What a difference 20 years can make!
If you grew up playing video games as a kid of the 80’s or even 90’s most parents were convinced that playing games would ruin your life, fry your brain and surely destine you to a future of fast food burger-flipping (no disrespect to anyone working in fast food).
I’m not just saying this as someone who grew up in this time recalling my own personal experience but check out some of these headlines from around the web;
- Smithsonian Magazine: Children of the ‘80s Never Fear: Video Games Did Not Ruin Your Life. Inside the ridiculous media panic that scared parents silly
- Federal Trade Commission: Marketing Violent Entertainment To Children: A Fifth Follow Up
Top professional gamers can make 6 and 7 figures in salary + winnings a year
Fast forward just a few years and now its a multi BILLION dollar industry where players as young as 15 are making 6 and 7 figures annually. Playing. Video. Games. Like most things with science, there’s the public opinion and after follows the research that can completely disprove the opinions.
This is true in a 2019 study published by the Society for Research in Child Development on Science Daily. Playing video games generally not harmful to boys’ social development.
But it’s not just the enormous payday’s these professional gamers are racking in but truly a VIP quality of life.
It’s not uncommon for the world’s best players to have;
- Housing provided
- A full-time chef
- A personal trainer
- An onsite teacher for online learning (if they are still in school)
- Mega endorsement sponsorship deals
2020 Top Paid Gamers In The World
#10 Nickmercs (Nick Kolcheff)
Earnings: $6 million
Nick Kolcheff made a name for himself by playing Fortnite with a controller, which is considered more challenging than using a keyboard-and-mouse. It helped him become the tenth-most-watched streamer in 2019, according to StreamElements and Arsenal.gg. Twitch took notice, signing him to an estimated two year, $2 million exclusivity deal.
#9 TimTheTatman (Timothy Betar)
Earnings: $8 million
Timothy Betar’s comedic, good-natured Fortnite streams have made him a favorite with brands, from Reese’s to Bud Light. He also streams and is a commentator for the NFL’s Thursday Night Football games on Twitch. At the end of the year, he signed an exclusive streaming deal with the platform.
#8 Jacksepticeye (Sean McLoughlin)
Earnings: $11 million
With 23.2 million subscribers, McLoughlin is Ireland’s most popular YouTuber, uploading videos on a variety of games. Late in 2018, he started a clothing brand with fellow YouTube gamer, Mark “Markiplier” Fischbach.
#7 VanossGaming (Evan Fong)
Earnings: $11.5 million
Fong’s comedic playthroughs have attracted 24.9 million subscribers and had 1.6 billion views on YouTube in 2019. He’s been famous for some time now, starring as a monster hunter in Paranormal Action Squad, a premium 2016 cartoon series on the same platform.
#6 DanTDM (Daniel Middleton)
Earnings: $12 million
Daniel Middleton is a worldwide sensation due to his popular Minecraft videos, amassing 22.4 million subscribers. In 2019, he went on tour for an interactive movie experience called The Contest.
#5 Shroud (Michael Grzesiek)
Earnings: $12.5 million
Not being tethered to one game has made Michael Grzesiek a favorite of major game publishers like Electronic Arts, Ubisoft and Activision Blizzard. The former pro also has an extensive clothing line with gaming brand Jinx.
#4 Markiplier (Mark Fischbach)
Earnings: $14 million
He built a following with humorous, over-the-top reactions to horror video games like Amnesia: The Dark Descent and released a choose-your-own-adventure YouTube Original film last fall called A Heist with Markiplier.
#3 Preston (Preston Arsement)
Earnings: $14 million
Both a popular Minecraft player and vlogger, Preston’s also bringing in seven figures annually hosting custom versions of Minecraft with in-game spending.
#2 PewDiePie (Felix Kjellberg)
Earnings: $15 million
The top individual YouTuber, Felix Kjellberg announced he’d be taking a break from the site after another tumultuous year. Last September he pledged $50,000 to the Anti-Defamation League to “move past” his anti-Semitic controversies—then suddenly canceled the donation after an outcry from his fan base. Kjellberg remains as popular as ever, though, pulling in a staggering 4.5 billion views in 2019.
#1 Ninja (Tyler Blevins)
Earnings: $17 million
The top gamer was everywhere in 2019, from Red Bull cans in grocery stores to bedding in Walmart to starring roles in NFL commercials. While his viewership fell, his influence didn’t, with endorsements from Adidas, Red Bull and underwear designer PSD. His exclusivity deal with Microsoft is helping to reshape the live-streaming landscape. And the good times seem to be continuing. This month, Fortnite maker Epic Games released an in-game Ninja avatar that fans can play as.