The 10 Best Careers in the Video Games Industry
The video game industry began as a sport for kids and teenagers. Today, the industry has grown to be more profitable than the film and music industries combined; and it is projected to be worth around $300 billion by 2025.
The video game industry is the economic sector involved in the development, marketing, and monetization of video games. It encompasses dozens of job disciplines and its component parts employ hundreds of thousands of people worldwide. Many kids who grew up with a love of gaming are pursuing a high paying career within the industry, proving people who thought it was just a time waster wrong.
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If you have the talent, passion, and drive to dedicate your life to video games, you should as well build your career around it. So, if you want to get involved in one of the biggest and fastest-growing commercial sectors in the world, pay attention as we bring you 10 of the best careers you can pursue in the video game industry.
1. Video Game Artist
If you come from a creative or artistic background, then there are plenty of opportunities within the industry for talented designers who can imagine, conceptualize and produce entire game worlds. Working closely with the game’s design and development leads, you’d be responsible for visualizing the aesthetic of the game play. This would include buildings, backgrounds and landscapes, creature and character design. If you have a vivid imagination and a proven design background, this could be the gig for you.
Animators take the visual concepts that have been created by the art department and, using specialist software, make them come alive. This includes making character movements as lifelike as possible, as well as virtually recreating the movements of other objects, such as vehicles, weapons and other gameplay-related tools. At the bigger studios, your work would be supplemented by additional technologies, such as motion-capturing human actors, or employing the services of ballistics experts and physicists to recreate explosions or weapons activity within the game.
3. Game Developer
Although video game production is a hugely collaborative endeavour, developers are at the core of everything. While the artists and animator have created the characters and their animations, the game developer ensures that the characters are playable and controllable. While a degree in computer science (or a related field) is generally a requisite for this, many successful developers are actually self-taught, honing their skills from scratch. At the larger production houses, many developers go on to specialize in specific areas of game development, including engine development, controls and interface, or artificial intelligence. If you have a knack for coding, as well as a love for video games, you might do well as a gaming programmer.
4. Game Designer
As a designer, your job is to assemble a creative team that can handle all the specialty work and make your dream game a reality. You’ll describe the characters, the environment, and the overall purpose of the game, and guide your team as they work their magic. As well as constantly producing ideas, game designers need to be astute project managers, capable of handling setbacks or finding ways to circumnavigate technical or budgetary limitations. They also need to be able to communicate their vision clearly to their team, especially on more complex projects. Forging a successful career as a game designer requires a lot of patience, dedication and an ability to handle rejection, but for the select few who make it, it’s a highly paid dream role.
5. Quality Assurance Tester
Video games are complex productions and, often contain coding and technical errors that can affect the game play. To ensure that a game is released free from errors, production companies employ quality assurance testers to find and document errors that need to be fixed. Although this role can sometimes be romanticized as ‘playing video games for a living’, the reality is different. Your task is to try and ‘break’ the game. The hours can be long and repetitive. It is still a desirable job and a great way for aspiring developers to break into the industry.
6. Audio Engineer
If your expertise lies in the creation and recording of sound and sound effects, then there is a strong demand for your services in the video game industry. Sound is a hugely important part of modern gaming. It is a highly effective way to build atmospheres and make certain aspects of the game more authentic or engaging. For example, you may be required to locate and record real weapon sounds for a historic shooter game, or create new sounds from nothing for a futuristic sci-fi game. You may also have to work with composers and voice actors to record music and dialogue, meaning you’ll need to have extensive studio experience.
7. Professional Gamer
With the huge popularity of multiplayer-specific games such as FIFA, Counter-Strike and Dota, dedicated gamers can now translate their talent and experience into high income. Professional gaming – or eSports as it is popularly known – is a rapidly evolving field, with the most elite gamers able to attract sizeable sponsorships and prize money through competitions and tournaments. The United States already recognizes eSports players as professional athletes. The very top gamers earn seven-figure income in US dollars, while public and commercial interest is only set to grow.
There are actually several video game careers available to writers, depending on your background and interest. For instance, creative writers and scriptwriters are needed to write dialogue, as well as structure stories and plot points in larger games. Technical writers are needed to write game manuals and provide other support and instruction materials, while content and copywriters help to market and promote games online, in magazines and social media.
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One of the main reasons gaming has gained global popularity is that most releases are translated into different languages. This creates jobs for professional translators. There’s the potential to get work, with in-game text and dialogues, manuals, promotional materials and customer support materials all needing to be translated into a wide variety of languages.
10. Marketing Professional
Video games are a highly creative endeavor, but ultimately, studios are businesses that want significant returns on their investments. Whether it’s a big-budget studio release or a startup studio using guerrilla marketing techniques, there is demand for people who know how to sell. For example, larger studios always require market research analysts to explore potential markets and genres, while the games themselves require marketing directors, campaign specialists and digital marketers to support their release.
In conclusion, a career in video games might sound like a pipe dream, but as you have learnt in this video, there are plenty of potential – and realistic – ways to get involved in the industry. Video gaming is still in its infancy throughout the African continent, but due to the continent’s young population and increasing technological literacy, the sector is growing rapidly. African countries such as South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya have been making rapid advances in mobile game development, both within their country and internationally. If this is an industry you want to be a part of, go for it.
Which of these gaming careers interest you the most? Let us know in the comments below! Did you enjoy this video? Thumb up and share. If you are yet to subscribe to our channel, this is likely a good time to subscribe. Until next time, YOUR SUCCESS MATTERS!