The UK gaming industry has the 6th largest market in the world and accounts for just over £4 billion in UK consumer spends. Although America and Japan tend to dominate the market, the sector employs nearly 15,000 jobs across the UK. So it all seems good on the surface, but what is the reality of working in the gaming industry?
The UK gaming industry is developing at a vigorous rate however, it’s not as glamorous as your average teenager gamer would like to believe yet there has never been a better time to join. Audiences have never been bigger and new upcoming technologies like virtual reality means there is more opportunity to get your name out there as a designer. There once was a time when it would take a team of over a 100 people to create the latest sell-out game but now it’s more than possible for a single developer to achieve a worldwide audience. Flappy bird is a perfect example of this.
But bare in mind, it’s not that easy to get into the industry either. Sure you get your odd spot of luck where the game you’ve been imagining since you where a teenager suddenly becomes a profitable reality but, the gaming industry is hard. David Mullich, Video Game Designer and Producer, said:
“Getting a game job can be difficult even if you are experienced because, like other creative and “fun-sounding” industries, there are more people applying for jobs than there are jobs available. But once you are in, the pay can be pretty good. Days are usually spent either in meetings or staring at a computer screen. The work can sometimes be monotonous, as you are often required to do simple but precise tasks over and over again.”
You’ve only got to have a quick read around to find there is a lot of bad press about the gaming industry as a career. The chances of working on a game you actually like are very slim, you will most likely be expected to move for the job and you will probably get a lot of hate mail from gamers. But don’t let this get you down, there are also a lot a perks as well. You won’t be disappointed by the pay packet, most gaming companies are extremely relaxed with have some of the coolest offices going and you’ll be in a career doing something that you love, hopefully.
British video game jobs have hit a five year high after industries have invested millions into developing the latest tech. You can expect to see the job growth for gaming professionals to continue to grow as companies continue to compete against each other. As trends continue to expand, so will the job market. An anonymous Game writer commented on his experiences entering the gaming industry at just 11 years old:
“I was hired by my employer in late 2011 by pure chance. We happen to play the same MMORPG and we hung out in the same, popular chatroom. In this chatroom, I was a figure known for providing information to new players and giving generally correct advice. At this time, my employer was launching his company and looking to fill the spots. He needed a writer, took notice of me and contacted me. There were discussions, an e-mail or two and employment contracts. I was then hired.”
So it would seem that the most sensible advice would be to speak to someone who works within gaming before you decide to take the plunge. The beauty of technology is you can apply what you’ve learnt across a variety of different platforms so you don’t necessarily need to be pinned down to one sector. It’s not uncommon for your average programmer to earn a lot more money working in other industries other than gaming.
Rachael Roberts – Digital Campaign Coordinator, Searchability