According to a fascinating new report from VRJournal, the video game industry may be experiencing “amazing success,” but jobs for game developers have declined 65 percent since 2014.
“There is obviously job seeker demand for careers in gaming, but the way video games are created is changing as new technology like smartphones and virtual reality is advancing,” reports gaming blog Indeed, which is cited in the VRJ piece. “This is leading to drastic changes in the gaming labor market.”
To squeeze a lot of history into a nutshell, during the 2000s, publishers began funding studios that created games of all sizes and quality. This fostered an industry that produced video games at a volume too large for consumer demand and with little focus on quality. Eventually demand for these low-quality games faded and publishers stopped funding these studios, eliminating a large portion of the gaming labor market.
Video games were traditionally created by teams of developers at studios (Blizzard Entertainment, Bungie and Zynga are a few of the largest) that are financially backed by publishers: Sony, Nintendo, Microsoft, Activision, etc. These remain the organizations with the most job openings — and the most need for developers with state of the art skills, Indeed reports. But gaming technology is changing.
“The long promised revolution of virtual and augmented reality moved closer to realization,” notes Indeed. “The mania around Pokémon GO with its mass market appeal and utilization of mobile phones introduced untold millions to the potential of augmented reality. With its launch in India and South Asia it has become the poster child for the potential of mobile games given its advanced technology and the massive international smartphone penetration.”