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Next Time Your Kid Wants To Play Video Games All Day, Hear Them Out First


Image via Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

If you're a parent and argue with your kids for wanting to play video games all day, maybe you should hear them out first. Being a gamer is quickly transforming from a fun way to kill time to a potentially lucrative career.


Not convinced? In July, a 16-year old won $3 million after winning the Fortnite World Cup. Three others also became millionaires during the event, where the developer of Fortnite paid out $30 million in prize money. Video game developers are paying "live-streamers," people who play new releases online to help generate a buzz, upwards of $50,000 per hour. These top live-streamers are making almost as much as the median household income to play video games for an hour.


Esports, a form of competition using video games, is growing exponentially. It's estimated that by 2021, esports will have more viewers than every U.S. professional sports league except the NFL. Professional sports leagues such as the NBA and MLS have partnered with video game developers to create esports leagues. ESPN, which has been one of the worst hit networks from the cord-cutting trend, has inked a deal to bring esports to its viewers. The International Olympic Committee has even gotten to the point of considering adding esports to the Olympics.


Even if you're not getting paid to be a live-streamer or a player in an esports league, there is an increasingly active market for people simply watching others play online. Young gamers aged 18-25 are spending 3 hours and 25 minutes per week watching other people play video games. That's almost more than an hour than they spend watching traditional sports.


Technology companies are throwing money at this growing market. Amazon paid almost $1 billion for video game-streaming site Twitch in 2014. At the time, it was one of their largest acquisitions and it has certainly paid off. Alexa, which ranks website traffic, lists Twitch as the 37th most visited website in the world, ahead of websites such as Pornhub, ESPN and the New York Times. Logitech, the company that's popular for its products such as computer mouses and keyboards, just acquired Streamlabs, which enables live-streamers to overlay everything from sponsorship logos to donation alerts on video game streams. Google's YouTube is also a popular portal for live-streamers, becoming the top site for mobile video game-streaming.


The video game world has come a long way from the days of Duck Hunt and Super Mario. With the rise of esports and live-streaming, the old stereotypes of gamers are already starting to fade. After all, the people who are turning gaming into lucrative careers may be the ones with the last laugh while many people are saddled with student loan debt at a job they hate.


Leftover Crumbs

  • Stocks fell so the rumor was denied. After news broke on Friday that the Trump administration was debating curbing U.S. investments in China, including blocking Chinese companies from listing on U.S. stock exchanges, the rumor was denied on Saturday by the Treasury Department. The Treasury's spokeswoman said "The administration is not contemplating blocking Chinese companies from listing shares on U.S. stock exchanges at this time." Coincidentally, Nasdaq is tightening restrictions and slowing down the approval process for IPOs of small Chinese companies. These IPOs typically see funds come from Chinese sources and remain closely held by Chinese insiders, ultimately becoming unattractive to U.S.-based institutional investors.

  • Apparently not forever. Apparel retailer Forever 21 is the latest company to be hit by the "retail apocalypse," filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last night. The retailer obtained $350 million in financing to support operations through the bankruptcy. The company, which has 815 stores globally, will close 178 stores in the U.S. Forever 21 is the 7th-largest tenant of Simon Property Group, which is the largest shopping mall operator in the U.S.

  • Would it have happened if they went up? The Securities and Exchange Commission announced a new "Test-the-Waters" rule that could help prevent IPOs from flopping, such as recent IPOs SmileDirectClub and Peloton. The rule will allow companies to gauge investor interest by meeting with “qualified institutional buyers” and “institutional accredited investors” before going public or raising public funds. Previously, under the 2012 JOBS Act, only companies with annual revenues under $1.07 billion were able to do so.

  • Pretty sure that's a corn silo. Elon Musk unveiled a SpaceX rocket prototype with the goal of sending humans to the moon and eventually Mars. Musk, who is notorious for over-promising and under-delivering at Tesla, says the shuttle could have its first orbital flight within six months. If that is successful, the shuttle could transport humans to space within the next year. Musk said of the prototype, it's "the most inspiring thing that I've ever seen."

  • Maybe they should've acquired MoviePass. Apple will release its original films to theaters before they're available on their new streaming service Apple TV+. The move may be, in part, to allow the films to compete for awards. Netflix has been in a dispute with the Cannes Film Festival for years after they determined films that don't have a theatrical release are banned from the film competition.