The classic Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater series was wildly influential towards the success of legendary pro skateboarder, Tony Hawk. He praised the franchise as “the reason people know my name” in a recent interview ahead of the Pretending I’m a Superman documentary, which will explore how the series brought skateboarding to the mainstream. Many celebrities and influencers since the Pro Skater series’ first installment in 1999 have also gotten a taste of that sweet sweet video game money. Here’s a look at some who’ve added to their fortunes through gaming.
Legendary film director Spike Lee has produced some of the most iconic and culturally aesthetic films in movie history. In 2016, he took his talents to the gaming world and was heavily involved in the creation of sports games’ first cinematic centric career mode, jumpstarting a trend for sports games in the process. As the star in a Spike Lee joint, gamers went through a journey of highs and lows—high school standout to NBA superstar— in NBA 2K16’s career mode, “Livin’ Da Dream. “
The Canadian actress had her entire likeness captured as the main character in 2013’s Beyond: Two Souls thanks to limitless motion capture technology. The game had a script 2000 pages long (apparently three to four movies worth,) and Page had almost a hundred little beads on her face the entire time. A workload of a few movies in one seems awfully worth it to secure the video game bag though.
Olivia Munn began her professional career as host of G4’s pop culture program Attack of the Show! from 2006 to 2010. From tv host to the big screens, the “geek goddess” reviewed and talked about video games in popular segments of the show. She is even reportedly in talks to return to G4 TV.
Apparently during quarantine, when not doing much of well… anything (thanks COVID), there’s a good chance that Munn is playing the popular game Hearthstone among other games. Once a gamer, always a gamer.
The Fortnite craze can’t get any crazier right? Wrong. Fortnite hosted an in-game virtual concert, Travis Scott’s ‘Astronomical’, back in April, drawing more than 12 million concurrent viewers and shattering every conceivable record for an online gaming event.
The event also astronomically (not sorry) increased the Grammy-nominated rapper’s social media following, ticket demand, and Spotify earnings.
Conan O’ Brien
The late-night TV host and comedian extraordinaire Conan O’ Brien is no gamer, and perhaps has the least amount of gaming talent in the universe. Still, his “Clueless Gamer” series is one of the most popular segments in all of television. The goofy red-head invites celebrity gamers to play various games with him while shamelessly exposing his lack of video game knowledge and skills.
One of the world’s most popular actors is set to star in one of the most anticipated games of 2020: Cyberpunk 2077. The Matrix and John Wick star will feature as Johnny Silverhand, an actual Rockstar ex-US military veteran (fitting) with a cyberlimb arm and ambitious plans of vengeance against those who’ve wronged him.
The coolest man in Hollywood just got cooler.
Games were the ONE source of entertainment you knew that had no involvement from any of the Kardashian clan… until they weren’t. In 2014, Kim Kardashian along with Glu Mobile released a role-playing mobile game titled Kim Kardashian: Hollywood. The player’s goal is to increase their fame and reputation and rise from an unknown to an A- list celebrity, much like Mrs. Kim Kardashian West herself.
There’s a reason why Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson is a rap mogul: hustle. On the side, he’s also an actor, writer, and entrepreneur with many investments and several brand partnerships. Additionally, he’s on a short list of celebrities to have their name in the title of a video game, and on an even shorter list of celebrities with their name on multiple games. Possibly, he’s on an island of his own since he not only had all of the above, he also starred in those games as the main character. 2005’s 50 Cent: Bulletproof and 2009’s 50 Cent: Blood on the Sand both revolve around 50 and were also produced by the hip-hop musician.
He does indeed get money.
Eight-time Grammy-award winner Skrillex is an electronic music producer best known for being the poster boy of dubstep. Naturally, his music has appeared in every form of media and entertainment, and video games are no exception. His banger of a song “Try it Out” appeared in a club scene in Call of Duty: Black Ops 2. In what was a pleasant surprise, Skrillex also helped usher in the return of the Kingdom Hearts franchise with his contributions to the Kingdom Hearts 3 opening theme, providing a unique but fitting vibe to the KH music library.
Baddest woman on the planet and avid gamer? An unsuspecting combo, but true nevertheless when it comes to former UFC champion turned WWE superstar Ronda Rousey. Earlier this year, Rousey signed an exclusive live-streaming deal with Facebook Gaming, joining a growing list of celebrities who’ve signed streaming deals.
There’s a long list of celebrities who’ve profited from video games—this is just a select few of th…
BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE!
Mickey, Donald, and Goofy
Disney’s presence is felt everywhere in every corner of the globe, including— as it turns out—this list. Disney’s most iconic characters Mickey, Donald, and Goofy fight alongside Sora and the other Keyblade masters in the battle of light vs. darkness in the popular Kingdom Hearts games.
And yeah I guess some guys by the name of Wayne Allwine, Tony Anselmo, and Bill Farmer are technically in the game too. (The voice actors, if you couldn’t figure it out.)
These are just some of the many celebrities— real and fictional— to hit it big on that esports moolah.