The global gaming industry is worth over $138 billion, making it one of the most lucrative commercial markets in the world. Global revenues are increasing year-on-year, prompting young gamers and students to consider a career in game design and development. This means more and more people are looking at how they can turn their passion into a career allowing them to make a living in the games industry.
The IIE’s Vega (a brand of The Independent Institute of Education –The IIE) and Big5 Games share some insight into the top four career opportunities in gaming for anyone looking to make their mark in this exciting and emerging industry.
Game designer and/or programmer
If you venture into game design, you’ll get to come up with the concept of a game, considering everything from layout to look and feel, and how to achieve it all within budget. Designers often work as part of a team or in collaboration with programmers (also known as developers) who write the code that brings concepts to life. Designers who have game development and programming skills are understandably in higher demand because they can execute and test ideas according to their unique vision. This means it’s worth looking into how you can hone as many relevant skills as possible.
“I would say that almost any future career could benefit from understanding coding, whether it’s a photographer writing a small script to rename all their photographs or an HR manager using Excel formulas to calculate a staff member’s annual leave,” says Pieter Joubert, Gaming and Programming Navigator at The IIE’s Vega.
Where a game designer is responsible for the artistic side of creating a game, and the programmer writes the code that brings it all into existence, a digital animator works with the designer’s graphics to make the game’s characters and environment more interactive and provide a sense of visual depth. A digital animator works closely with the game designer and developer to help create storyboards and may use their own artistic skills to draw animations by hand where appropriate. Most often, they’ll make use of digital software to generate imagery for games.
If your interests lie in journalism as well as the tech and gaming arenas, then it makes sense to consider a career reporting on the gaming industry. With the growth of Esports, major broadcasters like ESPN now cover news and events in the gaming industry too. This is because Esports is increasingly recognised for its merits as a sport and not just a competition. Whether you choose to work for an existing digital publication or branch out on your own, pursuing a career in gaming journalism may be the ticket to a more fulfilling career.
Pursue it as a hobby in your spare time or make a living from it as a full-time freelancer – whichever way you choose to go about it, there are a wealth of opportunities available to content creators with a passion for gaming. You can also become a professional live-streamer, sharing your own video gameplay to audiences on the internet. Streamers earn an income from this through sponsorships, subscriptions and even donations from their fanbase. For instance, Sam Wright, better known as Tech Girl, uses her blog as a platform to share tech and gaming related content. Samplayze has recently become a full-time content creator and streamer. They are both proving that it is possible to make your mark in the gaming industry as a content creator or streamer.
“The global games industry is bigger than music and movies combined and it’s important for South African youth to see all the incredible career opportunities that the games world can offer,” says Kevin Meltzer, CEO of Big5 Games.
We provide qualifications that empower you to make money doing what you love. To learn more about the IIE’s BCIS in Game Design and Development degree delivered as a full-time programme, click here.