According to the 2017 Kleiner Perkins Internet Trends Report, the number of gamers worldwide has skyrocketed to an astonishing 2.6 billion. That is 26x the numbers in 1995!
What’s particularly interesting is that gaming is no longer confined to a younger demographic. The report reveals that the average age of gamers in the United States is 35 years old. Moreover, the number of female gamers over the age of 18 surpasses the count of male gamers under 18.
The ever-growing popularity of gaming has created a wealth of opportunities for individuals with diverse talents. Artists, programmers, testers, and numerous other professionals can pursue their dream video game job of designing and creating video games. As technology advances, the video game industry shows no signs of slowing down. In fact, it is projected to reach a staggering worth of $321 billion by 2026. With such a promising outlook, the world of gaming continues to captivate both players and professionals alike.
The rise of the gaming industry has opened up a world of possibilities for those who are passionate about video games. What was once considered merely a hobby has now become a thriving sector with numerous career opportunities. If you’re an avid gamer and dream of turning your passion into a profession, you’re in luck. In this article, we will explore the top 10 video game jobs for gamers, each offering a unique avenue to blend your love for games with a rewarding career.
Game developers are the masterminds behind the creation and coding of video games. They bring ideas to life by designing gameplay mechanics, developing characters, and creating immersive worlds. As a gamer, becoming a game developer allows you to apply your understanding of game mechanics, your knowledge of different genres, and your passion for gaming to create compelling and engaging experiences for players. By utilizing your gaming expertise, you can design captivating gameplay loops, intriguing challenges, and memorable moments that resonate with fellow gamers.
In smaller game development studios, game developers often have to take on multiple roles due to limited resources. They might be responsible for tasks that range from coding and designing gameplay mechanics to creating art assets or handling sound design. On the other hand, larger companies tend to have more specialized roles, with developers focusing on specific areas such as gameplay programming, artificial intelligence, or graphics.
Median Salary: $84,000
When considering top video game jobs, being a game designer comes to mind. Game designers shape the overall vision and concept of a video game. They are responsible for defining the gameplay, narrative, and mechanics that make a game enjoyable. As a gamer, you possess firsthand experience of what makes a game entertaining, immersive, and engaging.
This knowledge allows you to become a game designer who can leverage your understanding of player preferences and behaviors to craft innovative and captivating experiences. By channeling your gaming expertise, you can design levels, puzzles, and challenges that challenge players and provide a sense of accomplishment, all while catering to the desires and expectations of fellow gamers.
Median Salary: $66,000
Being a marketing analyst might not be an ideal video game job for average gamers but it can have its benefits too. Marketing analysts in the gaming industry play a crucial role in understanding and reaching target audiences. They analyze market trends, conduct market research, and gather data to identify consumer preferences and behaviors. As a gamer, you have a unique perspective and understanding of the gaming community and its preferences.
This insight allows you to excel as a marketing analyst by leveraging your knowledge of gaming trends, player motivations, and gaming culture to develop targeted marketing strategies. By connecting with fellow gamers and understanding their needs, you can help game companies create compelling marketing campaigns that resonate with the gaming community.
Median Salary: $63,000
Video Game Writer
These may be heroes behind the curtain, but being a video game writer is one of the dream video game jobs for any gamer. Video game writers are the storytellers behind the captivating narratives found in games. They develop compelling characters, intricate plots, and engaging dialogue that immerse players in the game world. As a gamer, you have experienced the power of storytelling firsthand.
By becoming a video game writer, you can leverage your passion for gaming and your understanding of narrative structures to create rich and immersive stories that resonate with players. Your ability to craft captivating narratives, create memorable characters, and write authentic dialogue will allow you to connect with fellow gamers on a deep emotional level.
Median Salary: $68,000
Animators breathe life into characters, objects, and environments within a video game. They create fluid and realistic movements that enhance the player’s immersion and interaction with the game world. As a gamer, you have an innate understanding of how animations can enhance the gaming experience.
An animator actively manipulates models to bring characters and scenes to life. Animation involves utilizing a range of tools, each with its own unique characteristics. While some animators possess drawing skills, others may not rely on this ability. Similarly, coding proficiency varies among animators based on the tools employed by the studio and their personal comfort levels.
Median Salary: $87,000
Video Game Artist
One of the most vital video game jobs is that of an artist. Video game artists are responsible for the visual elements that define the look and feel of a game. They create concept art, design characters, environments, and user interfaces, and develop textures and 3D models. As a gamer, you have a keen eye for aesthetics and a deep appreciation for visually stunning games.
Video game artists actively breathe life into the gameplay, complementing the work of designers. Their task involves crafting diverse artistic styles that permeate the entire game and marketing strategy. Decisions on whether to instill characters with an eerie undead ambiance or a vibrant and cheerful aura shape the overall experience, making games memorable and drawing players into the game world.
Different artists adopt varying approaches to their craft. Some opt for traditional methods, employing techniques like sketching or freehand drawing. Others embrace modern tools such as 3D modeling or motion-capture technology to create their art. Regardless of the methods used, video game artists play a pivotal role in shaping the visual aesthetics and captivating gamers with their artistic prowess.
Median Salary: $58,000
Game testers play a crucial role in quality assurance, ensuring that games are free from bugs and glitches. They meticulously test games, identifying and documenting any issues they encounter. As a gamer, you possess a sharp eye for detail and a deep understanding of gameplay mechanics. This expertise makes you an ideal candidate for a game tester role.
You can combine your passion for gaming with your keen observational skills to ensure the smooth and enjoyable experience of fellow gamers. Your ability to identify potential issues, provide valuable feedback, and suggest improvements will contribute to the overall quality of games.
Median Salary: $87,000
Professional gamers, also known as esports athletes, compete in organized tournaments for a living. They showcase their skills and expertise in popular video games, such as League of Legends, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, or Overwatch, to name a few. As a dedicated gamer, you possess the drive, determination, and competitive spirit necessary to excel as a professional gamer.
By honing your skills, practicing relentlessly, and participating in esports competitions, you can establish yourself as a professional gamer. Your deep understanding of game mechanics, strategic thinking, and exceptional reflexes will allow you to compete at the highest level and inspire fellow gamers with your achievements.
Median Salary: $56,000
One of the most vital video game jobs is without a doubt being a programmer. Programmers in the gaming industry are responsible for writing the code that brings games to life. They develop the underlying systems, mechanics, and functionalities that make games interactive. As a gamer with a passion for technology and problem-solving, becoming a game programmer allows you to merge your gaming expertise with your programming skills.
By understanding the intricacies of game development, you can design and implement gameplay mechanics, create immersive player experiences, and optimize game performance. Your ability to code interactive features, implement artificial intelligence, and optimize game engines will contribute to the creation of exceptional gaming experiences for fellow gamers.
Median Salary: $98,000
Audio engineers create immersive soundscapes that enhance the player’s experience in video games. They design and implement sound effects, ambient audio, music, and voiceovers. As a gamer, you are aware of the profound impact that audio has on the gaming experience. By becoming an audio engineer, you are getting one of the most satisfying video game jobs. You can leverage your passion for gaming and your understanding of sound design to create captivating audio experiences for players. Your ability to craft atmospheric soundscapes, design unique sound effects, compose captivating music, and integrate voice acting will immerse fellow gamers in the game world and elevate their overall gaming experience.
Median Salary: $66,000
The possibilities could be endless
The gaming industry offers a multitude of career opportunities that allow gamers to combine their passion for gaming with their professional aspirations. Whether you choose to become a game developer, designer, marketer, writer, animator, artist, tester, professional gamer, programmer, or audio engineer, your deep understanding of games and the gaming community will play a vital role in shaping your success. Embrace your passion, build upon your gaming expertise, and embark on a journey that allows you to contribute to the ever-evolving world of gaming.
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To become a game developer, a strong foundation in programming, knowledge of game design principles, and creativity are essential. Pursuing a degree in computer science, game design, or a related field can provide a solid educational background. Additionally, gaining hands-on experience through internships, personal projects, and collaboration with other game developers is highly beneficial.
While prior competitive gaming experience can be advantageous, it is not always a requirement. Dedication, practice, and a deep understanding of game mechanics are crucial to succeed as a professional gamer. Participating in online tournaments, joining local gaming communities, and continuously improving your skills can help you break into the competitive gaming scene.
Transitioning from being a gamer to a career in game design or development requires a combination of knowledge, experience, and networking. Start by gaining a strong understanding of game design principles, programming languages, and industry trends through self-study or formal education. Building a portfolio of personal game projects or participating in open-source collaborations can showcase your skills. Additionally, attending game industry events, joining online communities, and connecting with professionals in the field can provide valuable networking opportunities and insights.