Profitable Passion: Freshman runs online Fortnite gaming accounts

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By Abby Bagby, Staff Reporter It’s everyone’s dream to turn their recreational hobby into a source for profit. For freshman Tony Xu, that dream became a reality with the online success of his Fortnite gameplay. Xu began playing Fortnite, his first video game, about three years ago on his Xbox gaming console, before switching to...

By Abby Bagby, Staff Reporter

It’s everyone’s dream to turn their recreational hobby into a source for profit. For freshman Tony Xu, that dream became a reality with the online success of his Fortnite gameplay.

Xu began playing Fortnite, his first video game, about three years ago on his Xbox gaming console, before switching to a computer later on. His initial motivation was to make money off his gameplay by uploading highlight clips to various social media platforms. However, it took about one year for his accounts to gain traction. At points, he found it difficult to stay motivated and was ready to give up.

“Whenever I didn’t feel like uploading gaming content, (I) got pretty close to (quitting the accounts), It was just hard getting your name out.” Xu said, regarding his initial struggle for success. “Getting good (at Fortnite) was part of (my success), and learning the social media algorithm.”

Now, Xu averages about 4,000 views per video on his Instagram account (@killrxu), the first platform to which he began uploading. He also averages 1,000 views per video on his YouTube channel (Devour Killerxu) and 1,000 on his TikTok account (@killerxu). Across these three platforms, Xu has garnered about 61,200 followers.

Xu’s content consists of what he calls “flashy gameplay”, involving short, fast clips from his games. Through a combination of YouTube advertising, the TikTok Creator Fund, and paid company promotions, Xu has made about $2000 from his online content so far. He enjoys the sense of accomplishment that comes with the monetary benefits as the most rewarding part of his overall experience.

“I put all that work into it, and it’s like, I’m getting something out of it,” Xu said.

Freshman and friend Daniel Fan watches Xu’s content and finds his success to be quite remarkable.

“It really is impressive because he’s not the only one who was trying to get big. There’s thousands of other people who want to be recognized. I don’t want to say he got lucky because he had a lot of drive. He had a lot of determination to be recognized and he worked really hard,” Fan said. “I am pretty impressed because I myself didn’t even expect him to become this popular.”


Abby Bagby can be reached at [email protected]

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