The games industry in the UK is rapidly growing and recruiting more than ever before
The UK game industry is one of the most cutting-edge and fastest-growing in the world. Video game sales in the UK generated £3.77 billion only in 2019. According to TIGA analysis, the UK video game sector is the largest in Europe, contributing more than $1.96 billion towards British GDP. Competitive game studios offer innovative VR game products in London, Cambridge, Oxford, Horsham, Guildford, Brighton, Nottingham, Leeds, Liverpool and Manchester. They offer game jobs for specific professionals and basing on our game recruitment experience at 8Bit, some of the most popular ones now are: game designer, animator, art jobs in Nottingham, animation jobs (in London), studio assistant jobs (London), graphic design jobs, art jobs (Oxford), data analyst jobs (Edinburgh), or project manager jobs (Nottingham). Candidates that successfully land a position within a gaming studio are often with specialized higher education degrees, or with courses coming from prestigious universities so the salaries for a game programmer, animator, or producer roles in the UK game industry are often very high.
Diversity of workforce in the game industry in the UK
The UK games industry workforce is highly international - 19% of workers are from the EU and a further 9% from the rest of the world. International workers make up a third of core games production, art, and programming roles and they are more likely to work in specialist roles in the games industry..The game sector is relatively ‘young’, with two thirds of people working within it aged 35 or under. Moreover, 70% of people working in the games industry are male and 28% of the overall games workforce holds non-UK citizenship.
The games industry in the UK is growing and becoming more and more competitive, there is an increasing demand for skilled new employees, as well as professional game recruiters.
Demand for new skills of employees in the game industry recruitment
The development of games is a very complex process, requiring employees to coordinate their activities, and decision-makers to clearly present and implement the project vision. The key competence is game design. Designing game mechanics, or plot planning requires practical experience that is combined with innovation (a significant differentiator that allows you to create something really awesome for players) is pivotal. Thus, it’s extremely difficult to seek out such a "mix of competences" in potential employees. It is an incredible market and people working on games have to keep up with it. It’s done for the tastes of players, for the technology, and for the competition.
Changes in the video game production teams
Game development in the UK companies is changing from within, keeping what has led them to success so far. For example, Criterion Games prides itself on empowering employees, and even reserves two days during a project for something called 'Off The Grid'. This allows teams to work on whatever they choose as long as it wasn't scheduled in the last milestone. “Everything we've changed was to make the switch from a small cabal of people pushing instruction towards a large team to developing the ability to apply the wisdom of our team to solve the complicated problems of large scale video game development,” Webster says.
Desired employee profile in the game industry in the UK
Diversity is one of the areas of recruitment in the games industry that we’re seeing improvements in. It has become an important discussion point, whether in the aspect of race, gender, sexuality, or any other. Art, animation, design, QA, marketing and other positions are a reflection of people who hold them and, therefore, the best way to encourage more diverse people to enter the games industry is to show that they are always welcome in the games that are being created.
Employees from outside of the UK are continuously helping to create those stories much stronger and more authentic by bringing their life experiences to the games being developed by home studios. It’s a process that is already exciting to be seen unfolding in certain areas of the games industry. Any downsides to hiring from abroad are outweighed by having a flourishing diverse workforce. And once you open these doors to international game recruitment, it gives hiring managers a much more extensive choice of skills and enriches the culture of the workforce. Additionally and one of most rewarding parts of the recruitment process is that, for the candidate it can be a once in a lifetime opportunity which gives them, their families, and colleagues memories for years to come. For the same reason this is a pivotal process for the industry to innovate and thrive, it needs a non-uniform, diverse workforce from a broad spectrum of backgrounds bringing their differing experiences and viewpoints to the table. Historically the games industry has not been great with this, but it’s been proven time and time again that more diverse teams outperform those which don’t embrace diversity.
The role of game recruitment agencies in implementing new trends in the UK game industry
Recruiters observe changes in employment in the game industry in the UK every day. The problem is the shortage of the candidates matching needs, expectations and organizational culture of the game developer.
In Poland, for example, the game industry is still a young one, however, more and more specialists on the market have at least 10 years of experience with few AAA, award-winning or globally recognised shipped titles. In addition, employees from this region are characterized by such competences as the ability to listen, cooperate, solve problems, or flexibly think and act (source).
Hence, boutique recruiting agencies - such as 8Bit itself - offer a collaborative network of artists, developers, producers willing to take on new challenges in new locations such as the UK.