Published on June 14, 2019 | Choosing a Career| Eye Opener| Unheard avenues
Careers in the Gaming Industry and Gaming University!
Yes, you read the title right, gaming universities exist! Gamers around the globe, rejoice! The next time your parents or friends try to tell you that you cannot get a career through gaming, let them know that they are wrong. The age-old saying that playing video games will get you nowhere, and one is better off spending their free time studying? Well, this isn’t the case any longer many universities and colleges around the world have started eSports programmes and are even offering scholarships to students who excel in their specific gaming areas. These universities and colleges also have varsity teams that train and practice for several hours a day. Imagine that, you no longer would feel guilty for going a couple of rounds on your favourite FPS or completing a couple of quests on Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Dishonoured 2 or ELEX. Additionally, justifying those few matches of Dota 2 or LOL to yourself before you wrote that assignment just got way easier. Who knows maybe those matches would be your assignments?
Sounds crazy right? Why would universities and colleges have programs and courses for gaming? Well, that’s because the Global Gaming Industry is a $137+ billion dollar industry as of 2018, with digital revenues accounting for 91% of the market, or $125.3 billion dollars (source). Hence everyone wants their piece of the pie. And why wouldn’t they, when the pie’s this big?
Careers in Gaming!
Gaming lately has overtaken outdoor sports to become the most popular recreational activity. Especially in India. Due to mobile phone penetration, cheap mobile internet plans, not to mention a predominently young demographic.
The Indian gaming industry is currently valued at over $300 million or approximately Rs. 2000 Crores. With a population of 1.3 billion people and two thirds of them under the age of 35, India has the world’s largest youth population.- source.
This gives India a distinct advantage and potential to become one of the world’s leading markets for gaming. And as the old adage goes, one man’s hobby is another man’s sport.
The world of eSports is to gaming what IPL is to cricket or the NBA is to basketball. As of 2018 eSports is predicted to generate $905 million, which is a 38% increase from 2017’s $655 million. Additionally, it is expected to cross the billion dollar mark in the year 2019. (source)
Don’t Believe it? Just check out League of Legends 2018 World Championships Opening Ceremony. Now do remember that the above ceremony is for the world championship of just ONE GAME. Albeit LOL is the most popular multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) video game, with over 100 million monthly players as of 2018.
While not everyone may be able to become a professional eSports player. Just as not everyone who plays cricket is not an international cricketer. The industry does have a myriad of various other roles and requirements.
Interested in getting yourself a slice of that pie as well? Below is a list of possible careers in the gaming industry. Now keep in mind that we can’t list every possible role there is, however, we can certainly highlight the roles that do stand out.
Right at the top of the list. The dream job for gamers. This role deals with the core elements of a game. From devising the elements of the game, gameplay (how it plays), characters, story, rules of the game to setting goals and narratives for the user to follow and experience. A game designer is required to effectively communicate with the rest of the development team his vision of the game. This title includes creative director, lead designer, and level designer. As one of the most desired positions of video game jobs, competition is stiff. You might have to gain considerable experience in various other roles first before actually aspiring to become a game designer.
They are responsible for how a game sounds. They create the soundtrack for a game, its sound effects,
character voices and ambient effects. More about the role here.
Writers fill in multiple roles from scriptwriting to dialogue and incidental writing for item descriptions, tutorials, instructions, etc. Find out more here.
Q and A Testers
As the name suggests the role deals with testing, tuning and debugging a game before it goes public. For more on QA testers and the qualifications for the role click here.
They are responsible for the movement and behaviour of a game and its characters. They must utilise the engine of the game efficiently to breathe life into the game’s characters, creatures and objects.
They focus on sales and marketing of a game.
Devise the game’s look and style and are responsible for the overall look of the game. They also manage the art and animation team.
In a nutshell, this role ensures that the game is completed and submitted before or on the stipulated date.
And this is just the tip of the iceberg there are several other roles in addition to these as well.
As you can see the gaming industry is very demanding of talent and workforce. Which is why even though there’s enough money to go around there isn’t enough talent and workforce. Hence universities and colleges have recently started offering programs for becoming a pro-gamer as well as training for various other roles in the industry. Industry and academia for once are working hand in hand. While several colleges and universities have these programs most are not backed by the universities shoestring budget completely. Because if they were that would mean disaster.
Let’s face it whenever a college or university mentions “state of the art facility” they do not imply it being modern or up to date, that is what we inferred because we interpreted the phrase literally. The administration of these institutions was however figuratively speaking. They meant that the labs, classroom and teaching methodologies are as old as our understanding of art itself. University mass purchased PC’s are not at all feasible for gaming. So where’d all these fancy toys come from then? The financial heavy lifting is done by several companies that donate most if not all of the required gear and hardware. From the chairs to CPU’s. There are also courses that offer scholarships and facilities to excelling student-athletes.
Countries are also picking up on the money that can be made. Currently, China has the highest gaming market revenue followed by the United States and then by Japan. India lags a very fair bit behind but things are changing slowly in the world’s largest democracy. For example, recently the UNESCO has asked for over 100 acres of land in Vishakapatnam from the Cheif Minister for the creation of a Gaming University in the state of Andhra Pradesh.
Those of you who are extremely interested and keen on becoming professional gamers or entering the video game industry here’s a list of the 5 best colleges for Professional gamers and video game design. However, we suggest that you choose a college that suits your priorities best.
Ivy league of the pack:-
- The University of California-Irvine: They have swept the IvyLoL National Championships for three years back-to-back-to-back. The Anteaters are a force to be reckoned with also have a very academic rigorous Computer Game Science program and major.
- University of Utah (Salt Lake City, UT): Home to EA sports and a student base over a wide range of nations.
- Carnegie Mellon (Pittsburgh, PA):
- New York University
- DigiPen Institute of Technology, Department of Game Software Design and Production (Redmond, Washington)
If you’d like to go through the entire list of universities and colleges that offer a course in video game design, production and professional gaming. Refer to the links below.
Some of the reputed companies that you can look forward to after completing your education:
- Electronic Arts (EA) – This company needs no introduction. It is the maker of some of the most famous games like FIFA, EA cricket, Battlefield, SIMS and the list goes on. EA has a branch in Bangalore, India.
- TheAppGuruz – Headquartered in Rajkot India, TheAppGuruz is a 3D Game maker, mobile apps & games development company. They have built more than 1000 games & apps across iPhone, Android, iPad.
- 99Games | Super Indie Studio – This is one of the topmost gaming companies in India. Headquartered in Udupi, Karnataka, 99 Games is a gaming studio that developed the award-winning game Star Chef. The studio has over 15 game titles, 20 million downloads and have won numerous global awards.
- Zynga – Zynga Inc. is an American social game development company founded in April 2007 headquartered in San Francisco, California. Zynga also has a branch in Bangalore, India. It has developed some of the most popular and widely played games such as Farmville, Zynga Poker, Cityville, Mafia Wars.
- Games2Win is one of the largest global publishers of casual games in the world with over 290+ million app downloads! Games2Win is headquartered in Mumbai, India.
This field rewards young and creative professionals with high salary packages.
In India, the average salary of a fresher in the gaming industry is around 2.5 – 4.5 LPA.
A game designer in the US can get paid up to $58 k per annum. With good skill sets, you can even land up in a gold mine!
Youngsters, college graduates and middle-aged veterans. No longer. No longer will we mute our fantasy adventure RPG’s late at night. Our fingers shan’t hover over the alt+tab keys during classes or while at home any more. For everyone knows to beat the best, you’ve got to play the best.
So don’t stay d/c, stop being AFK and dl that game you’ve been dying to play, today. Here’s wishing that you have a GG.
Curious to know more about the gaming industry and its career opportunities? Get in touch with us at Navigus.in to find out more. Until then keep pwning and go FTW!