Building a career in the games industry



Building a career in the games industry
Building a career in the games
A workshop for JET participants
Rob Rutter
Introduction (2 mins)
What does the games industry look like? (10 mins)
What companies can I work for? (5 mins)
What careers are available? (10 mins)
Do I have to start in QA? Progressing in the industry (10
• What can I prepare in my last months on JET? (10 mins)
• Q&A (10 mins)
• Where can I find out more? (Links Appendix)
Rob Rutter
• Took part in JET in 2001/2002 in
• Working in the videogames
industry for 12 years
• Has worked for Nintendo, Sony
• Currently work for Square Enix as
Global Brand Marketing Manager,
based in London
Why work in gaming?
Videogames are still a growing industry
Gaming is not just consoles...
What are the growth areas?
What companies make up the industry?
Console / Hardware Companies
Tend to be larger and more focused on ‘traditional videogaming’ (i.e. home console / PC)
More Japanese games companies in this group – your language skills can be beneficial to
getting you an interview!
Fewer companies in this group – due to multi-million production cost of games
Mobile / Tablet Companies
Mix of large and very small companies – a lot of Korean/Chinese companies where your
international work history could make a difference.
Some very successful businesses in mobile / tablet games, very profitable (e.g. King,
Quicker, faster and cheaper game development
Many more companies in this group – due to massive growth in popularity of mobile and
tablet games
You don’t have to work in QA…
What kind of careers are available?
There is so much more than QA!
Game design
Artists (3D and 2D)
Audio Engineering
Web development
Marketing & Brand
IT/Tech Support
Human Resources
But, QA can also be a great option!
• Role of QA has changed in recent years due to
growth in ‘live’ games
• QA has evolved – not just checking bugs
– Supports tech work to maintain gaming servers
– Can work closely with development team to test
and build new game features
– Now has a much clearer career path
– Can provide stepping stone to other roles
(PR/Marketing/Community Management)
Where would be best for me?
• Language and international working skills are in
demand, and Japanese is an important language for
medium/large console publishers
• Larger companies (console/hardware companies)
support wider career options due to their size and
• Mobile / Tablet game companies tend to be smaller
and leaner – but jobs can be great training ground
(multi-disciplinary) and quicker to progress in
Where can I look for jobs?
• Company websites
• Dedicated videogaming employment agencies:
– Datascope, Interactive Selection, Aardvark Swift
• Specialised games industry websites:
–, Edge Online, MCVUK,
• Check links section in Appendix of this deck
for more info
Tips to progress
• Get to know people in your company
– You never know where it might lead
• Offer to help out beyond your role
– Lots of events, community days where help can be
needed. Can get yourself noticed
• Don’t be afraid to take a first job doing
something that’s not your ‘first pick’
– Getting in the door is a first step to get the career
you want
Tips to progress
• Build a strong LinkedIn profile
– There are a lot of recruiters looking on LinkedIn. You
can get approached for new opportunities.
• Don’t be afraid to apply for roles you think may
be a stretch
– Job specs are a guideline, don’t be put off
– If you have experience doing everything on a job spec,
where can you grow? It is OK to lack experience in
some areas, as long as you can illustrate how you’d
tackle the challenge and learn quickly.
What can I prepare now?
• Learn about the industry
– Follow big gaming websites to see what the current
and future trends are. You will be asked about them!
– Check sites every day. You will soak up the information
– Look at gaming forums for ‘hardcore’ opinions. Be
aware of the might of the internet fan…
– Play more games!
• Research jobs and job specs online
– Find job adverts that interest you and see what the
spec is. Look for your strengths and weaknesses and
fill gaps in your knowledge if you can.
What can I prepare now?
• Update your LinkedIn profile (or set one up)
– There are groups on LinkedIn for people wanting to
start in the games industry.
– Message and add videogame recruiters to your
contacts. They can help you.
• Think about will set you apart from other
– Build a point of difference (if you’ve learnt Japanese,
this is a good start).
– Know more, be more enthusiastic, and resourceful!
– Write a solid CV – get the basics right, especially
Where can I find out more?
Specialist Recruitment Agencies:
Aardvark Swift –
Datascope –
Interactive Selection –
Games Industry websites that have Jobs section: –
Edge Online –
Hardware Companies:
Sony –
Microsoft –
Nintendo –
Where can I find out more?
Square Enix –
Capcom –
Konami –
Take Two –
Bethesda –
Warner Bros –
Ubisoft –
Activision –
Koei -
EA –
Mobile / Tablet Games Companies
King –
Zynga –
Supercell –
Gungho Entertainment –
Tencent –
Nexon –