follow and watch gamers who play games.
So is being a professional gamer easy and fun? Not entirely, because at the end of the day it’s still a job and a job means you’ll have some amount of responsibility. For instance, if this is the professional gamer’s only form of income, they must constantly edit and post videos and promote themselves in order to grow their community.
They have to go to gaming conventions and constantly be active on social media. They must also engage with their audience a lot and be able to weather the changes that happen with both their audience, the games they play and the gaming community as a whole.
The professional gamer is a phenomenon that’s made gaming and the title of gamer into a far more complex existence in so many ways. It’s exciting to see how things have changed in the gaming community, making room for the professional gamer. It isn’t an easy profession but many of the professional gamers will tell you that they’re thankful that they get to do what they do.