Gaming is big business. So much so that the industry raked in a reported $138 billion globally during the past year.
As such, with so much money floating around the gaming industry, there are certainly opportunities for those looking at careers in gaming.
But where does the money lie?
Game designer or programmer
First things first – game designers. These are the people tasked with coming with ideas of gaming titles. This includes everything from the concept of the game itself, to its look and feel, to how the game can be made given a specific budget. They often form a key part of the game design team, and often collaborate with programmers in order to bring their ideas to fruition.
Along with having a mind for games, another advantageous skill for designers is the ability to program. The ability to code and bring games to life are certainly more highly in demand in the industry and can help separate game designers from the rest of the pack.
“I would say that almost any future career could benefit from understanding coding, whether it’s a photographer writing a small script to rename all their photographs or an HR manager using Excel formulas to calculate a staff member’s annual leave,” adds Pieter Joubert, Gaming and Programming Navigator at Vega.
While designers think about the broader strokes, and programmers bring things to life, digital animators play the role of making sure everything in the game looks good.
More specifically they are there to ensure that characters and environments of a game are more interactive and have a polished depth of field that gamers will appreciate and enjoy.
A digital animator also works closely with the game designer and developer to help create storyboards, and may use their own artistic skills to draw animations by hand where appropriate, but will more often make use of digital software to generate imagery for games.
If game designers and programmers find and cut the diamond, it’s the animator which polishes it.
With the gaming and esports arena in particular becoming as popular as it has in recent years, it naturally requires people to report on what’s going on.
This is where journalists come into play, with a career in gaming journalism potentially being far more lucrative than investigative or straightforward tech journalism.
We’ve even seen major broadcasters like ESPN join the gaming journalism fray, which is saying something considering these types of organisations would have steered clear of esports only a few years ago.
“Whether you choose to work for an existing digital publication or branch out on your own, pursuing a career in gaming journalism may the ticket to a more fulfilling career,” says Vega.
The last lucrative career that Vega and Big5 Games highlight is content creation, which has a rather broad spectrum.
What makes this option particularly interesting is the fact that it can start out as a part-time hobby and be nurtured into a full-time freelance career, says the industry professionals at Vega.
“You can also become a professional live-streamer, sharing your own video gameplay to audiences on the internet. Streamers earn an income from this through sponsorships, subscriptions, and even donations from their fanbase,” they add.
Local content creator Sam Wright, better known as Tech Girl, is mentioned by the organisation, as she uses her blogging platform and online presence to deal with different subject matter in the gaming industry, both in SA and abroad.
Find out more
So now that you know of four possible areas to enter the gaming industry, what’s the next step?
That’s where Vega and Big5 Games wants to play their part, with the Johannesburg Vega campus playing host to a Careers Day focused on the gaming industry and esports.
It’s happening next week Saturday, 23rd February, with parents and students alike encouraged to go check it out.
“The global games industry is bigger than music and movies combined, and it’s important for South African youth to see all the incredible career opportunities that the games world can offer,” notes Kevin Meltzer, CEO of Big5 Games.
“The Games + Esports Careers Day is our way of contributing to the local gaming community and bringing together talented gamers to inspire the next generation of professionals,” he concludes.Pixabay]