As I’m sure almost all of you, if not all of you have heard, there is a game called Fortnite Battle Royale that came out last summer and is taking over the world right now. The general premise of the game is a Hunger Games-style battle: a 100-person free-for-all, where each player gets dropped into the game with nothing. Subsequently, everyone has to rush around and try to find whatever weapons and resources they can before others show up and kill them. The last player standing is the winner. The game can be played solo, in duos, or in squads of 4, and allow you to plug a microphone in and
strategize chat with your teammates. It brings back the sense of teamwork and camaraderie that has not been seen in video games since old school, split screen gaming.
Fortnite is changing the video game scene. It is free to download and play, making it available to almost everyone. And sorry to all of the girlfriends out there who were already upset about losing their boyfriends to the game, but it just came out on mobile. Now you’re not even safe when you force him out of the house.
As Fortnite gains traction and more and more people begin to play, it has garnered huge attention on the streaming front. In the past years, people streaming their video games online has become increasingly popular. A quick YouTube search shows almost 21 million hits on the search, “Fortnite.” What takes Fortnite beyond just a hit video game is its very close relationship with the video game streaming website, Twitch – it is actually the fourth highest trafficking site on the Internet during peak hours, putting it right behind Netflix, Google, and Apple. On Twitch, people can create pages for themselves, and live stream themselves playing video games. Similarly to how YouTube operates, the people creating content receive a cut for every subscriber, and then additional money for sponsorships and whatever donations people feel so inclined to give.
While for the majority of people this income is just icing on the cake for doing something that they love, the best gamers or the most popular streamers can make huge sums of money for what they are doing. *Dad you were wrong, I can make a living playing video games.* Recently, Twitch streamer, “Ninja,” broke the internet by live streaming himself playing Fortnite with Drake, Travis Scott, and Juju Smith-Schuster of the Pittsburg Steelers. This stream absolutely crushed the old viewer record on Twitch, reaching an incredible 864,000 views as of today. (Here it is if you feel like watching.)
Ever since this stream went up, people have gotten to wondering how much money these pro streamers actually make. (I actually didn’t believe it when I first saw it, but Ninja is making over $600,000 a month, just from subscriptions alone. That does not include donations or sponsorships or anything. He will almost definitely make more money this year alone than I will in the majority of my life.
Think about that for a second. $600,000 per month. That is $20,000 per day. Assuming a ten hour day, that breaks down to $2,000 per hour. What other job is paying you that kind of money? None. According to U.S. News & World Report and data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the highest paying job in the US (aside from CEOs and the like) is an anesthesiologist, making just under $270,000 per year. That means that Ninja makes in 1 month what a doctor makes in three years. And instead of saving lives, he is playing video games.
Because my parents were so close-minded and actually made me study when I was younger, I missed my chance to hone my video gaming skills and become a professional gamer. It is probably a safer bet than letting me go rogue, but seeing the absurd amounts of money that some of these people are making for doing something that I love doing, I can’t help but to wonder what could have happened if my parents had let me play the hours upon hours of video games that my ten-year-old brain thought I needed every day. I definitely haven’t given up playing video games, but I think that I am past my prime a bit so I’ll leave the hardcore gaming to the people who are good enough to out-earn CEOs and professional athletes.
*Yes, this was actually me, and no, you’ve never felt adrenaline like this unless you’ve won a match.