Play for Work: Build Your Career in The Video Game Industry

video game careers

The film industry is a revenue powerhouse, where dreams are chased and the streets are paved with gold.

The video game industry, on the other hand, is a somber place where loners, malcontents and misfits waste their time away, becoming blurry eyed and disconnected from society.

These are the easy buckets we place these businesses in – films are romantic, video games are weird – and then we go about our day spending too much on fancy coffee and the perfect side table.

Popular convention, the easy definition of life, is, in this case, far from reality, for it is the video game industry that has virtual streets made of adamantium.

In 2013, it was the video game industry that pulled in $70.4 billion in worldwide revenue, while the film industry, the long admired patron saint of all things entertainment, racked up $35.9 billion. So while Rogue One may have captured our minds while at the theater, it’s Call Of Duty that is deep inside of them.

Which bring us to our point – any industry making that much in yearly revenue has diverse employment needs.

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More and more people around the world are trying to make a career out of the video game industry. For some, playing games on the computer and earning money sounds like a dream come true, but what should a person do to actually make it a reality?

I Want In! Is This The Right Time?

A recent State of Online Gaming Report released by Spil Games reported that 1.2 billion people in the world are playing games on a regular basis. You can’t ask for a more rapidly-developing market!

In addition, the days of Pac-Man and Sonic the Hedgehog are long gone, video games have become dramatic tales with all the components of great storytelling – foreshadowing, drama, cinematography, art direction.

You enter a fully developed world, not just a simple shoot first ask questions later existence.

What this means for you as a person pursuing a career in the video game industry is that gaming companies today require a lot of diverse people to work for them to meet ever-increasing standards of the industry.

What Career Opportunities Are There in the Video Game Industry?


This is the most obvious one. Your best chance at breaking into the video game industry is to play a vital role in the creation of said games.

The good news is, the compensation for video game developers is pretty good: Sokanu reports that the annual average salary of a video game developer in the U.S. is $85,240 but can go up as high as $129,700.

get a job in the video game industry

The video game industry is booming – far outpacing the film industry

Pretty good, right?


If you love music, you should consider being a composer that writes music for video games. Many people generally don’t think about composers when they talk about video games but these professionals are critically important for the success of the product. According to Animation Arena, composers make up to $74,000 a year.

That’s also pretty good.


With so many video games released every month, marketing for them becomes a big deal. Even a really good game is not going to be popular if it not marketed properly and sufficiently.

Engadget wrote that publishing & marketing professionals in the video game industry make about $72,700 a year.


This is one of the most popular occupations in the business because it involves playing. A lot of it.

However, to get accepted, you need to know how to play them at a superior level. Attention to details, patience, and understanding of user experience are all critical here because your job is to find flaws.

Chron recently wrote that experienced testers make $45,769 per year. While this is a lower salary than in all above positions, it is still pretty wonderful for doing what you really love.

Who’s hiring?

There are lots of video games development companies looking for skillful candidates. According to the International Game Developers Association (IGDA), there are top ten most reputable and desired workplaces. IGDA’s 2014 report provided the following list:

  • Valve
  • My own company
  • Activision-Blizzard
  • BioWare
  • Ubisoft
  • Current employer
  • Nintendo
  • Naughty Dog
  • Double Fine
  • Bethesda Game Studios

These are the most popular companies voted by games and developers.

How Do I Improve My Chances of Being Hired in the Video Game Industry?

Well, let’s begin with the basics you need:

A Real Love for Video Games

Working in video games is probably not a right way for you if you don’t genuinely love them. Having interest in the industry will not only improve your chances but also make your working days much more enjoyable.

Development Experience Sure Helps

Next, you need to have some experience before you start sending out the resume. Begin developing video games at home and gain some knowledge on how the business is done.

Professional Qualifications

Naturally, passion and homemade projects are not enough for you to get a really good job you dream about. That’s why it is absolutely necessary for you to get some qualifications depending on the career path you’re after. For example, you can use Emergency Essays and College papers to improve your CV, while C++, Java, Photoshop and 3D Max courses will improve your web design skills. Getting this assistance will also be of a great benefit for you.

Well, seems we’ve got everything covered. Let’s wrap it up.


The global video game industry is booming, so it is a perfect time to enter. Many companies are looking for candidates on different positions because the market gets bigger every month. If you are thinking about joining the industry, feel free to use these tips to guide your way. Getting inside the industry is not easy, so be patient and remember about your primary destination – your dream job!

Diana Clark is a digital journalist and blogger, covering different news concerning media, everyday life tips, career possibilities in a digital universe and everything that might be interesting for a Web-Crazed Audience. Feel free to contact her at Facebook.



  1. Richard Lapid says:

    I wonder how to start play for work. They say that it begins without noticing it- just play. I’ll hope that’s the right way of doing it.

    • Diana Clark says:

      Hi Richard,

      It depends on what exactly you are going to do. To become a professional game tester you should only have the ability to write accurate, unambiguous and concise documentation. After playing numerous hours you have to make a detailed report of what should be improved. Visit and apply for the job you like. Good luck!