He was ready to collect $1 million for a day's work - all without leaving his house.
And while the work entailed split-second decision-making and a laserlike focus for 10 hours, the day ahead had nothing to do with high-frequency trading, cryptocurrencies or market activity of any kind.
Instead, the player Ninja - known in real life as Tyler Blevins - was playing the video game Apex Legends, created by Respawn Entertainment LLC, before an audience of 12 million followers on the gaming platform Twitch.
Before Apex Legends, Blevins had helped popularize the video game Fortnite, which debuted in late 2017. It went on to become a multibillion-dollar hit.
In 2018, Blevins made $10 million from streaming his games on Twitch as well as posting them on YouTube for his 20 million followers.
While it's been for Blevins, investors in these games' creators haven't done badly, either.
Many people still associate video games with adolescents. But the average age of a U.S. gamer is 34. Over a quarter are older than 45. In another stereotype-defying statistic, 46% of U.S. gamers are female.
In addition to the surprising diversity in the global gaming population, there's the sheer breadth to consider. About 3.24 billion people around the world play video games, with the biggest market being Asia with 1.48 billion gamers.
Video games are so popular in China that President Xi Jinping even took steps to curtail rampant video game addiction among China's youth. Xi ordered gaming companies to prevent anyone under 18 from playing video games from Monday to Thursday, with only an hour permitted per day for the rest of the week.
The biggest winner of the rise in gaming may not be who you'd think.
Since 2017, games like Fortnite and Apex Legends have attracted millions of paying gamers, but the share prices of their creators have stayed largely flat. Tencent Holdings Ltd. (OTCMKTS: TCEHY), owner of Epic Games Inc., has declined over the five-year period, partly as a result of Xi's wrath. And Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: EA), which bought Apex Legends publisher Respawn in 2017, has returned just 10% since late the acquisition.
For investors looking to play the global gaming trend more aggressively, one option is startups in the gaming industry. Gameflip is a leading gaming marketplace that uses blockchain technology that allows users to "flip" their gaming items and assets. Its 6 million users have already given the company $140 million in sales.
See more on startup investing from Benzinga.
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