Is Game Art a Viable Career Option in These Changing Times?
Has much changed for aspiring game artists or creative career seekers in the COVID-19 era?
On one hand, the COVID-19 pandemic spared no industry – to the extent that finding new jobs has become tougher and tougher now.
On the other hand, the lockdown period seemed to have some positive consequences too, if you will.
With people confined to their homes, their inclination to want and play video games spiked. It seemed like the perfect time for dedicated computer and console gamers (and even otherwise non-traditional gamers) to spend more time with games.
Just the console market, for instance, is expected to grow from “$40.6 billion in 2019 to about $57.9 billion in 2020” – as per a recent report. Mobile gaming seems to be gaining a lot of momentum as well.
So where does this leave aspiring game designers and artists? Are there any opportunities you could explore even during the pandemic?
This is exactly what we’re going to talk about in this post.
Without further ado, let’s dive in!
Surge in the Industry
There has been an exponential growth in the gaming industry in the lockdown period.
Be it hardware purchase, subscription to games, or esports (the live streaming of various game competitions), the gaming industry is continuously recording a steep rise.
As per a report by Unity Technology, spring season usually experiences a dip in activity for HD games, with daily active users (DAU) dropping on average 5%. But because of nationwide lockdowns, with people remaining indoors, the difference from last year is stark, with a 41% increase compared to that of 2019.
Mobile platforms also saw growth compared to 2019, as people who don’t usually play games also found & took up this mode of entertainment. As smartphones are being used by almost everyone, more and more people are turning their phone into a gaming device. While 2019 saw growth of 6% from baseline, 2020 has witnessed an increase of 23% so far (till May 2020).
The right time to set your feet in the industry
With the gaming industry being the largest segment within the entertainment industry (more than $150 billion), far exceeding movies, music, and animation, it always remains in the constant phase of innovation and growth. With this rise in game consumption, there will be numerous job opportunities too, and there are numerous roles you can find for yourself based on your skills and interests.
So, if you are a creative person and are seeking good career options in the gaming industry, this is the right time to go all in.
Kobe Sek (Senior Art Director, Ubisoft-Singapore): Illustration Intensive
What are some of the job roles you can explore as game artists?
To name a few, the gaming industry has various types of jobs – game artists, game developers, game decoders, game tester, audio engineer, 3D modeler, concept artist, game programmer, software developer etc. The industry is categorized into four basic parts:
- Game Development (requires logic and art)
- Game Design (requires art and visualization skill)
- Game Art (requires skills of drawing, color concepts, and visualization)
- Game Testing (requires logic and effort)
For the aspiring game, artists can try out for the roles below –
- Artist: This is the starting position which entails hands-on art creation under the supervision of the Lead Artist.
- Senior Artist: This position requires one to be an experienced artist (at least 4 to 5 years) and is typically entrusted with more complex art creation tasks in a project. They are expected to work mostly independently and can take a couple of junior artists under their command.
- Lead Artist: The role demands a talented artist with team management skills who can lead the artist team in specific areas such as Character creation or Environment creation.
- Art Director: Senior position bearers with strong leadership skills along with visualization and artistic capabilities. They are the ones who are responsible for laying out the artistic vision for a game.
Apart from the ones mentioned above, some of the other common job titles include Animator, Animation Director, Concept Artist, Illustrator, and Game QC Artist.
Educational Prerequisites for Game Artists
While formal education from a big university seems like one of the best ways to begin your game artist careers, it’s not the only one.
In the 21st century, skills matter more. People can literally find some tutorials on the internet, practice diligently, and become game artists.
And who says you can’t have the best of both worlds?
The formal, focused environment of a university and the freedom and sense of individuality that stems from self-learning – all in one.
This is what you get in a lot of specialized institutions that offer a bunch of diploma, degree, and certificate courses specific to what you need and want. You get the benefit of closely monitored, mentor-guided programs that help you tread in the right direction – as well as the freedom to exercise your passion and creativity through various projects.
So, what should you pack before leaving?
- Being an ever-changing and constantly innovative field, the gaming industry offers many avenues for game artists, both in terms of unleashing their own potential as well as making a good fortune as a lucrative career option.
- Gaming being a fast-growing sector, game artists face a challenge to always remain updated with the rapidly changing technologies and tools associated with it. So starting in the industry is one thing while carrying on is a completely different story.
- Based on one’s skills, an early start right after completing school would definitely ensure a good scope for growth & learning in the field of game arts.
Our focus is simple and singular – help you do what you love and make the most out of it! We offer programs designed to be clear pathways to students who want to be part of the games, art, and film industries.
At prices that won’t break the bank.
With specialized and affordable education that is focused on employability – we believe you can be where you want to be.
Check out our game art courses and programs today.