Just a note to students who are attending the AGDC this year - make sure you polish up your portfolios because Blizzard will be in town for the conference and will be actively looking for potential recruits. I'll post more details on the front page as I get them.
Ok, the pr person who was supposed to get the details to me didn't but the AGDC newsletter has some stuff on it...
One of the featured recruiters at this year's AGDC will be Blizzard Entertainment ? from the USA ? one of the world?s leading game studios and creator of the immensely popular Warcraft?, Diablo? and Starcraft? franchises. ?Blizzard is always looking for highly skilled individuals to join the creative teams behind our games.? Said Mike Morhaime, President and Co-Founder of Blizzard Entertainment?. ?With the growth of the gaming industry in Australia, we see the AGDC as an opportunity to learn from the Australian market as well as to discover new talent?.
Hate to put a downer on this thread, but, anyone applying for a position with Blizzard ? who I am not certain but I think are in the USA ? will need a degree to do so, in order to get a work visa. I can?t recall whether it was a 3 year or 4 year degree that was required, or equivalent. In order to be ?equivalent,? it needs to add up to that degree requirement, so 3-4 years at some technical college like TAFE or the AIE might do it. As far as work experience go, I think it translated to either every 2 years of work made one year, or, every 4 years of work made 1 year.
Which doesn?t make sense to me, as I learnt far more from real-world practical experience than I ever did in any technical college.
Anyway, that is just work visas, what is really going to put a downer on any student is when I tell you that Blizzard are most likely not interested in any AIE / college grad. If they want that they can get it in the US. No, why they are here is for ?experienced? professionals. They have probably guessed how the local industry will weather with the arrival of the next-gen gaming platforms, they know that there are some highly talented individuals here that due to being stifled by the local studios, would kill for a chance to work with a high-caliber and profile studio like Blizzard, and get their foot into the door of a larger development region ? perhaps even willing to be ?competitive? in remuneration compared to US candidates, as having Blizzard on your CV will pave the rest of your career-path in gold, if you don?t fuck things up later, or if Blizzard don?t fuck things up for themselves and you [;)]. Blizzard is a studio that would provide such candidates the opportunity to push the boundaries, and work on something other than fee-for-service work, like original and innovative titles ? man, they should hire me as a recruiter, huh!? [:)].
They are here to poach seasoned and experienced developers that have learnt the bulk of the skills that they are looking for, and have a high level of talent, and crave the challenge and stimulus that the local developers are woefully inadequate at providing them with. This is the ?raw? talent they are looking for that they can then train by proxy, as their development culture and practices then influence them as they become part of the team.
I?m sorry to say, the chances that a student will walk into a position with Blizzard are slim, if nonexistent. But hey, shit does happen, right? And you might just learn something from talking to Blizzard, and perhaps make a future contact that will come in handy [:)].
Thought I?d add that any student that hopes to start a game development career, will most likely do so by starting that career here in the Land-of-Oz.
If you are lucky, you will land a junior role with a company like Irrational, Pandemic, Creative Assembly or Team Bondi. These companies have been established by those that have seen more than the local industry, and are developing original and innovative titles, not just fee-for-service work.
These aren?t your only options, landing a position at a publisher first-party developer ? like Midway, THQ, Atari, etc ? would be a good place to start as well, just don?t expect to work on anything original and innovative, but you will have better job security than working at a third-party developer that survives on fee-for-service work, as the former don?t have to beg as much for it from the master?s table ? the publishers [}:)].
Working at Blizzard would be great, but don?t worry too much if you are a student, as there are still opportunities here in Oz ? some of them not too shabby. [8D]
Anyway, didn?t Blizzard have a bunch of people leave recently or something, that formed their own studios?
To just add my shady recollection of what work requirements for the US are, it's university level degree in the relevant field you'll be working in, -OR- X number of years working in that field (I think it was 5 or 6 years) - Then I think you still needed a sponsor of some kind as well as your work already approved and met with the criteria of entrance.