On Making the Games Industry a Better Place to Work

Illustration for article titled On Making the Games Industry a Better Place to Work

I was talking the other day with a friend regarding my job(s) and how lucky I felt to have them, when it suddenly occurred to me that I was really, really glad I didn't work in the industry for a developer. Oh, sure, there are plenty of horror stories about grad school and academia (plus New York Times articles on why blogging is an unhealthy profession), but it all seems like a cake walk compared to the stories that come from the developer trenches. Well, EA's European head of talent acquisition has set about to debunk some myths about working in the game industry and point to ways to attract talent and keep talent in the trenches:

For our industry to continue to grow at its current rate of acceleration, we need to attract talent from other industries as well as more new graduates. The industry has become overly reliant on playing recruitment chess - taking employees from one competitor and then losing their own in return. This never ending game benefits no one, results in stalemate and does not meet the industry's needs for fresh perspective and growth.

A simple Google search for "games industry" reveals a number of preconceptions of what working in gaming is like. Today I'd like to acknowledge common perceptions and break through some of these myths. Together, we can debunk these myths and grow the industry with a new generation of talent.

Top Myths About Working In Gaming

- Work Hard/Play Hard

- Getting Lost In The Crowd

- Jobs, Not Careers

- Old Demographic Paradigms

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It's an interesting little piece, more so if you're dying to get into the industry, I'm sure. I'll take the shark-infested waters of academia any day, but that's just me.

Making The Game Industry An Attractive Place To Work [GameCareerGuide]

DISCUSSION

badasscat
badasscat

@topaz420: The thing about the film industry (and it's always been this way) is that you accept working long hours and you accept crunch times because you're working project to project. There aren't that many full-time regular employees in the film industry - most people are freelance.

That's a hard life with its own challenges, as I know first-hand, but I'd take it over the way the game industry is run, which I also know first-hand. I've worked in both industries. The game industry is the worst of the film industry, only all the time. In the film industry you can always see light at the end of the tunnel; there is a project, and at some point it's going to end. Then you decide what you're going to do next; you can take 6 months off if you want and can afford it, or you can look for your next project right away. In the game industry, you finish one project and no choice, you're right back to work on the next. The only relief you have is knowing there's at least a couple months between crunches.

Imagine you're a band on a world tour. That's a fun thing to do but it's hard, you're basically working every day until like 2AM - traveling, rehearsing, performing, then the obligatory after-party, etc. It's fun for a while but by the end, the only thing that gets you through is knowing you're gonna have some time off afterwards. Well, imagine if instead of that time off, your life in the band was just one world tour after another. As soon as you finish one world tour, the very next day you go halfway around the world and start again. And it's like this day in and day out forever. That is the game industry.