April 2, 2014

Teenager earns £24,000 a year uploading YouTube videos of himself playing Grand Theft Auto

Student Fred Pye, 17, pictured, from Shrewsbury records himself playing Grand Theft Auto V on his Xbox - despite the fact he's too young to play the game legally. Since 2012 he has amassed more than 25 million views for his YouTube clips and earns more than £2,000 ($3,300) a month from advertising

YouTube is once gain proving how lucrative it can be as yet another teenager claims to be making a living from the video site.

Student Fred Pye, 17, is making more than £24,000 a year in advertising on videos of him playing Grand Theft Auto V - despite the fact he’s too young to play the game legally.

Pye has amassed more than 25 million views of his YouTube clips, which  offer gamers advice on playing the action-adventure series, and is earning £2,000 ($3,300) a month from the comfort of his bedroom.

In two years, Pye's YouTube channel NoughtPointFourLive has gained over 138,000 subscribers and receives almost 2.5 million unique visitors each month.

His videos guide gamers through the levels of the game, which comes with an 18 certificate due to scenes of violence and torture.

Pye, who is studying advanced maths, history, English and politics at Shrewsbury Sixth Form College, said: ‘I set up the YouTube page around two-and-a-half years ago, it was just for fun really and I started putting up videos of Call of Duty.

‘My friends thought it was quite funny and took the mickey a bit, as you would expect, but my views just kept growing and growing.

‘When Grand Theft Auto V (GTA V) came out, it revolutionised the gaming world; the graphics and everything about it was just so much better than anything before.

‘Rockstar, the company behind GTA obviously made it a huge success and as the game was so popular I thought I may as well start making videos on that game, which I did.’

Pye continued that his videos offer help, but also save other players time trying to work out where certain objects are hidden in the game, or how to make more money, similar to a walkthrough.

Walkthroughs are typically written articles that guide people through levels of a game.

‘I have had a great response from people online, most people just keep thanking me for helping them out and helping them to complete the game quicker,’ continued Pye.

‘It can be a bit time consuming as it takes around three hours per video, but I think it’s worth it as the more views I get, the more sponsorship I get.’

Pye admitted that it can be difficult to balance his college work with recording the videos, but said his parents are very supportive because they know his coursework takes priority.

GTA V takes place in the fictional city of Los Santos and sees players take on the role of one of three underworld characters building up a criminal empire. 

The game was released on 17 September last year and made £480million ($800million) in worldwide revenue in just 24 hours.

Pye said he is planning to take a gap year when he graduates but insisted he will not be pushing his channel to one side.

‘I won’t be just stopping when I go on my gap year, I will probably put more videos on the channel than ever because I will have more time on my hands.

‘Hopefully I can be successful in this and do it for life, that would be just great, it is every gamers dream to be able to play and get paid and that’s what I am doing.’

Pye is the latest YouTube star to make money from filming themselves playing games online.

University graduate from Portsmouth Joseph Garrett, 23, earns a living by filming himself playing Minecraft and uploading the clips to YouTube.

His channel now has more than 1.9 million subscribers, receives in excess of 5 million hits a day and is voted one of the top 10 most viewed channels worldwide - pulling more hits than One Direction and Justin Bieber.

Garrett began playing Minecraft and uploading his videos 18 months ago and when his channel Stampylonghead reached 10,000 subscribers he quit his job at a local pub to manage the channel full time.

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