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How an everyday guy makes $500,000 a year playing Fortnite

By mongeese · 19 replies
Oct 21, 2018
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  1. An average day for Nick: wake up around 9 am, discuss business with the team and get to work on a YouTube video. Finish the YouTube video by 3 pm, and then get ready to stream from 5 pm to 10 pm. Playing video games for hours every day might sound like slacking off for some, but when you take it seriously and analyse every match, the working week becomes brutal. "I don’t go out with friends ever," Nick says. "I'm streaming every day."

    If there’s an update to Fortnite, the day is even longer: he gets up at 3 am and immediately begins work on making a new video about the update. “It helps get my channel name out there more,” he says it’s a necessity to focus on staying current.

    Nick received his first gaming console, a Nintendo 64 when he was just six. “It might have been, at the time, his biggest regret,” Nick said when referring to his father after he’d given Nick the system. One day, when he got home from school, he discovered that his father has sold his Xbox to end Nick's gaming addiction. “I freaked out. I was so mad at him.” He didn’t play video games for two years.

    Once he was 14, he simply got a job and brought an Xbox himself. His father was very unimpressed.

    “The best advice he gave me is, if you’re going to do this, you need to find a way to make money from it.”

    Having moved out from his mother's basement he can reveal that he “never thought” he was going to make any money. “I literally only did it because I liked to do it."

    He recently discussed how he sustains his income with Des Moines Register and Yahoo Finance: “Most people are used to working a job, getting a paycheck,” Nick said. “Simple. With live streaming and YouTube, it’s much more complex.” Most YouTube gamers will be partnered with a Multi-Channel Network (MCN) that act as their agents and tell them what to do to make their money.

    According to Nick, and MCN will say, “‘We have, you know, 10,000 creators that get this many views per month.’ And YouTube says, ‘All right, we’ll find ads for them.’ They take a percentage of that advertisement… They give a percentage to the network, and the network pays you a percentage based on your contract.”

    Twitch works pretty differently: “On Twitch, a lot of the revenue that you make is usually through the people watching you. People will tip you $2, or $3, or they subscribe, similar to like an old-fashioned magazine subscription…

    “Twitch charges them for the subscription, $5 a month on average. The creator of the streamer gets a percentage of that. Twitch gets a percentage of that. And, in return, they get access to some extra benefits in the stream, and they also get some extra benefits sometimes from the streamer themselves. They might have like a day where they play with fans.”

    While getting paid a fortune to play video games all day is crazy enough, Nick says one of the weirdest parts is when people recognize him in public. “I’ve had fans stop me and take pictures at Target, or … I might see somebody and do an autograph or a picture.” He’s even had fans show up to his front door before. “It’s a little bit awkward because most people don’t expect a video game player at a local restaurant. Like, ‘Is that guy famous?’ No, I just play video games.”

    These days, playing video games can make you just as much a celebrity as playing soccer for your country or performing for the president.

    Permalink to story.

  2. Lionvibez

    Lionvibez TS Evangelist Posts: 1,477   +644

    Having random strangers show up at your door is dangerous if this guy had a family that would be a show stopper.
    Darth Shiv likes this.
  3. EEatGDL

    EEatGDL TS Evangelist Posts: 702   +401

    If he has no problem with his schedule, good for him, but I wouldn't stand so many hours a day, everyday of doing something because you have to. I used to work from home, when I was at college, and it was bearable because it was a half-time job with good pay, and then I had time to do other things. And that's another thing: you aren't always in the mood of doing something, even playing videogames; so being forced to do that they days you don't want to is exhausting and not enjoyable.
  4. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Posts: 2,842   +193

    I had thought about this myself while playing STO Star Trek Online but this game seems to be more of crowd pleaser though.
  5. texasrattler

    texasrattler TS Evangelist Posts: 748   +296

    For him though, it's a business which is why he makes that much. Ninja is the same way and he makes a lot more. Playing video games is what makes him money but there is so much more that goes into, no different than trying to run a company. These people do a lot and also get a lot in return. They like doing it so more power to them.

    I just like playing video games and while I may even play longer than this guy, he is doing more than playing so that is what generates him money. I just play games. Also im not interested in the whole social aspect of ppl watching me or seeing me.

    The other side, the dark side of things is also some of the these so called celebrities (Steamers) get away with cheating and some other crap. They think they are good but as we've seen some get in trouble, while not always cheating, at least not in games, some do get away with sh*t though.
    Devs need to do more against this and crack down on players they pay to sponsor their games.
    MaikuTech, gamoniac and EEatGDL like this.
  6. Nobina

    Nobina TS Evangelist Posts: 2,033   +1,552

    How the **** is one guy playing Fortnite considered esports?
    trgz likes this.
  7. Arris

    Arris TS Evangelist Posts: 4,696   +432

    I think it just talks about his daily routine, although I'd have expected scrims/practice rather than just making videos and streaming. Unless he is an adviser/manager for the team rather than a team member..
  8. gollum21

    gollum21 TS Enthusiast Posts: 45   +14

    Those hours do sound brutal but 300k a year MINIMUM sounds like it makes it all worth it. For every 1 year he works he makes enough to live off of a personal budget of say, 50k a year for 6 years. Minimum. Obviously 10 years for his max at 500k. In 5 years he could retire. I'd work 11 hour+ days for that hands down
    Arris likes this.
  9. Nobina

    Nobina TS Evangelist Posts: 2,033   +1,552

    Also take into consideration if he didn't have that job what else would he do? His sort seems competent only for playing games so this job fits him perfectly.
  10. j05hh

    j05hh TS Addict Posts: 187   +57

    Career path today... Work towards a 2 or 4 yr degree- get a job. Find a trade / skilled labor- get an apprenticeship- get a job , Military or Game
  11. Kirudub

    Kirudub TS Rookie

    Don't forget taxes. I'm 47, own an ad agency and currently make just shy of $400K before taxes.... but I also paid @ $60K+ estimated taxes to the IRS last year, and I'm sure it'll be more this year since last year had some dead months. Feast or famine, baby.

    I'm very frugal, don't have college debt and I don't have children to worry about bankrolling. But even after saving up money for possible down time (6 months minimum), and putting $ it into IRAs, etc. for the future, you can be damn sure I'm not going to be able to retire until I'm an old man, if at all. Lief isn't getting any cheaper.

    But thankfully I love my work and can put in regular hours, with long days here and there, so I feel truly fortunate. I've dealt with far worse over my design career, so I guess I've paid heavy dues to get where I am right now.

    It's great that he's enjoying his occupation, but it sounds more like dicey contract work, and it's scarily dependent on you being popular. The moment that fades what the hell are you supposed to do?

    He's not going to be able to retire in 10 years, trust me. He might save up some money if he's smart, but he's going to have to end up looking for another contract, or another field of work altogether.
  12. texasrattler

    texasrattler TS Evangelist Posts: 748   +296

    But that's life. Nothing last forever. Adapt or get left behind. Life waits for no one. Enjoy life as much as you can, live in the moments, no one controls tomorrow.
  13. Kirudub

    Kirudub TS Rookie

    I agree completely. I still learn something new almost daily just from learning new techniques, etc.

    I was pointing out to Gollum that their somewhat rose-tinted view of this guy being able to retire after grinding away for 10 years is in the realm of reality.
  14. BobHome

    BobHome TS Enthusiast Posts: 49   +20

    You missed the part of: degree obsolete in a couple of years, go get another degree.
  15. Darth Shiv

    Darth Shiv TS Evangelist Posts: 1,971   +581

    Someone with this level of computer proficiency is likely to be able to find an IT job. Once you are in IT AND you are a competent you can make $200k+ at senior levels.
  16. money

    money TS Enthusiast Posts: 62   +15

    You can draw parallels with poker - very few people have the patience to play it for hours let alone days and weeks on end, that's why we see more or less the same people succeed in poker tournaments.
  17. amghwk

    amghwk TS Guru Posts: 567   +350

    This guy seems very disciplined with his timing. That's what paying him off. Making loads of money by playing games is a dream come true.
    Bigboy98 likes this.
  18. gollum21

    gollum21 TS Enthusiast Posts: 45   +14

    One tactic online poker players use for patience (and to make more money of course) is to play as many cash tables as they feel comfortable with at once. That way they don't have to wait for the more playable hands at any one individual table and they are always getting some sort of action. It definitely takes a ton of patience to get to the point where you can play multiple tables at once let alone one table and still be profitable even at microstakes. I'd even go as far to say that it takes more patience at the lower microstakes levels since most of the players are playing super tight at those levels anyways
  19. Kaiden

    Kaiden TS Rookie

    This is article is wrong on so many levels that is not the minimum amount and thats not how much he makes at all he said in a different interview that someone in his profession can make that much
  20. Kaiden

    Kaiden TS Rookie

    He has a college degree

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