Playing online games like Call of Duty (COD), PUBG, Fortnite, FIFA, and NBA2K series, was merely a recreational activity. However, the advancement of the internet has expanded gaming to a monetised industry for skilled gamers worldwide.
These gaming activities have become a major source of income for some people, while it is a side hustle for others. Playing role-playing or simulation games online has provided opportunities for gamers to earn thousands/millions of Naira from doing what they love.
In Africa, the gaming culture is becoming adopted by more individuals. While e-sports and the potential for financial gains might seem relatively new in Nigeria, some countries are beginning to pick up their pace in this booming culture.
The Lagos government has recently acknowledged the potential of expanding the online games industry, and artists and corporate brands have also associated themselves with it. This industry’s existence in the nation appears to have a bright future.
But how can game enthusiasts make money by playing their favourite games online?
Read Also: A chat with Dr Sid on leaving music, interest in esports and the viability of esports in Nigeria.
How to make money from playing online games
There are two well-known ways gamers can make money from online games; E-sports and live streaming.
This is competitive gaming at a professional level. Most of the games played are Player vs Player (PvP). With e-sports, gamers do not play in different locations and communicate via earphones as they typically would do. Instead, the tournaments are held physically at organised events with cash prizes up for grabs.
Most Nigerian e-sports competition use game options like multiplayer online battle arena games (MOBA) i.e. League of Leagues, Warcraft, Battle Royale games i.e. Call of Duty, Fortnite Battles and Sports games such as FIFA, PES, and NBA.
How does E-sports work?
Different e-sport organisations exist in Nigeria, and much as traditional sports have leagues based on certain sports, these organisations have leagues based on particular games. Some of these groups have attracted enough interest to start holding national championship competitions and some gamers represent Nigeria globally.
Joining these organisations is relatively easy, and active participation will earn you a slot with a team. Most of these organisations have a premium access plan, but you can still register and sign up for a competition close to your location.
According to a gamer, members can climb the ladder of success by representing their locality in bigger competitions depending on their skills and talent. Great gamers like that often become valued members of these organisations.
Others are based on contracts and paid depending on the amount won at specific events, while some are paid monthly.
Live-streaming of Online games
Most gamers that desire to be independent use live streaming to generate income. For this group of gamers, gaming skills and streaming materials are all they need. , live streaming platforms like Twitch and YouTube provide great opportunities to make money from online gaming.
One of the fimonetisehods to monetize playing online games is through this well-known live-streaming platform for gamers. Twitch users can make income through any or all of the following methods listed below;
- Subscriptions: Fans can subscribe for $4.99 per month, and streamers get a percentage for every subscription made to their channel.
- Donations: Streamers can request donations from their followers through PayPal, Stripe or other online payment processors.
- Twitch Bits: These are virtual coins followers order to interact with a streamer’s channel. The streamer keeps 70% of the donation when these bits are converted into actual money.
- Affiliate marketing and sponsorship: Streamers can promote people’s products online in exchange for a cut of sales earned through their links. On Twitch, sponsorship agreements exist, especially if a streamer is deeply committed to a brand or has a sizable fan base.
- Tournament winning: Streamers can also earn money by taking first place in a competition. However, this option may be challenging for casual players because players on professional teams often enter these tournaments.
Read Also; FIRS partners UK-based firm to begin deducting taxes from online gaming operators
For YouTube, gamers can earn money from different opportunities on the platform. There is also a section on YouTube for online game content, making it easier for gamers to make money. All these other opportunities can be levmonetisef gamers complete the basic requirements to monetize their YouTube channels.
As a gamer, you can make money on YouTube through:
- YouTube Super Chat: YouTubers can ask viewers to pay a charge to have their comments prominently shown during a live stream where numerous viewers and comments occur simultaneously. 70% of the fee is left for the streamer after YouTube deducts 30%.
- Gaming membership: YouTubers can offer subscribers specified benefits (more videos, YouTube emotes, etc.) with different membership options.
- Other methods to earn money includes donations, ads, affiliate marketing, sponsorship deals etc.
These live streaming platforms have been Chidi’s – a software engineer who enjoys gaming on the side -go-to financial backup plan. According to him, he has made millions of naira just using these platforms.
Best online games to focus on
Some of the most popular online video games in the space are PUBG, Call of Duty, Fortnite, Among Us, Assassins’ Creed, Mine Craft, FIFA, Grand Theft Auto, League of Leagues, Candy Crush Saga etc.
Challenges you are likely to face as a gamer in Nigeria
Although these are fantastic ways to earn money, many factors might hinder your success story and financial gain in this industry.
- Electricity Supply: Although this is a widespread issue in Nigeria, it can negatively impact your gaming performance, especially if you live stream.
- Poor internet connectivity: Nigeria has an extremely slow internet connection, making it difficult to play these online games against a foreign team with a fast internet connection.
- Cost of internet Subscription: You need adequate data to play online games. For instance, Fortnite uses between 50 and 100 megabytes (MB) every hour, which can cause a huge dent in your monthly broadband allowance as a typical Nigerian.
- Expensive gaming equipment: Although many Nigerian gamers use mobile devices, most yearn for expensive gaming consoles. Tochukwu has been playing CODM since 2017 and has always wanted his PlayStation. However, due to the cost and his present financial situation as a student, he can only afford a laptop, which is not ideal for gaming.
At the end of the day, it doesn’t hurt to earn money from an activity you would casually engage in for hours. This could just be one of your many streams of income.
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