Current state of the Industry? And advice on which areas are there demand in.

Hi,

My name is Matt. I studied the Bachelor of Interactive Entertainment (Master in Animation) at Qantm College in Brisbane and graduated in 2005. After graduation I applied for jobs, got some interviews, but never managed to actually land a job. Along with many of my classmates I ended up just working various sales/retail/service jobs. My most recent job was an assistant manager at EB Games for 2 years where I then quit to go back to uni and study business - I am now in my 2nd year and thinking about going back to games again.

The reason I am here is that I'm wondering what the state of the games industry in Australia is like. I have heard that it's been pretty tough, with multiple companies, eg. Krome, shutting down.

I love games. Games are my passion and I'd really like a job that has some kind of relation to games. Furthermore I don't want my games degree to go to waste. Since I have already done 3 semesters of business subjects, I've thought about perhaps doing something that combines all of my skills and knowledge - and have noticed that there is such a thing as a double degree - "Bachelor of Business/Bachelor of Games and Interactive Entertainment".

Perhaps I could steer my current business course and turn it into the above?

or

Perhaps I could change my major to marketing and do the "Entertainment Marketing" path. (I thought this one might be good as having a degree in gaming - knowing the development processes would give me an advantage over normal marketing graduates).

Perhaps I could just drop business all together and go back to purely games? Do a Masters degree? Self study? Build portfolio?

All of the above I'd be happy doing but I need to know more...

So yeah,

What is the industry like? Are there a lot of talented people currently un-employed already? All lining up for the next position to open up?

What areas are there demand in? Animation? Design? Marketing? Producers?

All info, advice, in any shape or form would be GREATLY appreciated!

Thank you in advance.

-Matt

P.S. I've been reading through some of the threads below and have read some mixed messages from various posts.

My view, which I think agrees with the majority of the replies, is that the most important things are:
1. having an awesome show-reel that stands out, showing not only your skills, but also your imagination (originality), your talent.
2. coming to interviews prepared (and having a substantial amount of polished work to bring with to interview)
3. a great attitude, massive enthusiasm, and also good communication skills

I know it's very hard to get your foot in the door, you have to stand out, etc. etc. that's not what this post is about however - as mentioned above I want to know about the current state of the industry, what are companies needing and also what path should I take given my current skills, experience and knowledge etc.

-thanks again :)

P.J.'s picture

In my experience, follow your heart and instinct. No, the industry isn't stable right now. However, I don't think many industries are right now. Main thing is to never have regrets. Choosing the 'safest' option isn't always the best option IMO.

Xiroz's picture

I graduated the same degree (Game Design major though) Last year and it's been rough finding work. It's frustrating how much effort it's taken, but I know my sanity wouldn't last if I wasn't doing something I love. So I agree with P.J; safest option isn't always best.

Bozo's picture

Go the business degree.
Once the childish enthusiasm has worn off you'll be wanting real money and prospects so you can take time off and not go near a god darn computer.
Everything is more stable than the computer games industry plus your in the wrong country.

Anonymous's picture

+1. This is the advice I would give my younger self, if that were possible.

Anonymous's picture

I'd continue on with the Business Degree, assuming you are getting something out of it. In my experience there aren't nearly enough people in video games with necessary qualifications in business/marketing, which probably goes a long way to explain why the state of the industry is so bad at the moment.

Getting a job right now is extremely tough even if you have your foot in the door and plenty of experience. Perhaps you could have a go at making and selling iPhone or Android games in your spare time until things pick up on the job front.

Justin's picture

Mate

You've got a Qantm games qualification under your belt, and now you're studying now a business course. Sounds to me like you're on the right track.

If games is your passion, go with it ... having yourself a business qualification as well can only help (IMHO).

The commercial games landscape is indeed just that - Commercial. Every company developing games for sale needs someone with these skills. If you've got a grip on marketing you could very well score yourself a gig as a Community Manager or something similar. It is of course one thing to post an app to iTunes. It's another thing entirely to get your game noticed (just have a chat to Firemint or Halfbrick - their attention to marketing is *massive*).

Games + Marketing = Good.

Good luck!

Mattio11's picture

Thank you for all the replies guys :)