Video game Careers - Cover

5 Video Game Career Paths

The Video Game Career market is huge. With the explosion of the last two decades, the need for new developers and other gaming-related career paths has started to increase. So what video game careers are avaialble?

Journalist

The first video game career will look at is a journalist. A video game journalist uses a lot of different types of writing. For the most part, they usually review new games, even ones that haven’t come out yet.

Video game career: Journalist
Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash

It’s a great way to get hold of games that you want to play. But, usually, you will receive any games that need reviewing, which may or may not be the genres you would like to play. In my brief tenure as a journalist, I received games I would never have bought. This isn’t always a bad thing.

Depending on if you are a freelancer or working for a media outlet, you may also have to attend events such as E3 and Gamescom. You will then get first hand experience of new gaming tech. Which is a great opportunity. But if you are introverted it may not be the best career for you.

You will get opportunities to interview video game industry people such as developers, producers, designers and influencers. To find out how the industry truly works and why. If your not a people person however, there are plenty of other opportunities.

To become a video game journalist you don’t need any formal qualifications. One way of getting your foot in the door is to take up freelance work. One website I found useful is Video Game Journalist Jobs where you can apply for freelance work.

Unlike the other roles, a video game journalist salary can vary greatly. From non-paying to £50,000 depending on experience.

Video Game Artist

Video Game Career: Person drawing a man on a tablet.
Photo by Howard Bouchevereau on Unsplash

Games are an extremely visual media. Therefore they need designers to create the look of the game. From characters to the user interface, and also the environments.

Unlike journalism, the next video game career we will look at requires no meeting going out and meeting people. If you’re an introvert, this is the perfect job for you. Depending on the size of the studio, you may only need to liaise with a few people.

The range of artwork that an artist will need to produce can either be 2D or 3D. 2D elements can be the graphical interface or maps.

The 3D work can range from environments to character models. Usually taking the work from the 2D artists and turning it into 3D elements. It is important that both artists liaise with each other to produce the best assets.

There is a lot of opportunity for an artist to grow. They can specialise in a specific area and become a senior artist. Or they can become a lead artist, who runs the team and makes decisions to meet the studios needs.

To become a video game artist you will need a degree in computer games design, graphic design or animation. The salary ranges from £18,000 to £35,000 a year

Game Developer

Video game career: Developer working on their PC coding.
Photo by Nubelson Fernandes on Unsplash

A Video game developer works on the coding sections of the game. They can focus on a wide range of applications within the game.

Depending on the size of the studio and the size of the game in development, it will require a different amount of workload and expertise.

If the studio is relatively big, then a game developer will focus on one specific area. They may work on the game’s physics or the interaction between the user and user interface. Or they could be coding the story or quest system.

For a small studio with fewer employees, a gaming developer needs to be a jack-of-all-trades. They will need to develop all aspects of the game via the code. Even in a small team they will need to have at least some understanding of all the areas of the game.

For most roles in a big studio, you will need a Bachelor’s degree in gaming design or computer science. However many of the smaller studios will accept you if you are self taught. The salary ranges from £28,000 up to £72,000 per year.

Game Tester/QA

Video game career: person playing a football game.
Photo by EVG Kowalievska: https://www.pexels.com/photo/person-holding-game-pad-1174746/

The next video game career is a game tester, or quality assurance, is where you test the game for various bugs and any issues that the game may have. These may not be the result of a bug but of a design choice, which the tester must advise.

This requires the game tester to repeatedly play the game over and over again while trying to find ways to break it. Games are now very large, so finding a bug and repeating the steps to create it can be a very time-consuming task.

Another aspect is checking how the user interfaces with the system. If there are design choices that may harm the enjoyment of the game, a game tester needs to bring this to the attention of the developers so that the game can be as bug free as possible.

To become a video game tester you will need a degree in computer science programming or a related field. There are opportunities to get into the role without a degree, but there are very few of them. The salary can range from £18,000 up to £24,000 per year.

Gaming Audio Engineer

Video game career - Audio engineer working on a deck
Photo by Los Muertos Crew: https://www.pexels.com/photo/an-audio-engineer-in-a-recording-studio-7586139/

Though most of the game is played visually. The audio is also a very important part of the game. This is more so depending on the genre.

A video game sound engineer needs to create a library of audio clips that can be used for the game that is currently in development. Sometimes these clips are readily available from a previous project. But at other times the audio engineer needs to be able to create them.

The video game sound engineer isn’t just limited to creating sound effects, but also the music that is played in the background. They need to be able to either find or create music that compliments the game’s themes.

This is the perfect role for someone who enjoys either making music or listening to music. But to apply for one of these roles, you will need a degree in a related field, such as Sound engineering. The salary can range from £18,000 up to £40,000, depending on years of experience and education. This is great video game career path for someone with a great ear.

Other Roles

These are many more video game career paths. There are many other roles, such finance, customer service, publishing, etc. So if the above careers don’t interest you, there are many more out there with fewer requirements. These roles are especially suitable for people who may not be great with computers. Just make sure you pick a reputable and fair company to work for.

Video Game Career

That’s all of the major roles that you can look into pursuing. Roles that involve coding can be learned through online courses. With very few, if any, financial commitments. Which is especially useful for individuals who have never considered a video game career. Or for people who have already established themselves in other roles such as finance.


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