When you’re young and new to a career, most people struggle to earn even close to $US100,000.
But that’s not the case for Lithuanian 17-year-old Laimonas Mileska, or Loleris as many know him.
Mileska has been creating video games through a platform called Roblox for about five years under the alias Loleris. And he’s already made more than $US100,000 doing it, even though Roblox’s program for paying developers only launched a little more than a year ago.
Roblox is a website and app where members can play and build online 3-D games. David Baszucki, the founder and CEO of Roblox, says 4.7 million people come to the website to play video games created by other users every month.
A small subset of those 4.7 million users actually build those games, and Mileska is one of the most prominent developers on Roblox.
Roblox doesn’t directly pay developers to create games — they earn money whenever players make virtual purchases within their games. Players purchase items within the game with a virtual currency called Robux, and the developers behind those games can exchange that currency for real-world money through Roblox.
Not all developers are as successful as Milesaka, though — Baszucki says that only two or three developers end up making that kind of money. These top developers are starting to make more than $US20,000 per month, approaching and in some cases going beyond a quarter of a million dollars per year.
“I think the primary reason is because I’m really keen on trying out new things,” Mileska said to Business Insider when asked about why he thinks his games are so successful.
His most popular game to date is “Mad Paintball,” a shooter that launched in November and has already been played five million times according to Mileska.
Since Mileska is is an established Roblox developer, it’s fairly easy for his games to gain popularity. His first big hit was “Mad Wars 2,” a military shooter that he created in 2009.
“Now, anything I make gets noticed and becomes somewhat popular,” he said.
Mileska has been running his own video game studio through Roblox called Mad Studios for the past two years, but he only started making money from his games in October 2013 when Roblox’s DevEx program launched. He wants to use the money to hire more developers so that he can build new games more quickly.
His end goal is to eventually run a large, well-known video game studio where he would be able to manage several teams of developers.
Mileska isn’t the only teen to achieve such impressive accomplishments in gaming at such an early age. At age 14, Robert Nay created a mobile game called “Bubble Ball” that was downloaded more than two million times in just two weeks when it launched in 2011. He’s believed to have made $US2 million during that period alone from the game.
The gaming industry has already proven itself to be an incredibly lucrative industry for teens — not just for the ones who create games, but for those who play them too. Professional gamers such as Jiang “YYF” Cen earn tons of cash from winning competitive gaming tournaments. Cen earned $US200,000 alone from winning a “Dota 2” tournament with his team Invictus Gaming in 2012.