As hobbies and pastimes go, video gaming has become a permanent fixture in popular culture and society in Australia, where more than 80% of the populace now acknowledge that playing games is one of their favourite leisure pursuits.
But far beyond providing simple and fun entertainment, and something to keep us busy in our spare time, gaming has also become serious business for many people Down Under. There are also four major segments of gaming, each generating massive revenues for the wider industry, and the local economy in Australia itself. Likewise, certain entrepreneurial spirits have taken their gaming to the next level, turning their fun into something that can also earn them a living.
According to recent Esports Insider analysis, business for this rapidly growing segment of gaming remains largely untapped, even if Australia is prominently positioned as the face of esports in Oceania. But scope for profitability does exist among the most dedicated players, who have achieved global recognition and significant earnings. The most successful to date is Anathan Pham from Melbourne, who has earned more than $9 million AUD from Dota 2 tournaments.
His remarkable success has inspired countless Aussie gamers, and a greater appreciation towards professional gaming and esports in the country itself. In October 2023, IEM Sydney established a new record for concurrent viewership across the Oceania region, as millions watch live streams of the tournaments, peaking at 463,081 viewers on Twitch. This highlights the potential and of esports in Australia, amidst forecasts of sustained profitability for participants and event organisers alike.
Still gaining traction to a certain degree, blockchain technology is finally beginning to make a real breakthrough in mainstream gaming. The initial impetus was prompted by ownership of digital assets, particularly in online games, due to in-game assets holding no monetary value previously. That changed with non-fungible tokens (NFTs) held on blockchains, which meant that players could buy and sell or trade their in-game assets.
Now that genuine ownership and control is possible, player-driven economies have evolved and particularly Web3 gaming platforms in Australia, which are the next step in the evolution of blockchain games. This allows for the opportunity for players to turn their gaming entertainment into a profitable enterprise, and for some people it has even become their principal vocation.
Aussie participation in online gambling (also known as iGaming), is higher than any other country in the world, given that recent surveys indicate that three in four adults regularly wager at online casinos or sports betting sites. Now let’s be clear, any form of gambling involves an element of risk and there are never any guarantees of winning, although many players do still look for ways to gain an advantage. Particularly those who consider themselves to be professional gamblers.
The biggest advantage comes from being well informed, learning how games work and the probabilities of winning or losing, along with researching the highest payout casinos based upon expert reviews. No two sites are the same and the most reputable are known for transparency and fairness, which enables players to better understand the probabilities of success or failure, aiding the chances of profitability and their overall enjoyment.
While there’s nothing quite like the hands-on experience of playing exciting new games, watching people play has become remarkably popular over the last several years. Platforms like Twitch and YouTube are full of live streams and “let’s play” videos, where people can sit back an enjoy everything from live action to in-depth guides and game reviews. For the hosts, these have become highly profitable ventures, thanks to sponsorship deals and advertising.Based on the latest numbers for 2023 via GamePro, the most popular Aussie game streamer is Harley Fresh, who boasts almost 5 million followers on Twitch and nearly 8 million on YouTube. Some of his top Fortnite gameplay videos have racked up more than 10 million views each, although he regularly offers five-figure cash challenges for people to beat him playing different games, indicating how much he’s making from turning his gaming activity into a professional activity.