In this, the modern era of video gaming, it has become the case that gaming is a possible career option for those who truly commit to it. Professional league play is now a burgeoning field, with games like Counter Strike, League of Legends, and even Call of Duty becoming popular spectator eSports.
However, the level of commitment required for professional play is incredibly high, and so it is difficult to be counted amongst the top of amateur players, those who have the potential to be extended professional contracts.
For those who still play an absurd level of video games, there are still money-making opportunities for them, and these have presented themselves as a result of the increased poplularity and abundancy of gaming videos and live streams.
Youtube users like Pewdiepie have managed to create virtual cult followings because of their intense popularity with viewers. The Swedish cultural phenom, Pewdiepie has garnered billions of views across his hundreds of videos, and over 32 million subscribers to his channel. That's more than some countries.
His channel started back in 2010, with a modest Minecraft video. You din't see who was playing, only heard his voice, with commentary in Swedish, not English. After that video gained some traction, he started uploading Let's Play videos, and a bunch of them at that, this time in English.
The channel started gradually building followers, and he gained more and more popularity. Within two years of the channel's opening, Pewdiepie hit 1 million followers. It only took another two months to hit 2 million. The growth has since been exponential.
With the staggering number of followers behind him, you can imagine that Pewdiepie is making a pretty penny doing it. You'd be right. Numbers show that in ad revenue alone, Pewdiepie rakes in roughly $4 million a year. According to Gamespot, Pewdiepie's production company Pewdiepie Productions AB made 63m SEK last year, or $7.4m.
The thing with vloggers like Pewdiepie is that they don't even need to be particularly good gamers or anything - Pwediepie's popularity comes from his almost stream-of-consciousness style commentary; a commentary that has come under attack from the press on numerous occaisions, calling it things like "the blathering of a blithering idiot". Whether or not you agree with this sentiment, what is undeniable is the kind of effect that his star power has on games and the industry at large.
Because of Pewdiepie's huge levels of influence, games featured on his channel go through massive surges of demand.
For example, in 2014, Pewdiepie featured videos of himself playing EA's Skate 3. Skate 3 was a moderately popular game when it was first released in 2010, the third and final installment in the series. It was reviewed generally favorably, and it performed well enough. But by 2014, it wasn't being printed anymore, and EA had no real reason to continue making it.
However, there was a marked increase in the sales as a result of Pewdiepie's influence. After he made and uploaded the videos, fans clamored to experience the same glitches and things that Pewdiepie was showcasing, and they flooded the stores with demand for the out-of-print game, so much that EA was forced to launch a reprint of it.
The game, then four years old, remained in the UK's Top 40 charts for videogames for that entire year. That is simply unheard of for a game that age. It is also a clear indicator of the power of Pewdiepie, and of Youtube vloggers like him.
Love him or hate him - either way, you must recognize his significance.
But these are just my thoughts. I really want to know what everyone else thinks about it, if anything. @tylerbellamy @foxxyjinxx @vienknight @samairenolan @susancarvalho @vannman @allisonmcdaniel @jaydia @perpetua77 @mertekin @kylie88 @paryogobram @danrodriguez @buddyesd @butterflyblu @jaquelinerexmy @aimeeh