Top News

Perfecting his game


Matthew Shea of Fogo has turned his hobby of playing video games into a business.

Shea

He supports himself by making YouTube videos of himself playing video games.

Shea features the videos on his YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/user/MattShea369/featured) and not only plays the games, but also offers helpful pointers to other enthusiastic players.

“As more people know who you are and more people watch, it just keeps going,” he said.

Shea – who now gets about 13 million views a month – has been making videos since 2013 said It’s straightforward, but time consuming.

“I turn on my camera and I set up my recording software,” he said. “The camera records my face and then I use my recording software to record the game that I’m playing. It also records my microphone. After I’ve done the recording I’ll play the game for half-an-hour or so. I’ll take the footage from my camera and the game and the audio from my microphone, put it all together and cut out all the boring parts. I’ll export it then and put it on You Tube.”

If people like what they see, they subscribe to Shea’s channel. His videos will then show up in their news feed.

Shea now has over 675,000 subscribers from all over the world.

It’s free to subscribe, he said.

He earns his money through ad revenue.

“Companies pay money to put ads on the videos. I’ve been able to make a living like this since September 2014,” Shea said. “That’s when he hit one million views a week.”

Shea understands that there are people out there who believe he spends his day playing video games.

That’s not the case, he said.

“I don’t play that many video games. Most of my day is spent planning the videos, then editing them and uploading them. Then I work in Photoshop (program) to make the graphics.”

Shea works seven days a week. Success has depended on a great deal of commitment and dedication.

A self-described tech-savvy person, Shea said one of his most popular videos is The Siege – a game based on building medieval weapons.

“That got really popular online because it’s a really sharable game,” Shea said. “You can make all kinds of whacky creations. People were sharing it all over the Internet and the game blew up. It came out of nowhere but everybody started playing it. And I happened to end up being the one leading the search results for The Siege.”

Another game that’s really popular is an online multi-player game called Agario.

His Agario video has about 2.5 million views.

“Agario and The Siege have been my two biggest (games) but there have been lots of games that have come and went where they have done really well for me at the time but as people start to lose interest it stops being my most popular video. It’s all about what’s trending at the moment,” he said.

A Pilot paper carrier for many years, Shea graduated from Memorial University in April with a behavioural sciences degree.

He now lives in St. John’s and hopes to eventually get accepted into medical school (his first attempt was unsuccessful). In the meantime, he’ll continue making a living doing what he loves doing best – and what his success has proven he does extremely well.

Operating his own YouTube channel requires great people skills as well as discipline and time management skills – all traits that would bode him well on his quest to become a doctor.

“I don’t know what the future is going to hold for me, but even if I do this for five years or so and then try to get into medical school again… There are lots of people in medical school who aren’t fresh out of an undergraduate degree. They have a lot of life experience and I think this is a good stepping stone (into medicine) for me.”

Shea said it’s always been a dream to make a living (even for the short term) from what was once just a hobby. However, he said, he “definitely didn’t expect it to become his job.”

“I feel like I lucked out. I can’t believe it.”

 

danette@nl.rogers.com

 

 

Recent Stories