Promising Careers for Those Who Are Passionate About Games

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Professional opportunities in the gaming industry are pumping. And if you fool those who think they’re restricted to the area of technology

Large number of open positions, competitive salaries and opportunities for professional advancement. All this associated with relative stability, since the sector remains heated even in the crisis. 

Many people can’t even imagine it, but the scenario above describes the job market in the games area in Brazil.

According to PwC data, we are already the 2nd largest electronic games market in Latin America – we lost only to Mexico, which we should overcome in 2020. According to the same source, consumers and advertisers will spend 0.8 billion dollars on games in Brazil in the next three years. That’s enough money to consolidate the sector as one of the most promising pillars of the entertainment industry in the country.

In the rest of the world it is no different. The consumer market for electronic games already moves more money than Hollywood, and it is estimated that there are 1.2 billion “gamers” around the planet.

According to André de Abreu, Blizzard’s Latin America communications manager, publisher and producer responsible for games like “World of Warcraft,” the industry’s impressive numbers are unknown to most people, making it difficult to attract skilled labor.

“The market re-emergence is very recent, not even 10 years old in Brazil,” he explains. “The result is that many professionals don’t even imagine they can work with this, and don’t know that salaries, benefits and career opportunities in games are as attractive as those offered by ‘dream companies’ like Facebook or Google.

The biggest difficulty, according to Abreu, is in recruiting people to work in the corporate pillar. There are many people interested in game development, that is, in acting as designers and programmers, but few actively seek positions in departments such as marketing, HR, finance or operations. It is necessary to “hunt” these talents.

The same situation is reported by Roberto Iervolino, general manager of Riot Games, the company behind hits like the game “League of Legends”. The most wanted professionals are those who already have a senior position in the market. “It’s a challenge to identify candidates over 35 who have a taste for games, because it’s hard to put that information on LinkedIn, for example,” he explains.

In fact, being passionate about “e-sports” or “electronic sports” is a requirement to work at Riot Games. According to Iervolino, the company’s employee cannot simply be a fan of “casual” smartphone games – it’s important that he enjoys more dense and complex games, which can take years to complete.

At Blizzard, having an interest in and respect for the gaming world is also a requirement, but it’s not mandatory to be a diligent gamer. “We don’t charge for hours of gaming,” he explains. “You have to like the subject, but the most important thing is that you are a great professional in your industry, have an ‘owner’s eye’ on the business, and are fluent in English.

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Offers and Trade-offs

A survey by Page Personnel recruitment consultants indicates a consistent high demand for professionals in the gaming sector. Between 2015 and 2016, the number of open positions in the area jumped 61%. “The monetization of the sector has evolved a lot in the last 5 years,” explains Ricardo Haag, director of the company responsible for the study. “Today there are interactive online platforms that generate a lot of revenue through in-game purchases”.

As a result, gaming companies invest in professionalization – and the main method to “steal” the best talents from more traditional markets is to offer competitive salaries and benefits. 

Relative stability is also an attraction. According to Iervolino of Riot Games, the economic crisis faced by Brazil has not shaken the financial gains of gaming companies – although they could have grown much more in recent years if the Brazilian environment was favorable, of course.

“Games continue to be consumed during the recession, both because they’re cheaper than other forms of entertainment and because they bring relief from the stress and tension brought on by the crisis,” explains Abreu of Blizzard. The consequence is that the industry experiences fewer ups and downs than others comparatively – and that strength translates into more security for employees in uncertain terms.

In contrast, says Haag, the candidate needs to be resilient and aligned with a culture similar to Silicon Valley: one needs to appreciate an informal but very demanding environment. As the industry is often extremely competitive, commitment and high performance are key to getting along.

Those interested in entering the market need to have an excellent resume and, depending on the position, a consistent portfolio. “If you are a legitimate gamer, that is, you are a fan of the characters and the culture of this universe, it is worth highlighting your preferences and experiences with games, events and even recreational activities in your resume,” Haag says.

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Most Popular Positions in 2017

Page Personnel listed 6 highly demanded positions in the gaming industry in different areas of activity, with data such as compensation, assignments and main requirements. Salaries can reach 18,000 reais. Check below:

1. Product Owner

What it does: It is responsible for market analysis focusing on game creation and improvement. He coordinates multidisciplinary teams, which include designers and developers, and bridges the product and marketing areas.

Why it’s on the rise: The increase in vacancies reflects the expansion of the consumer games market, which requires people capable of promoting innovation and ensuring the competitiveness of products.

Requirements: It is necessary to have experience with market analysis and research (benchmarking), strategic positioning of games, goal setting and people management. It is necessary to have training in IT or marketing.

Average salary: from 12 thousand to 18 thousand reais

2. Mobile Developer

What it does: It works directly with game creation, in partnership with the “back-end” development team, which is responsible for the product’s administrative panel. His goal is to create the best possible format for the game on mobile devices.

Why it’s on the rise: Smartphones and tablets are the main means of communication with the general public, and serve as support for mass games. In the last 4 years, the demand for mobile-oriented competencies has exploded.

Requirements: Previous experience in unity programming, mobile languages and platforms such as iOS (Apple) and Android (Google) is required. The most common academic background is in IT (Information Technology) or related courses.

Average salary: from 10 thousand to 15 thousand reais

3. Web Developer

What it does: It works with designers and software engineers to create games with online mechanisms and develop new concepts for existing products.

Why it’s on the rise: Both on mobile and fixed platforms, the use of web mechanisms is constant in today’s games. The development and maintenance of this technology requires skilled professionals.

Requirements: In addition to training in computer science or related areas, it is necessary to have experience with web programming topics such as SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol) and REST (Representational State Transparency), in addition to languages such as Java Script, jQuery and Front-End. Knowledge in UX (User Experience) is a differential.

Average salary: from 8 thousand to 15 thousand reais

4. Sports Brand Manager

What it does: It defines marketing strategies to attract players, evaluates market growth, establishes and monitors performance indicators (KPIs) of sports games.

Why it’s on the rise: Sports games are expanding, which demands specialized professionals in their improvement and promotion.

Requirements: Analytical reasoning, good communication, ease of interpersonal relationships and fluent English are required. Training is usually in marketing, but the personal profile is more important than the diploma.

Average salary: R$ 6 thousand to R$ 12 thousand

5. Web/Graphic Designer

What it does: It is responsible for the visual identity of the games. It also works to optimize the experience of the players with the creation of a clean and pleasant layout.

Why it’s on the rise: The demand for professionals in the area is linked to the growth of the market for games played on the Internet.

Requirements: In addition to training in graphic or web design, the candidate needs to demonstrate high artistic skills combined with teamwork skills, organization and good knowledge of digital game culture.

Average salary: R$ 4 thousand to R$ 8 thousand

6. Game Instructor

What it does: It gives classes about specific games with the objective of turning students into high-performance players. It is these “digital athletes” who win awards and are a reference for other less experienced players.

Why it’s on the rise: Competitiveness in the gaming world has increased a lot in recent years. As a result, major brands in the industry have started to organize game championships with millionaire awards. The game instructor is a key figure to improve the level of players and feed the dispute for excellence in “e-sports”.

Requirements: The candidate must have technical knowledge of the games, be recognized as a great player, in addition to presenting good communication and didactics. A higher level diploma is required in any area.

Average salary: from 2 thousand to 4 thousand reais