Online gaming is a huge industry. Last year, it was estimated that there were 700 million gamers, who spent a combined $13 billion on PC and console games in 2010.
Gaming is big business in Asia, with the popularity of PC and console games exploding in Korea and China in recent years. But as people get older and smartphone penetration increases, that focus will turn to Asia's younger generation, especially Korea's.
This begs the question, how can you reach this massive online gaming audience, and encourage them to support your gaming company.
There's a big difference between your average computer gamer and a professional gamer. The latter makes over $150,000 a year from online competitions, and the top 100 Korean gamers are earning over $1 million a year. Professional gamers live their life online, mostly on a PC.
Unlike the average online game, such as World of Warcraft, League of Legends, or Call of Duty, competitive gaming is organized and regulated.
The top three games in Korea, in terms of pro-gamer income, are StarCraft, League of Legends, and Call of Duty.
These games are always fresh and have both team and solo leagues for different skill levels, making competition relatively easy to follow.
In short, online gaming is a hobby, and it's ideal for people who want to improve their game. If you're already good, or if you want to make it into a professional league, you can easily just register as a player and create a team. Some of these teams have ex-pro gamers or new players who have learned from previous teams.
Others have made the leap straight to the pro leagues, which are a major part of the gaming world. As a result, teams or leagues can also be a great way to encourage your audience to sign up for your game.
Different games are targeted at different audiences. League of Legends, for example, is a 2D MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena) game, which is popular with girls who want to be in video games. In other words, they play the game online and can get involved in team competitions or league games.
But the competitive scenes can be intense, and if you want to be a pro gamer, you have to be dedicated. Some of the most popular games in Korea, in terms of both pro gamer income and crowd sizes, are League of Legends, Starcraft, and Brood War.
The story is different from World of Warcraft, which is played competitively online, with each player online in their own individual online world.
The crowd sizes are impressive, with huge numbers of people paying to play the game, and huge tournaments are held every weekend.
You don't need to be a gamer yourself to be a pro gamer
Let me say that again: You don't need to be a gamer yourself to play the game.
Perhaps your niche is that you are average gamer who is just REALLY funny. There are plenty of ways to stand out.
As far as dreams go, being Twitch famous has to be right up there. Now, to be clear, I’m talking about having a few thousand people watching you play games on a daily basis. Now I’m not gonna lie, there’s nothing like just watching people in real-time play a game or two, and the reaction is something special.
There’s tangible energy to it, and watching someone become more than just a body in front of a screen is incredibly satisfying.
What it comes down to is that you have to make a living playing the games you love. Otherwise, you are just a white dude with a webcam and an internet connection.
The past six months have been very tough for a lot of streamers, and with millions of other YouTubers making it hard to stand out, it’s hard to not feel like a bit of an outsider.
I know a lot of YouTubers who have hundreds of thousands of subscribers and are doing quite well for themselves, but they aren’t making a living off streaming.
They are selling ad space on their channels and through Twitch Prime subscriptions (which is the same thing as their channels being ad-free) or from other sponsorships.
I’m not here to say that you have to have ads on your channel and a ton of subscription income to make a living on Twitch. That’s just not how it works. Everyone is different, and they all go at it differently. You have to find what works for you and make sure you enjoy it.
I know what you’re thinking… “But what if my content is terrible?
"I haven’t yet figured out a good way to produce well-thought-out content that people want to watch for a long time, and my best stuff comes out when I’m drunk at 2 am? What if this article I’m writing isn’t any good? I’m scared!”
To which I answer… No.
Your content can be REALLY good. Undoubtedly you have a unique voice, so you need to see how you can leverage it.
We would recommend that you produce at least three videos a week that are relatively lengthy, and that have a proper structure to them. This is your content diary, and you’re publishing it for other people.
The audience can be anywhere from hundreds to millions of people, so make sure your content is good enough that it will still resonate with them even if you reach a lot of them.
We'd also recommend getting good at video editing, as this will become very important in the coming months, and can really make or break you.