The gaming industry is vast and diverse, and it’s one that many people who love games often dream of participating in when they start thinking about their future careers. But there’s more to the gaming industry than simply conjuring up cool characters. From the developers who are responsible for making sure the gaming software runs exactly as it should to the marketing teams who may need to deal with unusual advertising rules in order to get their product out there, this is a sector full of challenging and rewarding roles. With this in mind, here are some of the main careers you can consider if you want to enter the gaming world on a professional basis.
For many young gaming fans thinking about their futures, getting a job as a game designer is perhaps their dream. But working as a game designer requires much more than just a love of games. It necessitates a strong understanding of the market of players who will buy and use the game. It also requires a strong balance of creative skills like image-making and layout as well as the strategic, theoretical side of game creation.
Once the game has been designed, the next step is to turn it into a computer program – and that’s the job of a game software developer. The level of concentration a user invests in a game is high, and this means that the developer has to ensure the software is 100% dependable at all times – at least when compared to some other types of consumer software, where developers have a tiny bit more room for maneuverability when it comes to constant reliability. Take Stakers: the software that powers this online casino is deliberately robust in order to ensure that players can enjoy an uninterrupted game of blackjack, poker or one of the many other games on offer. One of the main tasks of the game developer is to work hard to create a product that won’t let the highly invested end user down.
Sales and marketing
The American gaming sector is worth tens of billions of dollars – and that wouldn’t be possible without a strong effort on the part of the industry’s marketing teams, who work hard to ensure that each game reaches as wide an audience as possible. One particular challenge for many game marketing teams, though, is the restrictions that some otherwise ideal marketing channels place on game advertising – which means that marketers need to be savvy and think outside of the box in order to get the job done.
While on the face of it, it may seem like a smart move to head over to sites like Facebook and reach the game’s target audience through advertising on that platform. However, the strict ad approval rules that Facebook has in place may end up scuppering that plan. For example, written permission is required if you’re looking to advertise a real money game. By thinking cleverly about how to reach the right people, though, marketing professionals in the gaming world can quickly surge ahead in their careers.
Gaming, just like any other industry with a strong online side to it, is a data-driven industry – and behind the scenes, gaming companies are always looking at how well a certain product is performing. Data on how difficult a certain level turns out to be, for example, is analyzed back at the game’s HQ, while user interest in a particular section of a game will usually be zoomed in on and explored in more detail by an analyst.
As a game data analyst, you would need to have strong quantitative skills and be able to analyze data in a way that provided actionable, revenue-boosting insights. What were the most popular areas of your game, for example, and how can they be made more prominent in future versions? And what sorts of game features can incentivize players to play for longer, buy more lives and so on?
Working in the gaming industry is a great career choice for many people. Not only does it mean you can fuel your passions if you’re already an avid gamer, but it also means that you can choose from a range of different jobs – one of which is bound to fit your skills. If you’re a numbers-oriented person, for example, opting for a gaming analytics career may suit you, while if you enjoy thinking outside of the box, you may be best suited to a career in games marketing.