A common entry route into games development is to begin as a quality assurance tester. Testers can then progress to a lead tester role within a few years and then potentially move on to the design or production side or into management. Entry is also possible straight into programming and artist roles, although previous experience is preferred.
Career progression within games development is relatively fast. Many who enter the industry at junior level end up at lead level within five to seven years and can reach senior level within their first ten years. Senior-level positions include technical directors, developers, producers and team managers. Higher level and specialist programming skills are increasingly in short supply and this is currently an area in which career development can be particularly fast.
There are also opportunities to develop your career overseas. Games development jobs can be found in several other countries including Japan, the USA, Canada, Germany, France and Scandinavia.
Freelance work is possible and, with experience, some games developers choose to build up their own business and set up their own development studio or similar.
Recent significant developments in the industry include the growth in the use of the internet and online multiplayer gaming. Most games now have an online component whereby players can compete with others across the world. In addition, smartphones and handheld games devices have led to developments in wireless platforms and interactive game applications. As a result, there are opportunities to move into these newer areas of games development.
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