According to a new report from The Wall Street Journal, the most popular professional gamers can earn upwards of $50,00 per hour to play newly released video games when the stream on platforms like Twitch and YouTube, to a live audience.
It might surprise you to know that successful video game streamers—there are probably more than you think—engage with several million online followers every day. They often dedicate as many as 12 hours a day in a single play sessions. With tens of thousands of viewers watching these live streams at any given time, video game publishers are starting to get pretty hip to capitalizing on these ingratiating, captive audiences.
And because these gamers can live stream to such a captive audience for such a long—and consistent—period of time, their perspective on a new game can be quite profound. And even if they are, in fact, getting paid to play these new games, their relationship with this captive audience often results in their game reviews being quite candid.
Indeed, Night Media Inc CEO Reed Duchscher advises that video game streamers who consistently maintain at least 15,000 in viewership can command upwards of $35,000 per hour to play these newly-released games. Of course, the highest-ranked streamers can earn even more, and how much they earn is often based largely on the size of their loyal audience.
Paying streamers to play new games is actually a big part of what made Apex Legends such a big launch. Publisher Electronic Arts reportedly payed a dozen-or-so of the most popular streamers to test the game in a closed environment before the release. This small and private group then went and shared their early impressions of the game on social media and that helped the game to gather organic excitement as the launch approached.
Indeed, the #ApexPartner program helped to garner Apex Legends more than one million players in the first 24 hours of launch. And this was all without any advanced marketing. While the early promotion ended quickly, the game still went on to acquire 50 million steady players. More importantly, it is now the second most popular battle royale game, losing out the top spot to “Fortnite.”