Brothers Pay Off Parents' Mortgage Earning £200k A Year Playing Video Games
Two identical twin brothers have helped their parents to pay off their mortgage after absolutely raking it in while playing video games.
Ben and Matthew Horton, 20, used the £100,000+ they each make per year, after dropping out of school at 16, to help their mum and dad pay off the mortgage on the Norfolk family home.
They started making money when they were 13 after creating an online game that charged £5 for players to unlock extra features.
Matthew learned how to produce video trailers for their games, while Ben improved his programming skills, and together they expanded their successful business.
The pair live together in Crawley at the moment, but they hope to move to LA.
Matt said: "We have applied for a visa. It would allow us to be where our audience and other developers are."
The brothers have always loved games such as the Lego series on PlayStation 2, and when they discovered gaming platform Roblox in 2010 it enabled them to create their own versions.
Matt said: "It gave access to wacky, interesting creations by hundreds of people. It was a new thing which was fascinating.
"For the first three years after finding Roblox, we just played the games. Then in the 2013 Christmas holidays, we started experimenting with creating our own game and that really kick-started our career.
"Roblox has free guides and templates, so anyone - be they aged 10 or 70 - can create games."
Matt said that the coronavirus pandemic has worked in their favour, with bored gamers turning to alternative options during lockdown.
He said: "Engagement with our games has increased by 30 to 40 per cent during lockdown.
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"Before Covid-19, my videos were getting five million views and as Covid-19 hit they averaged 10 million views, so they doubled."
Matt and Ben's first successful game, designed when they turned 13, was called Boat Ride, and required users to navigate a Disney-like world of attractions.
Ben said: "When we started we were 13, working nine to five in the Christmas holidays.
"We only got about £1 a week pocket money, so that £5 was a lot - it bought about 5,000 marshmallows!
"We had a lot of tubs of sweets in our room."
Matt said they started to turn a real profit when they turned 16, just before joining sixth form.
He explained: "I would not have been able to do that if I hadn't dropped out of school.
"We didn't have any formal training. We just learned really quickly by ourselves - repeating things and getting better.
"There are so many tutorials online that anyone can teach themselves, you don't need to pay money for courses. Everything can be done in your own free time.
"When I showed my dad my income for the first time, he thought I was drug dealing because it was quite a bit of money! He was very surprised."
Ben confirmed their parents - Mark, 51, who works for a council, and Caroline, 51, a children's services manager - had raised eyebrows when the twins explained how they had managed to earn so much.
He said: "They were definitely sceptical about where this money was coming from. I think they thought we were just playing games, but actually we were developing them and learning these skills.
"Now, though, they are very supportive.
"Our dad is not really tech-y, but he likes to write, so he's a great person to brainstorm ideas with. Dinner conversations when we lived at home would involve the three of us bouncing ideas back and forth."
Featured Image Credit: PA Real Life
Topics: UK News
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