While most of the excitement of a video game usually occurs on the screen, there is just as much excitement behind the scenes for those seeking video game designer jobs. Companies are looking for experienced game designers and college graduates with bright ideas, artistic skills, and great imaginations to help their businesses launch the next big hit. The industry offers many opportunities to combine backgrounds in art and science to create new games for the adventure-hungry gamer audience.
The gaming market continues to thrive as it expands onto new platforms such as smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices. Social media sites have also contributed to the growth of the gaming industry. Expansion into these new areas has helped the job market. The outlook is great for savvy game designers looking to use their talents to design new games for the burgeoning mobile device market.
Several large game development companies have recently announced their initial public offerings to the stock market. This should boost the demand for designers and those with skills needed for this exploding business. Those seeking lucrative jobs should not have a problem finding employment in the business.
Design jobs at a top video game company often command a salary that is competitive with salaries in other fields. Beginning salaries average about $35,000 to $40,000 per year. Most designers average about $40,000 to $50,000 per year. For those with several years of experience and extraordinary creative skills, the salaries can average about $70,000 per year. Since many popular games are the result of the creative talents of the designers, many experienced game designers are highly valued by the top game companies.
A lucrative salary can be achieved for those working for the top game companies. These companies demand more from their designers and the designers are rewarded for producing the best new games and features. These companies pay some of the highest salaries for game designers, often rising well into the six figure range. In the video game industry, more experience translates into higher pay.
Past job growth
Job growth for video game design jobs had been steady in the past until the recession hit. Like other industries and the overall economy, the video game industry also took a hit but still saw modest gains. Job growth in the past was due to games for the motion-based platforms such as the Wii and Kinect. The growth has also been attributed to the transition for many gamers to mobile devices and social networking sites. The popularity of many games on these devices and sites help to introduce a whole new audience to gaming. The growth in new users helped to fuel the recent growth that has occurred as the industry recovered from the recession. Game companies have reached a point where they have several different platforms and end users for which they have targeted their new games.
Future Job Growth
The market for video game design jobs is expected to see continued growth in the future. As new games are being designed or adapted for the new mobile computing platforms and social media sites that should help propel the number of jobs to higher levels. It is forecasted that more people will own a mobile device or a tablet computer than the number that owned a game console. This growth will create even greater demand for designers and talented professionals in the gaming industry. Those with superior skills and more experience will see themselves being in greater demand. A designer with these attributes will be able to command a higher salary than those with lesser experience.
As the major game console companies release new products such as the PlayStation Move and new mobile devices are developed, it is forecasted that video game design will see an increase in jobs to help meet the demand. Consumers will continue to challenge the game companies to design more graphically-rich and feature-laden games. This should translate into the continued growth of jobs in the industry. The salary for a talented designer should also grow as competition between game companies for the best designers becomes even fiercer. In the long run, the consumer benefits when more elaborate, complex, and more stunning games are released. Professionals working in the industry should benefit from more opportunities with salaries to match.
The video game industry may have suffered some doldrums when the home console platforms reached their plateau, but now the industry stands on the brink of a new era. Designers will be needed to help meet this upswing in demand for new games.