Video games aren’t only for play; they also provide work. The workers, known as game developers, make a living creating the games you enjoy playing.
Making video games is a serious and big business.
There are dozens of careers in the fast-growing video game industry that contribute to quality game production. These highly coveted positions include game designers, animators, producers, artists, and programmers, who all work together to create a fun, playable product that gamers can enjoy.
Video games are enjoyed by people of all ages, allowing players to step into alternate worlds and become superhuman soldiers, expert tennis players, and world saviors. These worlds are courtesy of video game designers, who are responsible for the content and environment of every video game.
Online Gaming: A Multi-Billion Dollar Industry
The release of the first-ever commercial arcade game Computer Space was a stepping stone that prepared the world for what was to come – the video game mania. A year later, in 1972, Pong was released and the video game craze hit the world!
Since then, the video game industry has taken the world by storm and its revenue is only growing.
So, how much is the gaming industry worth?
While the figure stood at around $151.55 billion in 2019, the gaming industry statistics show that the industry is forecast to grow at a rate of 9.17% from 2020 to 2025, reaching $256.97 billion by 2025.
Another astonishing fact about the gaming industry is that over 2.5 billion people worldwide play games.
Following closely behind China, the United States is the second-largest gaming industry globally, amounting to over $36.92 billion in annual revenues in 2020.
The Demand for Video Game Designers Soar High
In an industry that’s exploding, the need for qualified, conscious, and innovative game designers is at an all-time high.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) generally groups video game designers under the larger umbrella of multimedia artists and animators. The BLS reports that the job outlook for special effect artists and animators from 2020 to 2030 is 16%, much faster than the average for all occupations.
About 7,800 openings for special effects artists and animators are projected each year, on average, over the decade.
Much of the projected employment growth in this occupation is due to increased demand for animation and visual effects in video games, movies, and television.
As customers continue to demand more realistic video games, movie and television special effects, and three-dimensional movies, additional special effects artists and animators will be required to meet this increased demand.
If you wish to turn your love of playing video games into a career as a video game designer, here are the skills and educational qualifications you'll need to acquire to excel in the field.
Skills and Training
Video game developers need skills and training specific to their job tasks, but they share some common aptitudes like the ability to work well as part of a team. This quality is not only is expected of game developers but may be required in most companies.
Of course, a big part of collaborating is being able to articulate ideas clearly to other team members, which requires good communication skills.
Most designers also should be adaptable to making changes and work well under pressure. And those in leadership roles may benefit from having basic business skills in management, budgeting, and scheduling.
There are no educational requirements for video game designers, but a college degree in game design, game development, or computer science is helpful. Experience in other roles in video game development is also beneficial. For example, some workers become designers after being promoted from other teams, such as quality assurance, programming, or art.
Game designers also need some background in programming and knowledge of scripting languages, especially Lua and Python. In addition, designers might need to be experts in other computer software. Level designers, for example, frequently use 3D modeling programs.