Game Streaming as a Full-Time Job: The Stories of Success from Popular Streamers

Video gaming industry has evolved from pure entertainment to a big industry with its fans and rules. Twitch is the biggest and the most successful host for consoles and PC streamers. With its various ways to earn money, it remains the most profitable channel if you want to work hard and play smart.

How to Earn with Game Streaming on Twitch?

For many, being a professional streamer means getting partnered with Twitch. Partnership suggests more promotion and visibility of your channel as well as more revenues from your game streaming activities. Meeting the criteria for Twitch partnership can be a tough and nerve wracking task. You should stream regularly to maintain the existing viewer count. Moreover, there are so many factors that influence the result: technical equipment, your personal attitude and charisma, your gaming skills, and game of luck. John Howell, the director of Twitch partnership, comments that the deciding factor is not the amount of viewers the streamer has, but the healthy community he/she creates around. Good broadcasters, according to Howell, should be authentic, personable and entertaining. And if you, just for curiosity, look through the list of top Twitch broadcasters you will notice that all of them have these traits in common. When a streamer becomes partnered, he/she gets the chance to earn money from subscriptions. While for most viewers Twitch is free-to-watch, subscribers have access to extra features, such as emojis, access to previous streams, etc. However, the money from subscription is just a basic income which can vary from month to month. Besides the Twitch partnership opportunities, popular streamers are making money from donations and tips. It is a kind of voluntary contribution to the development of your stream. People donate money because of many reasons: they want to thank you, to encourage you, to stand out from the chat, see your reaction, etc.  Anyway, tips are always about interaction: while you can miss some ordinary comments in the chat, it is a less chance that you’ll take no notice of the donation from the viewer. It is naïve to think about big bucks from the beginning, but, when you achieve considerable viewership and subscribers’ base, you can depend on a certain amount of tips per hour, per stream or per month.

The Stories of Success from Popular Streamers

Below we’ll give you some insights from popular streamers that share their experiences and different approaches. All of them spent more than a year to achieve success and be able to make living from their game streaming activities.

#1. HayliNic’s Success Story

HayliNic is one of the most popular streamers among females. She has more than 96,000 Twitch followers at the time of writing this post. For HayliNic, game streaming has become a combination of everything she wants to do in her life. She was in her junior year at college when found Twitch and start watching others play. 3 years ago, in April 2014, HayliNic began her own streaming career, announcing that on her Twitter page with the following message:“Hey hey heyyyy everybody! :) first tweet, and I'm currently live! Come watch :-)” She started with Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, then also played League of Legends and Hearthstone. HayliNic achieved Twitch partnership on the second try. In order to attract her first 500 concurrent viewers, she did an active networking and finally received support from famous streamers, including Omgitsfirefoxx. Eventually, she was surprised to get denied and asked Twitch support about the reason. And the explanation was:  “We want to see how you do without any help.” So, HayliNic continued to work trying to engage more and more viewers by her own. And she succeeded. One day, a person from Twitch partnership department entered the chat and sent her a confirmation. HayliNic has a degree in mass communication, and, without any doubts, her journalistic skills are useful in game streaming. She has made good friends from streaming community, such as Sonja Reid and 2MGoverCsquared. Her boyfriend Rick is also a popular Twitch streamer. Besides Twitch activity, HayliNic has a nice Instagram page as well as keeps a video blog on YouTube. In the vblog HayliNic covers different topics on her daily life (“10 Facts About Me”, “HAYLI TRAVELS | New York”, “We’re engaged!”) as well as provides game-related highlights (“Subbing to Haylinic on Twitch Stream”, “BEST CS:GO MOMENTS (PART 4) HIGHLIGHT MONTAGE | HayliNic”) Watch the video “Hayli Gets ENGAGED LIVE ON STREAM!” HayliNic’s keys to success: great communication skills, self-assertion, consistency, support from top streamers.

#2. Futuremangaming’s Success Story

Before linking his life with game streaming, Chris (the real name of Futureman) worked as a second-grade teacher at a special needs school in New York. He used to play computer games for pleasure and found Twitch by accident when searching info about “Battlefield” game. Chris enjoyed watching other people gameplay and commentary. After a while, he decided to try his hand at game streaming as well. Initially, there were only friends who viewed Chris’s streams. Success didn’t come immediately. Chris streamed for 5-6 hours a day, combining game streaming with his main job. He almost didn’t sleep. But, one day he got an idea. Chris created the whole story around his stream: his character Futureman travels back from the future in order to save humanity by playing games from start to finish. This is how Futureman introduced his stream on Reddit 2 years ago: “The future is a dark and desolate time where video games have transformed into ultra deadly killing machines. With no remorse they rise up against their creators to destroy everything and everyone around them. Fortunately, I have been sent back in time to nullify the games using my N.E.R.F. machine (Neutralizing Electronics for the Redemption of the Future) before they gain enough power to pose any real threat.” Today, Futuremangaming channel has more than 61,000 followers. A main setup for Chris’s streams is a cabin of CGI spaceship made in grotesque manner. Along with his space kitsch shows, Futureman plays different games including Mass Effect, The Legend of Zelda, Overwatch, etc. Moreover, Futureman is famous for his DJs in Space events where he invites local DJs to his flat to play music while he is doing some visual effects on the fly. Watch Futureman’s Intro on Youtube: Futuremangaming’s keys to success: the concept of coming from future, full-time dedication, strict schedule.

#3. TigerWriter’s Success Story

TigerWriter’s story is also inspiring. TigerWriter (his real name is Andrew) was working as a taxi dispatcher in Denver when started streaming during the downtime. He streamed for 11 hours a night, as he had 11-hour shifts. He answered the calls when necessary and got back to game streaming. It was surprising for TigerWriter when he noticed more than 70 viewers supporting him every night. After he got Twitch partnership, TigerWriter’s channel started to grow instantaneously. Today, the channel has over 62,000 dedicated followers.  "It's my full-time job now. I'm streaming six hours a night, five nights a week. I still don't know exactly what I did to get over 10-20 viewers a night, though. Maybe the beard was one of the factors for my growth," says TigerWriter in his interview to Motherboard. Earlier in his life, Andrew was a touring musician. The ability to entertain audience, create interesting events and be always in limelight became of use when TigerWriter started his streaming career. Movie clips, flashing colors of the nighty streams, music of 50s, jazz, DJ’s sets, dubstep, dancing, signing a falcetto and making weird faces at camera – all that distinguishes TigerWriter’s stream from others. TigerWriter combined game streaming with viewing other streams and making relations with the peers of the same level. He has an active Instagram account where he presents himself with the words: “Entertainer, Weird Man, Twitch Broadcaster, All around Goof”. His Instagram is vivid and funny with many pictures of TigerWriter’s dog and food. If you want to know more about TigerWriter’s life and game experience, check his personal website with a self-evident motto “The Beards, The Pizza. The Video Games.” Watch TigerWriter’s first Vlog on YouTube: TigerWriter’s keys to success: communicative skills, relaxedness,  sense of humor, tight schedule.

Takeaways

Before you decide to make game streaming your full-time job, look through our tips:
  • Be genuine. Give a true answer to the question “would you be streaming, even if you know you’ll never be paid”. If the answer is “yes”, you are on the right path. The success of game streaming purely depends on the audience; the latter is very sensitive and detects your insincerity in a zip.
  •  Don’t expect to earn a lot of money up front. Streaming is not as easy as it may seem. Becoming a successful well-paid streamer is not just about playing the games all day. A good streamer is a full-time entertainer and commentator.
  • Have some spare money or another source of income at first. Starting Twitch stream from scratch won’t give you immediate income. You have to spend some time to build an audience and receive your first revenue.
  • Build a small, but dedicated following. Regular viewers compose your main support. Networking with other streamers is a key factor as well. Having good relations with peers open your stream to the potentially wider audience.

4/3/2017