There are about 485 computer games businesses (the majority of which are games development companies) in the UK, employing over 7,000 people (Skillset, 2011). The UK is the fourth largest games-producing country in the world after the USA, Japan and Canada. The industry is also strong in Europe.
Employers are largely games developers or games publishers. Development studios may be owned by a publisher or may be independent and they may do business internationally, nationally or regionally. Games production companies and studios vary in size from small companies employing fewer than five people to multinational studios employing hundreds.
As well as games for PCs, consoles or handheld gaming devices, games are created in a variety of different forms and can be commissioned by such diverse clients as educational institutions, broadcasters, DVD and CD-ROM authoring companies, information providers such as local and national government, Internet Service Providers (ISPs), marketing and advertising agencies, mobile phone companies and design companies.
Project work accounts for a considerable proportion of employment in this field. For many games projects, developers work in teams. For example, it may take a team of up to 200 people to design a prestigious game. Developers may work on a project for a long period of time as games can take up to three years to complete.
Specialist recruitment agencies regularly handle vacancies for games development; for example, try:
The Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) is the professional body for recruitment agencies. Visit their website for a list of relevant member agencies.
Entry-level jobs are rarely advertised so speculative applications to companies you are interested in can be useful. The Association for UK Interactive Entertainment (UKIE) and Datascope have lists of UK games developer/video games companies and publishers.
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