If you're interested in getting a job in the gaming industry, it’s important to learn about the field and the various opportunities that might fit your career goals.
Gaming is one of the most popular forms of entertainment in the world, outperforming music and movies combined. As a rapidly growing segment of media, the gaming industry is expected to make more than $300 billion by 2027.
This is great news for anyone interested in pursuing a career in gaming. Whether you are dead set on becoming gaming’s next wunderkind or you’re looking for an entry-level position, it’s important to learn about the industry and the opportunities that might fit your career goals.
What are the perks of working in gaming?
There are many benefits of working in the gaming industry. Video game creation is less affected by the economy than other forms of entertainment, as employees can work from home and aren’t impacted by writers’ strikes, travel disruptions, etc.
For example, during the pandemic, gaming studios kept releasing new products, while the TV and movie industry couldn’t film new content and the music industry couldn’t put on live shows.
The gaming industry is exciting, fast-paced, and always evolving.
A large perk to a career in gaming is you’re able to flex creative muscles regardless of your position. Creating an experience that’s so immersive means solving problems in unique, sometimes unexpected ways. If you enjoy pushing the limits to create a fun, different concept or game, this industry is right up your alley.
The industry moves at a lightning-fast speed, keeping employees active, engaged, and on the pulse of the latest and greatest gaming developments.
Employees get to see concepts go from nascent ideas to fully developed games that millions of people play. Seeing that growth firsthand is a unique perk that you won’t always find in other industries. It’s inspiring to see daily, weekly, and monthly progress firsthand. Your contributions at work lead to measurable changes that impact the game, the team, and the end user.
Another perk is that a lot of talented game developers have been able to start their own gaming studio with low-cost effort. You don’t necessarily need the backing of a massive studio—small teams often create all the aspects needed on their own, and go on to self-publish titles that become successful.
What roles exist in the gaming industry?
There are hundreds of roles in the gaming field, from receptionist all the way up to studio head.
Here is a brief breakdown of some job titles available within the industry. Depending on your skill sets and desired role, you’ll want to research the ins and outs of specific jobs. The list includes, but is not limited to:
What qualifications do you need to work in gaming?
Qualifications depend on the role you’re interested in, but in general, having baseline gaming knowledge or relevant job experience is ideal.
Sometimes being passionate about the work you want to do is enough to get your foot in the door. If you can talk through your design process, showcase sample artwork, etc., it could be enough to get you in for an interview. Gaming hiring managers often care more about your talent, personality, and ambition than the specifics of your resume.
In terms of college, graduating from a game design program is helpful for making connections and gaining great experience, but it isn’t a necessity.
What are some additional resources for job seekers?
A great way to connect with gaming professionals and recruiters is via LinkedIn. Message people in roles you’re interested in and ask if they’re willing to chat with you. Gamers love to share their knowledge and talk about their work. If they don’t have the time to chat, they might refer you to someone else who can help instead.
If you’re open to traveling, game conferences are great opportunities for meeting new people and networking with recruiters.
- Game Developers Conference (GDC) in San Francisco, CA
- External Development Summit (XDS) in Vancouver, Canada
- Comic-Con in San Diego, CA
Several groups and foundations offer networking and educational opportunities for aspiring gamers. Apex partners with the IGDA Foundation, providing career resources to job seekers. Check them out and join their Slack channel. Meetup.com is also a great platform to join interest groups for game design, development, virtual reality, etc.
The gaming industry is exciting, fast-paced, and always evolving. With hard work, dedication, and passion, you can find a role that suits your skill set. Gain hands-on experience in whatever way you can, and be open to learning and working your way up. Lastly, to get a job in gaming, get smart with networking and spend time with your target audience, like on LinkedIn, gaming Meetup groups, Discord groups, and more.