A self-styled geek has taken earning a living through his hobby to another level – by starting a business and hiring others to play computer games.
James Hunt, 28, hopes to achieve a £500,000 turnover within 12 months by streaming popular games like Fortnite, Fifa and Mario Kart online through his company HYPD.
Unlike most streamers who work alone, James has set up office in a business park and will also employ other gamers to work for him – for £8-an-hour.
James, who is based in Whitstable, Kent, said: ‘So far, nobody’s told me that they don’t like coming into work. They don’t have that Monday morning feeling here.
Everyone who works here knows they need to know about the latest games and be good at them – they’re questions we ask at interviews.
‘If gaming isn’t a part of your lifestyle then this isn’t the company for you to work for.
‘Everyone jumps in and out of playing games – even the person who deals with the finances.’
He recently advertised part time jobs which pay £8 per hour and hopes to place his videos among the world’s most viewed.
James added: ‘They would be broadcast playing Fortnite and Fifa on Twitch, a website dedicated to live streaming video games.
‘We want to be one of the top five most-viewed gaming platforms out there.
‘We looked at the numbers in terms of website visitors the other day and we’d need about five million unique visitors per month to get there.
‘We’re waiting for our website to be launched in a couple of weeks and we definitely feel like we can be in the top five in four or five months.’
In recent years online streaming has grown in popularity with top YouTube channels raking in millions of pounds in advertising revenue.
James said: ‘There are quite a few revenue streams for us. Sometimes a brand will come to us and say ‘we need a million views on this video within a week’ and then we’ll charge it depending on where and who it wants to target. Another way is platforms, like Facebook, paying us monthly per video view we get. We’ll also launch a gaming store, which will sell merchandise.’
HYPD gaming has eight staff and plans to move into new offices in the near future.
James dedicated the company to gaming after running a series of other Facebook pages which specialised in fitness, food and viral content.
He said: ‘Gaming is now what I want us to do for the next five to ten years.
‘It’s a passion of quite a few people who work here already and it’s quite easy to create content because you just plug in a PlayStation and go.
‘A few people I know have built up networks and then sold them on, which is something we could do.’