The gaming industry needs more than just coders – TechCrunch

As the COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on countless businesses across the globe, the $ 118 billion gaming industry has not only survived, but thrived, with 55% of U.S. consumers turning to play for entertainment, stress relief, relaxation and a connection with the outside world amid lockdowns.

This has resulted in a 20% increase in game sales worldwide and created nearly 20,000 jobs in 2020 alone. And we don’t expect it to stop anytime soon: according to research firm IBISWorld, the sector is set to grow again in 2021, adding to the year-over-year growth that the industry has to offer. has experienced over the past half-decade.

This is great news for the growing gaming industry and especially for those looking to land a job with a company developing the next blockbuster. The unemployment rate is already close to zero for those with skills in game development and design, meaning there is an unprecedented opportunity to join the field.

The unemployment rate is already close to zero for those with skills in game development and design, meaning there is an unprecedented opportunity to join the field.

Gamesmith, a digital community dedicated to the video game industry, currently has over 5,750 vacancies posted on its site, with roles in design, engineering and animation in mind. In other words, if you’ve never considered a career in the gaming industry – or thought your skills wouldn’t translate – this expanding job market needs employees from all types of backgrounds. Chances are one of your interests – besides gambling, of course – can serve as a channel for finding a career.

Animation is a career path for those with artistic skills – especially with a knack for digital art tools such as Autodesk Maya and Adobe Photoshop -. An animator can perform any number of tasks in a company or game studio, from building immersive landscapes and cities to modeling a certain character’s appearance to designing user interfaces. and navigation components. There is significant growth here too: According to a recent study, most sectors of the animation industry are growing by 2% to 3% year over year. According to Gamesmith, the average 30-year-old entertainer earns just under $ 90,000 a year.

If you’re an expert on witty words and dialogue, you might consider applying for a writing job in a studio. Writers are responsible for writing everything from the crass screams heard in the background in the Grand Theft Auto series to long speeches of epic adventures like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Employers are looking for writers with a flair for storytelling and character understanding, so even if you’re not a career writer, highlight the work you’ve done that fits the mold. what game publishers are looking for.

One of the most important segments of the industry – and one of the most dynamic – is the development and design of the gaming experiences themselves. The job market for these positions is expected to grow 9.3% between 2016 and 2026, according to the New England Institute of Technology., and the scope of jobs in this wing of the industry ranges from level designers to chief designers and developers.

Gamesmith has calculated that these jobs represent 16% of available openings, but only represent 5% of all applications. While you need at least a computer science degree and an understanding of programming fundamentals to land one of these jobs, the time spent hitting the books is well worth it. Gamesmith estimates that the average 28-year-old male engineer earns a salary north of $ 100,000.

Even if you don’t have any of these skills to help you design a game from scratch, there are still plenty of ways to break into the industry. No matter how good a game is, it will only be a success if people know it, so studio marketing and promotion teams play a crucial role in ensuring that consumers buy the latest version and that it is written. If you have great communication skills and can solve people’s problems, businesses always need customer service representatives.

Across all sectors of the video game world, companies are looking to diversify their workforce and move away from an image of an employment sector populated only by white males in their early to mid-30s. . Gamesmith’s research found that currently 74% of the industry’s workforce is male and 64% is white.

But that is about to change. While in 2020 only 24% of studios invested moderate resources in diversity initiatives, among studios that invested these resources, 96% reported at least moderately successful results and improvements in corporate culture. . It may sound slow, but there seems to be a recognition that the gaming industry needs a more diverse workforce in order to not only bring more fairness to its offices, but also create better games in the future and make the industry look more like. people who play games.

“Diversity is not kindness; it is a necessity if the industry is to grow, prosper and truly reflect the tens of millions of people who play games every day in this country, ”said Jo Twist, CEO of UK Gaming Trade Association . “A diverse industry that draws on a myriad of cultures, lifestyles and experiences will lead to more creative and inclusive games that capture the imaginations of gamers and move our industry forward.”

Between the drive to diversify the industry and a host of new opportunities in the field, the main thing to remember is that there is a wide range of possible careers in the industry and, even if you don’t think so, your skills are growing. probably translate into one of the many roles that a game company must fulfill. Avid gamers know you’re not going to beat a game the first time you turn on your console. So hone your skills, expand your experience, and continue your quest to land a job in the industry of your dreams.

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