The growth of gaming serves as a case study of how something novel and untested can still become a global preoccupation. Oddly enough, despite how commonplace games are in living rooms and bedrooms today, the enduring popularity of interactive media is a bit of an unlikely success story. In the two years between 1983 and 1985, for instance, 97% of revenues from game sales had been lost, largely due to the actions of Atari.
Those fragile days of the Atari “shock” are now long gone, but gaming companies do still come and go. For better or worse, Atari is now connected with hotels and casinos, while many other brands have been swallowed up by larger companies like Microsoft, EA, Ubisoft, and Take-Two. Of course, the gaming industry is sustained by people, and games have represented an excellent career choice for a while now.
Is it still true, though?
Out of the Box
In a word, yes. However, there are a number of things to remember when getting involved in this seemingly unstoppable sector.
Due to the rapid growth of out-of-the-box solutions for game creation, it’s entirely possible to go it alone and build your own game or gaming platform from the ground up. Development environments such as Unity 3D and the Unreal Engine, as well as the wealth of relevant tutorials on YouTube, mean it’s largely free to get started. Of course, creativity and talent are elusive finds, so there may always be a bottleneck associated with people.
Off-the-shelf packages aren’t unique to conventional video gaming, either. Online services offer casino and online sportsbook software, essentially providing cutting-edge technologies for their clients (burgeoning gaming providers). By utilizing tools, such as a vast expanse of live streaming sources and reputable industry experts for accurate data, they help clients to both acquire and keep customers, subsequently improving revenue generation.
There are plenty of different paths into gaming glory, though.
Heroes of the Storm
Gaming analytics firm Newzoo claims that only 32.7% of industry workers are involved in game development, in careers such as art, design, and programming. The remaining 67.3% are more likely to work in adjacent roles like writing, translating, producing, marketing, sales, and tech support. As mentioned, for the exceptionally skilled, playing games professionally in eSports is also a possibility.
The BBC adds a note of caution for an eSports vocation but it can be extrapolated to the gaming industry as a whole – it might not be a long-term career. Because games are often dependent on gimmicks and fads, development on certain technologies might go out of style abruptly. Businesses formed around one console or device may only have a lifespan of about five to ten years.
For eSports, the same problem applies. A good example involves the game Heroes of the Storm (HotS). Developer Blizzard cancelled the HotS Global Championship back in 2018 citing a lack of popularity with fans. This meant that any group of players that had dedicated their lives to playing that particular game were now, essentially, unemployed. It’s a cruel fate but games have always had a shelf-life.
Overall, gaming is still an ideal career path for people in many different professions – but be wary of rapid industry changes.