With the gaming market’s ever-expanding influence paired with e-sports and video game competitions, many people are turning their love of gaming into a career. The world of video game development and creation can be a boon for both an enjoyable work environment and a lucrative salary. If you’ve ever wondered how to take your hobby and turn it into a professional passion, we’ve compiled some need to know information to get started.
With the gaming market’s ever-expanding influence paired with e-sports and video game competitions, many people are turning their love of gaming into a career. The world of video game development and creation can be a boon for both an enjoyable work environment and a lucrative salary. If you’ve ever wondered how to take your hobby and turn it into a professional passion, here are the steps to get you started!
Despite what some might think, video game development is a challenging process and a highly competitive field; students especially need to be aware of the specialization and diversification involved. Degrees in the discipline are focused on the production aspects, making video game development a mix of disciplines including mathematics, graphic design, software engineering, and programming.
The world of video games offers a wide range of career opportunities, including:
Game design is an umbrella term for a wide field that has many specializations; this includes disciplines such as graphic design, creative writing, computer programming, and even science! While the exact role of a game designer may vary, their primary task is the overall design of a game.
Game developers are a core part of the creation process in video games; their jobs include not only developing core ideas but writing code and assuring the overall quality of a product before launch.
Game testing deals with the rigorous testing of a game’s software to document and fix any bugs or defects before a game can be distributed. As games become more and more complex as the years go by, a large part of game testing has started to involve overall quality assurance as well.
Game programming gets down to the nitty-gritty of video games, involving the creation and writing of code which brings the game to life. Game programmers work closely with producers and other departments to translate a shared vision into a playable format.
Salaries in the gaming world can vary depending on the job. Here are the industry standards for the careers mentioned above;
In the design field, the average salary comes out to about £30,000, though earning up to £45,000 is not unheard of. As a senior game designer, this jumps up to the £65,000 range.¹
The salary of a game developer depends on your position; starting salaries are around £19,000 to £25,000, with a jump to £35,000 to £50,000 once you’ve gained a few years of experience, and a senior position can net you £55,000 to £75,000.²
The average salary for a game tester in the UK is £9.28 per hour, with an average base pay calculated at £16,362 a year.³
Salary for a programmer depends on experience; entry-level programmers can expect a salary within the range of £24,490, early-career programmers come in around £30,284, and mid-career programmers can make an average £36,334.⁴
The field of video games and game development requires a degree-here are some options and information on the schooling involved;
The average game design degree will require anywhere from 3-4 years of schooling, depending on your university of choice. While universities will often time offer a wide range of disciplines, be on the lookout for those that specialize or offer work-study opportunities as well.
Since game development covers such a wide variety of jobs, the degree you study will entirely depend on what specific discipline you want to pursue. No matter the specific vocation, high-level software skills, and IT proficiency are recommended, if not required.
Game testing, in general, does not have a standardized course of classes or a dedicated degree. however, as video game testing became a more sought out position and competitive field, a degree within the gaming sphere can only help; a degree in game design, video graphics, computer programming, or other related fields can help you get a leg up on your competition.
For a career in game programming a Bachelor’s degree-though in some cases a Masters- is preferred for prospective employees. The favored fields fo these degrees are computer science, software engineering, and others within that vein.
Game Creation As A Lucrative Career
Hopefully, this article has helped to open your eyes to how your hobby can turn into a lucrative future career with a push in the right direction. With a wide range of opportunities in the field and high starting wages, the benefits to a career in the industry are many. Therefore, consider looking into the opportunities around you for job opportunities in the UK.
 Prospects. “Game Designer.” Judith Hanley. Accessed July 31, 2020. https://www.prospects.ac.uk/job-profiles/game-designer
 Prospects. “Game Developer.” AGCAS. Accessed July 31, 2020. https://www.prospects.ac.uk/job-profiles/game-developer
 Indeed. “Salaries.” Accessed July 31, 2020. https://www.indeed.co.uk/salaries/game-tester-Salaries.
 Payscale. “Average Video Game Programmer Salary in United Kingdom.” PayScale. Accessed July 31, 2020. https://www.payscale.com/research/UK/Job=Video_Game_Programmer/Salary.