Forbes is famous for its lists that rank the rich and the famous according to their wealth, power and influence. In 2017, they also decided it was time to extend their lists to one of the most important online niche markets and included gamers on the list.
The 2017 Top Influencers in Gaming features the usual suspects like Mari Takahashi, DanTDM, Markiplier and SSSniperWolf. And not surprisingly, two Canadians made it to the list, occupying the third and fourth places: Evan Fong and Sonja Reid. Both of those amazing gamers belong to the squad that has developed around Markiplier, known outside of the virtual world as Mark Fischbach, who is a Hawaii-born gamer of extensive influence.
Evan Fong has managed to claim the third spot, for his YouTube channel that features him playing his favorite games, such as Grand Theft Auto and Call of Duty. Fong, or VanossGaming as is his YouTube alias, is very popular thanks to his laidback style, as he often plays with friends, chats, or makes humorous comments with his online audience. He even dropped out of UPenn to devote all of his time to his gaming pursuits, so you know that great things are in store for him.
Sonja Reid also features on the fourth spot for her prolific online presence as Omgitsfirefoxx. She started out back in 2013 playing games on Twitch like many other gamers, before switching a lot of her activities to YouTube. At first, she only posted highlights, but she gathered a large audience very fast and made a name for herself. That has allowed her to partner up with the likes of Intel, Audi, as well as niche horror and fantasy channel SyFy and pop culture and gaming merchandise company Loot Crate.
It is no wonder that Canada has done so well – the country has a strong legacy in online games and gaming in general. Some of the biggest video game developers are active in the country: it is enough to mention that the intensely popular Assassin’s Creed video game series is co-developed by Ubisoft Montreal, Ubisoft Quebec and Ubisoft Toronto.
Online games are also very popular in the country and many online casinos offer a wide range of games spanning from poker, baccarat and craps to online slot games and roulette. They also attract a lot of players with online bonuses and free spins, although the logistics are a bit complex at times – for example, when you see 7 Sultans’ bonuses explained, you realize that the seemingly meager $500 welcome bonus is more enticing than it first appears.
The industry seems to be booming in Canada and people take notice. The 10 influencers on Forbes’ list make for a combined reach of 228 million followers, with over 150 million subscribers on YouTube, almost 35 followers on Instagram, over 28 million followers on Twitter and some 11 million likes on Facebook – many of those come from Canadian fans. This is an impressive feat even before you break it down individually – Markiplier for example has surpassed 7 billion total views on his YouTube channel.
As gaming continues to develop, online gamers and casino players are becoming more and more influential – and their reach is spilling over in other industries like acting and advertising, too.