In many ways, there is nothing better than turning an innate passion into a lucrative career. With labour market growth now present in the majority of developed economies throughout the world and the level of competition for jobs intensifying, knowledge and passion for a particular market can afford you a critical advantage over rival candidates.
It also comes with potential pitfalls, however, as personal preferences can often override your better judgement and cause you to make poor career decision. The gaming industry embodies this conundrum better than any other, as it has evolved considerably during the last decade and experienced a huge shift in terms of popular platforms and user demographics.
The Changing Face of Gaming: The Facts behind an Evolution
Whenever you think about gaming, console platforms and technology giants such as Sony and Microsoft immediately spring to mind. Thanks to the evolution of mobile and social gaming, however, traditional console platforms are declining in popularity and failing to command the same market share as in previous generation. As a result of this, experts are predicting that just $4 out of every $10 spent on gaming in 2014 will come be committed to video games, consoles and any accompanying accessories.
To put this into further perspective, disc-formatted console games accounted for 68% if all gaming revenue as recently as 2009. This will come down to 41% in the current year, as consumers continue to seek more engaging and affordable titles that offer them the ultimate flexibility as gamers. In contrast, online games across all social media and mobile channels will claim an impressive 31% of the overall market, including everything free to access titles such as Farmville and remotely accessible gambling rooms.
How to Succeed in the Contemporary Gaming Market
With this in mind, how should passionate gamers look to enter the marketplace and claim a rewarding and prosperous employment opportunity? Consider the following ideas: -
- Develop a Knowledge of the Market and Potential Future Trends
Regardless of your favourite method of gaming or title preferences, it is crucial to approach the gaming industry from an informed and objective perspective. This will not only enable you to effectively target a niche and tailor your skill-set, but also talk confidently with potential employers and demonstrate a clear understanding of the prevailing market trends. Beyond studying contemporary statistics and the constantly changing relationship between mobile and console platforms, it is also worth forecasting future trends and determining how console developers may respond to the recent market developments.
- Understand the Core and Transferable Skills that Drive the Gaming Industry
Depending on the aforementioned response of console developers, video gaming may yet enjoy renaissance and reclaim a larger market share. Sony and Microsoft both integrated online capabilities into their PlayStation 4 and X-Box One consoles respectively, in a bid to create the same sense of community and interaction that defines social gaming. With this in mind, it is worth developing skills that are transferable across both sectors of the gaming industry if you are optimise your chances of remaining in long-term employment. Programming, development and animation skills are applicable across social, mobile and console gaming, for example, while level design is also an extremely useful attribute. This is especially relevant when you consider the tiered nature of most social and mobile titles, which usually include hundreds of levels across both free and paid subscriptions.
- Consider the Full Breadth of the Gaming Market
While it is common to consider the gaming industry in terms of consoles and mobile, this does a disservice to the considerable growth that has been seen in the online gambling industry in the last two years. This is part of the same industry, and many of the trends that have impacted on traditional gaming have also had an influence on contemporary gambling platforms. This was supported by a recent Q&A with Freebets.com, where Coral mentioned that they saw a record number of downloads for their app during the World Cup. If you are going to consider forging a career in the gaming industry, it is important to review its entire breadth and identify opportunities that may otherwise have fallen beneath the radar. This will boost your levels of knowledge and ultimately enable you to make an informed choice.
Sourced Image: Flickr / Games