Remember all those times that some crotchety adult figure wrenched a gaming controller from your grasp, stating that nothing profitable would ever come from such wasted time?
Well, it’s time to laugh in victory, as somebody is making a sizeable living off of sheer escapist entertainment.
“Call of Duty” is the most popular video game on the planet. With millions of fans and even more hours logged playing the game, it has been the cause of failing grades and non-existent social lives.
But people have made careers on the mindless first-person shooter. The average American in his or her early twenties is lucky to have a 5-figure job. But Matt Haag, known across the Internet as Nadeshot, makes close to $1,000,000 per year rampaging through the generic first person shooter.
It’s normal to be overwhelmed with jealousy that Haag manages to make more than most professionals with years of experience in their field. But let’s break down just how much more Haag makes over some people with mundane occupations, according to Pay Scale.
o The average Office Manager makes $41,703 a year.
o The average Police Officer makes $47, 6434 a year.
o The average High School Teacher makes $44, 779 a year.
o The average fast food worker–Haag’s old job–makes less than $20,000 a year.
And there’s a trend behind his success. Competitive gaming is trending in popularity; sites like Twitch and YouTube attract streamers from across the planet. Major League Gaming (MLG) inked a broadcasting partnership deal with CBS Interactive in 2012. In addition, Sundance DiGiovanni, the CEO of MLG, stated in an interview with Forbes that he’s received acquisition inquiries from notable figures.
“We’ve been approached in the past by big players,” DiGiovanni told Forbes, “We currently have people approaching us now asking us about that, but we’re not going to rush. I think there’s still a lot of growth available to us. There’s still a lot of work to be done to ensure that this is a stable, healthy business that has the ability to scale over time. I’ll take those calls and go to those meetings, but I’m not rushing at the moment. Again, it’s interesting; I’ve had people come along who were far more motivated and see the opportunity in terms of what this could potentially become over the next five years or so.”
Haag’s gaming skills have gotten him lavish trips to Southern California, where professionals in the video game business gave him VIP treatment.
“For the trip to Los Angeles,” The New York Times writes, “Red Bull paid for Mr. Haag and his teammates to live in Venice Beach. During the day, the company shuttled them to its headquarters in Santa Monica for workouts and other training. At night, they lingered in a high-tech studio and played video games into the wee hours.
Mr. Haag is the face of the growing business of video games as a spectator sport. Thanks to live tournaments and online video-streaming sites like Twitch, which Amazon bought for $1 billion in August, video games have become something to watch, not just play.”
With a lucrative salary and an involvement with a business that will only grow in popularity, Haag is making a king’s ransom playing a video game.