From eSports and Virtual Reality to all your favorite versions of Mario and Luigi, the gaming industry covers a lot of territory, and it's only getting bigger. In order to keep up with ever-growing demand, gaming companies need to hire the best of the best.
To help you better understand how and where to recruit the best gaming talent, we've created this guide. In it, you'll receive a breakdown of the gaming industry, information about the most in-demand roles and skills as well as a few recruitment strategies utilized by some experts in the industry. Feel free to skip ahead by clicking the links below.
Table of Contents
Gaming Industry Breakdown
With over 2.5 billion video gamers across the globe, there is a high demand for new games and technology. In order to satisfy the demand, the gaming industry has broadened its reach both geographically and with new advancements in technology — such as virtual reality and augmented reality. To better understand the current state of the gaming industry, we've broken it down in-brief for you below.
GAMING EXPANDS GLOBALLY
The gaming industry is truly international with the most revenue (in million U.S. dollars) coming from China (32,536) followed by the United States (25,426), Japan (14,048), Sweden (4,430), United Kingdom (4,238) and France (29,77), according to WePC.
GAMING revenue CONTINUES TO GROW
Of the top 10 public companies by gaming revenues, three reported more than 30% growth YoY (Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo) and two reported between 18-22% growth (Apple and Google) between 2017 and 2018. You can see below that all top 10 companies saw between 4-41% growth YoY, a promising indicator that the industry is still growing significantly.
In 2018, total gaming revenue hit $137.9B, and by 2021 it’s predicted to reach $180.1B with mobile gaming taking over as the most in-demand segment of the market.
Additionally, of the three gaming segments (console, mobile and PC), console showed a significant increase in market shares, accounting for 38% of revenue earned in 2018 compared with 34% in 2017. The change in percent of revenue earned per segment by the top 25 gaming companies is as follows:
Console: Up 4%
Mobile: Down 1%
PC: Down 3%
THE GAMING JOB MARKET
Major changes have happened in the gaming job market over the past year — and if you’re a gaming company or recruiter, we’ve got some wonderful news for you. While the number of open roles in the gaming industry has dropped a slight 3% and 4% for developers and designers, respectively, interest from job seekers has skyrocketed.
As you can see in the graph above, searches for roles in gaming hardware and for virtual reality internships are up more than 1,000% YoY from 2018 to 2019. Internships are the most entry level role to get into an industry, and it’s clear that VR is where students and professionals seeking a career change see the future of gaming (and their careers).
The Most In-Demand Roles in Gaming
As we've seen, when it comes to hiring, gaming companies have a lot of talent to choose from. But if you’ve ever reviewed copious amounts of applications, you know this can be a blessing and a curse.
In order to sift through the noise that comes with everyone and their cousin looking to apply to your company, you need to know where to focus your energy and resources in order to select the best talent for your roles.
To help, we’ve narrowed down the most in-demand roles for the gaming industry along with in-depth information about specific roles based on information we gathered from our seven local communities. Of all the roles out there, we found that 73% fall under four categories: Software Engineering, UX Design, Data and Product. Roles in these disciplines will have the highest competition for candidates, but hopefully with rising candidate interest, your biggest struggle will be identifying the right match.
The engineering team — of any gaming company — is a critical unit of highly trained experts. In gaming, software engineers account for 29% of all open roles. There are many types of engineers out there who specialize in different coding languages and software. We researched the most in-demand engineers in the gaming industry, and this is what we found:
C++ - 15%
Golang - 11%
DevOps - 8%
Linux - 8%
User experience designers also play a critical role in creating visually aesthetic gaming experiences. Especially in an age when virtual reality and augmented reality are leading the industry, it’s critical to have top-notch UX designers to create a game with a better experience than your competitors. UX designers account for roughly 25% of all open gaming roles.
Data + Analytics
When you have thousands, millions, even billions of users playing your games, you’re generating copious amounts of data — that, when analyzed thoroughly, can provide you with extremely helpful insights into what users like and what elements need to be added or changed. That’s where data analysts, who account for 11% of open roles, come in to provide such insights.
Anyone who knows anything about gaming knows that product launches are critical for the success of a new title. It makes sense that product roles represent 8% of all open positions in the industry, as gaming companies need experts to ensure all things are considered and thoroughly communicated before and while a new product goes live.
10 Gaming Recruitment Examples
Now that you know where the competition is in the gaming industry, it’s time to figure out how you’re going to recruit top talent. There’s certainly no wrong way to recruit gaming candidates, and everyone has different strategies that work best for them. To help you brainstorm ideas and try out new tactics, we’ve gathered 10 examples from gaming companies recruiting top talent.
Zwift Focuses on Recruiting Developers
As we mentioned earlier, software engineers are by far the most difficult hires to make in the gaming sector. To combat this challenge, Zwift shared an in-depth article with interviews from three members of their Dev team. This article provides candidates with employee testimonials, insider information on company culture and more.
Backflip Studios Recruits Far and Wide
Finding the best talent doesn’t mean you have to stay local. Nowadays, relocating and working remotely are some of the most convenient and cost effective recruiting strategies. To help out-of-towners learn more about the local culture, Backflip Studios shares why Boulder is a great place to live, work and play. On their careers page, they back this claim with information on local recreational outdoor activities and things to do.
Bungie Brings the Office Tour to Candidates
Bungie’s career page hosts a wide variety of content that’s pertinent to interested candidates. From a blog that features company news, updates and information from their Dev team to community service opportunities for employees and even this simple, yet very helpful tour of their studio.
As you can see in the image above, the company compiled a series of 48 photos to highlight the ins and outs of their office — and yes, they actually do have a rock climbing.
Fanduel Shares Employee Testimonials
Did you know, 37% of candidates want to hear employee testimonials when researching a potential employer? The team at Fanduel isn’t shy to share why they love working for their company. You can find testimonials such as this one on their careers page.
Geocaching Highlights Their Culture on Social
Geocaching created an Instagram account — separate from their business account — to share all things company culture and employer branding. They update their account with new content regularly, highlighting events, company outings, conferences, office pets, employee spotlights and more. They also designate a section of their careers page for this Instagram account so that candidates know where to find this additional resource.
Insticator Promotes Their Top-Notch Benefits
Benefits are still a key deciding factor for any candidate. In fact, salaries and benefits are the two most important pieces of information candidates look for in their job search. Insticator Inc has some exceptional benefits, and they’re proud to promote them on their careers page.
Playstation Spotlights Individual Employees
PlayStation is always hiring, and they certainly wouldn’t be the brand they are today if they didn’t recruit the best of the best. In order to attract top talent, they have a number of in-depth employee spotlights, like the video above that is featured on their careers page. Additionally, they created a number of videos on careers, internships and departments that can be found on the company's Youtube channel.
Jackpocket Connects with Candidates Across Platforms
Jackpocket knows that candidates have their preferred methods for job searching. To help simplify the process, Jackpocket encourages candidates to connect with them and learn more about the company and its culture on the platform of their choice.
Lightstream Invests in Industry Events
Keeping up with the latest talent and industry trends, Lightstream’s team attended this year’s E3 event to learn from and connect with the best of the gaming industry. They also utilized their Twitter account to keep candidates and users in-the-know on what they learned and who they met at the event.
Unity Technologies Provides Resources for Candidates
On its careers page, Unity Technologies shares a unique series of videos that highlight different aspects of their company, from working at unity’s Montreal office to a hack week in Denmark and opportunities for students and recent graduates.
Additionally, to help answer some frequently asked candidate questions, they added a "Your Questions Answered" section to their careers page. This not only helps interested talent and candidates preparing for interviews research their company, but it also saves recruiters time answering simple questions.