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If you could make a living by playing video games, would you do it? It’s definitely possible – hundreds and thousands of people do it every year – but your options are pretty limited and it may not be as fun as you think it’ll be. Still interested? Keep reading.

Before we begin, let’s make a distinction between indirect and direct sources of income from video games. Indirect income doesn’t come from a particular game but outside activities that can be applied to any game, such as streaming, blogging, and testing 6 Ways To Actually Make Money Playing Video Games [MUO Gaming] 6 Ways To Actually Make Money Playing Video Games [MUO Gaming] Getting paid to play video games is the dream of many young gamers. While it may seem like an impossible dream, there are many people out there making some money – or even a living... Read More . Direct income is specifically tied to a certain game.

This article is about direct income. Here are some titles that have elements of real money transaction built right into the game’s core design, allowing you to walk away from a gaming session with a few more dollars in your pocket.

Team Fortress 2 & Dota 2

video-game-income-team-fortress-2

Team Fortress 2 (TF2) was Valve’s chosen franchise to spearhead their “cosmetic item market” approach to revenue. The market concept itself wasn’t new, but Valve’s execution of the idea is what really drove the game’s success.

In short, cosmetic items make you look different. Some items look cooler than others. Some items are so cool that players are willing to pay money to acquire them. Therefore, by engaging in item trading, you can exchange your goods with another player for real dollars. This is all permitted, even encouraged, by Valve.

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But there’s more. Earlier this year, Valve disclosed that over 90% of the items in TF2 were actually created by players. Thanks to the Item Workshop, users can submit models and textures to be voted on by the community. Those that succeed are sold in the TF2 store and the creators receive a cut of the profits.

Item trading and workshop creation both also exist in Valve’s other free-to-play game, Dota 2 What Is Dota 2 & Why Should You Care? What Is Dota 2 & Why Should You Care? In the world of games, Valve Corporation has recently grown into one of the largest and most consistent game publishers (with the skyrocketing success of their Steam distribution network) and game developers (with the international... Read More .

Second Life

video-game-income-second-life

Second Life is a uniquely social MMORPG that debuted over a decade ago. Does anyone even talk about it anymore? Hasn’t it fallen off the radar? To my surprise, not only is Second Life going strong, but it has a strong player-centric economy from which you can make real money.

It all revolves around the in-game currency, Linden Dollars (L$). Players can earn L$ by engaging in various activities in the game. Some activities are quite passive, such as sitting on camping chairs, while others require skill, such as creating virtual content and trading virtual real estate.

Some players would rather save time and spend cash for L$, so you can sell your surplus L$ to other players on the LindeX Currency Exchange for real money. The exchange rate changes based on supply and demand, but tends to hover around L$ 260 for every $1 USD. With time and perseverance, it’s possible to make a profit on the Exchange.

Entropia Universe

video-game-income-entropia-universe

There’s another MMORPG in the same vein as Second Life that’s built on a real cash economy: Entropia Universe, formerly known as Project Entropia. This game isn’t a pure social world as there are actual gameplay elements (e.g., hunting, missions, crafting, etc.) so it does feel more like a traditional MMORPG than Second Life.

The currency is called Project Entropia Dollars (PED) and exists at a fixed exchange rate of 10 PED per $1 USD. What’s unique about Entropia Universe is that PED can be directly withdrawn into a bank account – no middleman necessary. In a very real way, Entropia Universe is the closest thing you’ll find to a game whose economy is directly related to actual money.

EVE Online

video-game-income-eve-online

EVE Online differs from the other games on this list because you can’t actually withdraw cash. However, if you play the game well and know how to maximize your gameplay efficiency, you can end up playing the game for free (it normally costs a $15 USD monthly subscription).

Here’s how it works. Players can purchase an in-game item called a Pilot’s License Extension (PLEX) with cash. PLEX has a few uses, the main one being that it will add 30 days of game time to your account. The best part is that PLEX can be traded with other players for in-game currency, Interstellar Kredits (ISK).

Therefore, it’s possible to play for free as long as you can make enough ISK before your game time runs out. That’s just one of several reasons why you should play EVE Online 5 Reasons To Give Eve Online A Second Chance 5 Reasons To Give Eve Online A Second Chance Over the past few years CCP Games have made changes to help newbies dig into Eve’s massive universe, and they’ve paid off. Read More .

Conclusion

In all of these games, there’s no guarantee that you’ll make a profit. Want to make money playing games? You’re going to have to sink in a lot of hours, which can eventually turn fun gameplay into work. There are stories of people who earn thousands of dollars per month, but they are the exception. Keep that in mind!

Are there any other games out there that allow players to make money from gameplay? Diablo III’s real-money auction house would’ve been a great example if it hadn’t shut down just a few months ago. Share your thoughts with us in the comments!

  1. AVID GAMER
    October 7, 2016 at 7:50 pm

    Whoever is reading this, EVE online is not a game where you can get money out of. If you are looking for games where you can get paid in REAL CASH, then the other ones are for you; although it will be very difficult and long until you get a return. However, EVE online's cash revolves only in game, you CANNOT convert it into real money. All the news or articles you see about people losing $300 or more is nothing more than in game items that they use their TIME to grind for them. They did not lose any REAL CASH only their TIME to get them; and the only way they know how to convert them into $$$$ is because of how much the PLEX are. Or they actually did spend real $$$$ for PLEX like idiots when they SHOULD know they can just receive the item in game. DO NOT BE FOOL by EVE online as a game where you can make REAL CASH. As an avid gamer and grinder EVE online PLEX is no different than Runescape membership bonds. You buy the bonds to become a member in Runescape and PLEX in EVE online to be able to access all the ships/markets, aka you became a member. I am getting sick and tired of seeing EVE in the articles where you can make real money. I am a grinder and I know how much time I put into all my games and EVE = Runescape. Just the same as trying to convert the game's currency in real $$$$, you will get ban. AND like each other, you can always make a free account. Just please stop putting EVE online as a real cash economy game because it is not. You will never receive money, ever, playing EVE; perhaps in a couple of years when you become a head of some massive corporation(s), but other than that you will never receive any income. I am only here to help inform others who are looking for RCE games, not trying to flame on anyone, just getting the message out there. Have a great day!

  2. Nathan Andre
    August 11, 2016 at 3:10 am

    how can i start playing these games i want to play it and earn cash while playing

  3. MiaJones
    June 28, 2016 at 8:26 am

    Interesting post . I personally use Earn Honey . You can also try it ..

  4. Hannah
    May 23, 2016 at 4:31 am

    you can also make money on imvu lots of money

  5. Hasan
    March 30, 2016 at 9:38 pm

    Virtual game currency trading is actually becoming a big business.

    I am a student at university and I spend 2 hour/day to make 700-800$ every month.

    All i'm doing is playing one of my favourite MMORPG game(which used to be my fav actually)
    and spending 2 hour a day trading, selling/buying stuff. And which is very fun for me.

    Of course I used to make a lot less than that. And now you can earn even more than $1k a month if you good at virtual currency making.

    As a side note: I'm neither running any bot company nor using any third-party software to cheat on games. As we all know those companies are already making millions.

    Guess what? This is all I have to say and I am not going to give you any scam link after my comment.

    • radit
      April 18, 2016 at 4:14 am

      wow dats very nice, sory for my bad english, can u tell me what game r u playing? i want to be one game with u, maybe u can guide me or something :P

      • Je
        May 20, 2016 at 9:03 am

        Hey hasan ! Can u share with me wha mmorpg that can give u alot of bucks ?

      • Kristoffer
        June 28, 2016 at 1:07 pm

        dude can you tell me too what game you played cuz i don't have nothing else to do with the computer only playing league T_T

    • eeeh
      June 29, 2016 at 3:07 am

      Yeah, right. You're not gonna leave any scam link, but not gonna provide the name of the game either.

  6. Aakriti Basu
    January 13, 2016 at 10:38 am

    Very informative. Nice to read it. I also recommended you Bulmen. This is a site where you have earn money with some easy ways like taking surveys or clicking links.. Have fun and enjoy earning money..

  7. mik
    December 16, 2015 at 11:24 am

    Entropia good game if you are rich ... u can not win money but u are very fun ^^ if u are like lose money =)

  8. Aakriti Basu
    December 4, 2015 at 12:33 pm

    This is just awesome! I had a dream of creating something like this myself .I use Bulmen to earn money from home by completing surveys.You can also try it. Good luck!

    • radit
      April 18, 2016 at 4:16 am

      bulmen only work in india, :( geez i want to try it too

  9. Aakriti Basu
    December 4, 2015 at 12:27 pm

    This is just awesome! I had a dream of creating something like this myself , but i got stuck pretty fast. It's works just great. I really hope this will break through. Good luck!

  10. viralstu
    July 7, 2015 at 9:22 pm

    If your not an elite gamer or don't have nice breasts to show off on Twitch there is another way you can making money video gaming.  Check an app called "Big Time" by a company called Winr Games.  I've made a few hundred dollars playing their games for free.

    https://www.winrgames.com
    http://itunes.apple.com/app/id903185352
    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.winrgames.bigtime

  11. Anonymous
    February 8, 2015 at 1:01 pm

    Do you really get real money?

    • Joel
      March 20, 2015 at 12:30 pm

      Yes, it's possible to cash out in real dollars with Second Life and Entropia Universe. Team Fortress 2, Dota 2, and EVE Online can also net you real cash if you go through unofficial trade channels (real money transactions).

  12. Anonymous
    February 8, 2015 at 1:00 pm

    Sorry but those games look boring.....

  13. timiee
    December 16, 2014 at 4:19 pm

    you forgot marketglory, although its a whole different concept than the ones you mentioned, you can earn cash here to:

    marketglory.com/strategygame/timiee500

  14. weewitzki
    December 11, 2014 at 4:46 am

    Game Money, Paid to play, Play Game Earn Money ->

  15. Ricardo
    November 29, 2014 at 5:18 pm

    Well, i'll just leave this here.
    http://www.goldentowns.com/?i=135908
    No money invested, I already got 110€, and gold value rises everyday ;)
    Hope you like and I can guide you if you need it.

  16. msindie
    November 29, 2014 at 2:30 am

    Been playing MarketGlory for few days. Feel free to check it out marketglory.com/strategygame/MsIndependent

  17. James
    November 28, 2014 at 11:18 am

    Wurm Online is a Sandbox game where the ingame currency silver and gold are Real cash as well. You can buy 10silver from the actual website for 16euro, you can also sell anything in the game including your account on the website for real cash. There is an unlimited ftp where you can get all skills to 20, to go beyond that you need to get premium. You make bricks or mortar or other bulk crafting items and sell them in game for silver thus paying for your premium time and a land deed if you want it.. or sell the silver on the website.

    http://www.wurmonline.com/

  18. Daniel
    November 11, 2014 at 8:04 pm

    You can add Dofus too :)

    • Rook
      February 26, 2015 at 8:30 pm

      In what way? Are you referring to the opportunity to maintain the game without paying the subscription fee?

  19. Mal
    October 11, 2014 at 4:21 pm

    Play Strategy Game Online on MarketGlory and earn Money !
    marketglory.com/strategygame/Made98

  20. chado
    October 10, 2014 at 7:31 pm

    Try out this online economy game. $5 or $10 can get you good in game investments and you can either withdraw your profits or grow. marketglory.com/strategygame/chado9000

    • rafiq
      May 14, 2015 at 12:28 am

      chado I followed your link now im paying you taxes i hope your happy

  21. Matt S
    June 3, 2014 at 3:59 pm

    You can still sell accounts. Not great money in it, though. Multiple max-levels in World of Warcraft usually net just a few hundred dollars, if that.

    • Corby
      June 4, 2014 at 9:04 pm

      WoW accounts are legally owned by Blizzard, not the player, and they do not allow selling accounts, therefore, despite the fact that people do it, it is technically illegal.

  22. Ohwellz
    June 3, 2014 at 3:16 pm

    I can't believe you didn't mention League of Legends or WoW.

    • Joel L
      June 3, 2014 at 3:24 pm

      I'm not aware of any way to make direct income from those games. That excludes tournaments, streaming, etc. Actual monetary gain from gameplay. If there's something like that in LoL or WoW, please let me know!

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