Take a look at your phone home screen, you probably have a game or two. Yes, that sudoku app you downloaded and swore to do at least one every day is also a game. You can imagine that working in the gaming industry can be a really interesting career.
Like any industry that is still growing quickly, there are many opportunities to get in early and make a career for yourself in gaming. The market’s annual growth means you should be able to ride that wave far into the future. If you want to get into the gaming industry or you’re already in but you want to scale some positions, this article can help answer some questions and share some tips.
Get started in the Gaming Industry
One of the pros of the gaming industry is that you can enter its world very young by playing games on your console, computer, phone or tablet. Not only will you have a good time and meet people from all over the world, but you will also be able to learn the dynamics and understand the design and script of the games, as well as learn all the tricks to excel at many other games.
While getting a degree in programming, developing or design might give your CV a boost, there’s nothing more valuable than the knowledge gained playing throughout the years. These are valuable insights for someone that wants to become part of the gaming industry, mostly because it gives you an advantage over non-gamers.
1. Start a gaming blog or a video channel
Twitch, YouTube, discussion boards, forums and blogs about gaming and some specific games, in particular, generate a lot of interest that turns to engagement and can potentially turn into a fansite, project or a very valuable database that can come in handy to some gaming companies.
2. Build your own indie game
Better than a brilliant CV and diploma recognition, if you want to go the extra mile and get yourself a good spot or a boost in your career, you should develop your own game. One in which you pour everything that you have learnt along the years of playing and experience in the sector.
3. Get an entry job as a game tester
You heard right, game tester is an actual job position. One of the best things about it is that it doesn’t require a university degree or any other specialised course, which means it is open to anyone over 18. Getting an entry-level job as a game tester at a gaming company can open the door to eventually climbing up the stairs and get a position in the development, design or programming field.
4. Apply for an internship or intermediate position
If you’re fresh out of university or don’t have enough experience to apply for junior positions, applying for internships is the best move. If you have a talent that can be used in game production, such as scripting, editing or sound production, you may be able to get a job at a game studio.
While not every studio has an internship program, most are open to the possibility of a part-time, temporary and affordable worker who can assist them in any way they can.
If, on the other hand, you do have the experience to apply to junior positions, there are quite a lot of opportunities out there in gaming right now.
Best-valued skills in the gaming industry
Like any other industry, in gaming soft and hard skills are highly valuable. While knowing and staying up-to-date in the industry, its development platforms and programming languages are a must, teamwork, creativity, leadership, diplomacy and communication are also essential for making it far in the gaming industry.
It depends on which kind of position you go for, but here we’re going to highlight some musts for programmers and developers.
The first and most important should be coding. It’s up to the game developer to turn the beautiful concept of the creative team into reality through code. Thus, having an overall appreciation and basic knowledge of design is highly recommended. Knowing how to use and implement application program interfaces (APIs) as well as proficiency in game engine software such as Unity, Unreal and Godot. As requirements and skills might change depending on the position, we always recommend reading the job description thoroughly.
Don’t fall into the stereotype that as a game developer you’d be glued to the screen all day. Like any other job, it’s big on soft skills such as teamwork and collaboration, communication, organisational and research skills. Like it happens in video games, problem solving and creativity are also very important soft skills to have in the gaming industry.
Perks of working in the gaming industry
The gaming industry is booming and it shows no signs of stopping anytime soon. In fact, it’s set to keep on growing even more and tackle new channels and formats. Due to this popularity, now is the right moment to get a job at a gaming studio. The competition is not super high and the perks and benefits go beyond remote, casual work environment and amazing culture.
The gaming industry is dynamic, modern and constantly changing which means that once inside the possibilities are endless. Related to this, and the growth we mentioned before, getting a job in the gaming industry is a safe bet if you’re looking for long-term financial stability and job security.
Last but not least, remote work and relocation. If you have ever dreamt of working from your computer or living in another country, getting a job in gaming can help you achieve these personal goals. The UK, US and Malta are three big centres when it comes to the gaming scene but, specifically in Europe, Munich, Lisbon and Copenhagen are growing fast.
The computer game industry has long prided itself in its ability to innovate. As the world moves towards a fully digital and highly technological future, the gaming industry will have a big play in it, beyond fun games for mobile and computer.
It’s a really interesting time to get started or grow in the industry and we hope that this article has cleared some things and helped answer some questions. If you’re curious and want to know more about the gaming industry like its bright future and some companies that are making a name for themselves and who are actively hiring, we wrote this piece which can help answer most of your questions.
Matching You with Your Future!