The video game sector is one of the few industries that continually grows despite periods of economic downturn. According to the Kleiner Perkins Internet Trends Report, the gaming industry has grown faster than any other business sector, from 100 million players in 1995 to over 2.5 million worldwide by 2018. In 2022 that number grew to almost five million. The boom in gaming is primarily due to the fact that the technology, including the advancement of Web 3.0, continues to advance at a breakneck pace.
In just the U.S. alone, as of 2022, there were over 275,000 people working in the video game industry in game development, business operations, and marketing, as well as over a dozen supporting roles. The boom in gaming is creating jobs so fast that video game recruiting companies are working overtime to meet the ever-increasing demand for new talent, and the demand is expected to continue for the foreseeable future. For those looking for a new career or for gaming programmers, developers, designers, and animators looking to move up the ladder, here is the skinny on the best gaming jobs for 2023.
While the days of the indy developer creating a game by themselves may be coming to an end, the larger gaming companies are hiring experienced game talent of all levels faster than ever before to help develop new projects and advance successful franchises. Funding from venture capital firms and international game companies has fueled the emergence of small studios founded by industry veterans looking to build something ambitious.
With mobile devices becoming more powerful, popular, and prolific, the mobile gaming sector is continually increasing its market share. This is resulting in a sharp increase in mobile game sales, and many of the world’s fastest-growing studios are taking advantage of the boom by focusing solely on creating casual games and apps. To keep up with demand, video game recruiters report mobile game studios are also increasing their numbers at the junior and senior levels.
Blockchain is one of the highest-paying and in-demand game programmer jobs, and demand is only expected to grow as the technology expands and becomes more widely accepted. In fact, recruiters report demand for blockchain jobs has more than doubled in just one year. The popularity of blockchain is due to the decentralized nature of the platform that shares information across multiple databases. Each transaction is encoded and then added to a block in the chain of databases that makes anything created or managed with blockchain virtually impossible to tamper with. Because of the specialized nature of the programming, blockchain technology is creating more new jobs than there are developers to fill positions.
Gaming Jobs for 2023
A career in the game industry doesn’t mean you have to spend your entire life in the same job. There are several positions with greater skills and responsibilities that will allow you to move up the ranks as your abilities and experience grow. Here is a rundown:
Blockchain is rapidly becoming one of the most sought-after skills in video gaming, and video game recruiters only expect demand to grow. Junior-level positions require proficiency in C++, Java, and Python programming languages, and senor-level positions require a minimum of two years of experience working with blockchain coding. Candidates must know blockchain protocols and cryptography, have a background in writing algorithms and data structures, and have experience in back-end development.
Game designers are responsible for bringing the story to life on screen. Game designers work on multiple features of a game, working on a team to create the plot, characters, and game parameters. Designers work closely with programmers and developers to produce game prototypes. Developers must be skilled in the use of game engines, art software, and scripting languages like Python and C#.
Artists and animators create the characters, imagery, and effects to set the overall artistic theme that brings the game to life. While some animators still use more traditional artistic methods, like free-hand sketching, most game artists use tools such as ED modeling, 3D Max, After Effects, and motion-capture technology.
The role of the video game writer is sometimes small but always meaningful. Writers have the oh-so-important responsibility of creating the game’s storyline, written descriptions, dialogue, and narrative. While games like puzzles may only have a few lines of introductory narration, games having extensive role-playing, entailed storylines, and provocative dialogue are key elements that require the skills of a talented writer.
Video game testers are the quality control inspectors who give the game its final certification before the game is released to the public. Video game tester’s responsibilities are to play the newly created games and detect any bugs or glitches that prevent the game from operating as the engineers, developers, and designers intended. While the game-tester position does not pay as well as other gaming jobs, people who love to play games can make a nice living in the video game industry without having a specialized degree or extensive knowledge of coding skills.
Video game recruiting companies predict there will be no shortage of jobs in the video game industry. However, people serious about a career in the gaming industry should give serious thought to registering with a recruiting agency. DAM is the top video game recruiting firm in the U.S. and has access to scores of unpublished job listings not available to the general public. As their fees are paid by the studio, DAM never charges job seekers a fee, and they also provide free assistance with interview preparation and career guidance to candidates.