Media and Communications

Questions:

Evaluate a range of creative business models and contexts.
Research and analyse professional opportunities in the media and creative industries.
Reflect upon how you might best develop and position your own projects, skills and professional plans in relation to these models and contexts.

Answers:

Topic- Identifying employment opportunities in Gaming industry

The following report presents a detailed assessment of employment opportunities in media and creative industry. In order to make the assessment clear and specific, gaming industry has been considered in the report. Gaming sector is one of the rapidly growing sectors with increasing number of organizations. Due to the entry of several organizations, the employment opportunities are increasing in the sector. However, due to economical turndown, the sector observes a slow growth in the recent time. This report provides a review of current situation of the gaming industry in United Kingdom and based on the review, suitable employment opportunities are identified which can be useful to build a sustainable professional career.  The purpose of the report is to identify suitable employment opportunities reviewing the current scenario of the industry.

Evidences making it clear that gaming industry in the UK observed a consistent period of rapid growth. The National Statistic Business report indicates that an increase of 11.1% particularly in consumer spending in the digital and online market in 2016. More specifically, it is observed that the other related areas of gaming industry show that a similar rise in 2016 from the previous years. As put forward by Markham and Young (2015), one of the major factor that drive the growth of the gaming industry is the expansion of online gaming sector. On the other side, Mateos-Garcia, Bakhshi and Lenel (2014) mentioned that increasing number of casino site available to deliver more ways to access the gaming world in a more relaxed manner.

Icey Games Studios

It is identified that Icey game studios have an increasing market exposure, as the studios applied the digital methods of creating market awareness. By understanding the demands of service and market, the organizations in the sector prefer to hire people who have real-world experience instead of hiring individuals having a qualified degree. Icey game studies hire skilled and experience people to minimize the cost of training and envelopment; however, hiring process is not similar to traditional interview process, Hence, the users have to give online intelligence test.

 Nonetheless, the categories of fun games, especially in the slot game niche are adding the choice and strengthening the glamorous image, which provides gambling offers to customers. On the other side, the advancement and growth observed in the recent time, the entry of live dealers and casino sites probably increase their popularity and market share with the consumers in UK.  A research conducted by PWC, indicates that in the coming years, gaming sector in UK could be worth around £5.2 billion (Loh, Deegan and Inglis 2015); thereby, it can be mentioned that such amount of money following into the economy remains as a great asset. From this figure, it can be estimated that increasing bonuses of money is spreading into other areas such as merchandising and employment makes UK gaming sector a significant cog in the nation’s economy. Derevensky and Gainsbury (2016) in their article on “Social casino gaming and adolescents” mentioned that the upward trend in UK’s gamin sector show no clue of reversing because more people start to gamble online and purchase video games.

6

Figure 1: Gaming Design

(Source: Derevensky and Gainsbury 2016)

While digging into UK gaming industry, it has been found that UK’s gaming sector is highly concerned with video games, as this section has played its crucial part in £4.33 billion (Griffiths, King and Delfabbro 2014). When comparing the demography of UK, it has been found that almost half of total population in UK prefers the thrill and excitement of playing video games. This has been easy due to the entry or availability of advanced mobile devices.  The organizations in the sector have observed a rapid shift to video and online gaming. Hollist (2015) estimated a stable journey of UK’s gaming sector as more titles are being developed and released on a very frequent basis; consequently, the gaming events have become more prevalent.

As put forward by Mateos-Garcia, Bakhshi and Lenel (2014),UK remains as the third best nation at retaining, attracting, training the skilled labor in the digital sector with London and Birmingham as the major support. When it comes to growth, Hing et al. (2014) commented that the major reason behind such unexpected growth in employment is the investment made by the government as well as the way that has enabled new gaming companies to start up. For example, the initiative like Creative England helps the new gaming organizations to obtain the necessary funding to manufacture games (Wan, Wong and Kong (2014). Martin and Billy (2015) mentioned that gaming industry is a great driver for the job market within in UK.

The key to this sustainable gaming sector is, the retention of talents in UK economy since it has hired. This scenario provides excellent opportunities for many people who want to develop their career in the gaming industry. Additionally, due to the estimated growth (6.7 by PWC), the scope and the number of jobs may continue to increase as well as allow more people to enter UK gaming sector (Keune et al. 2018). As commented by Leung and Gray (2016), gaming industry is not the only sector that have the opportunity to gain benefits, other related and dependent sector such as popular inline casino sites applying marketing campaign to excel which also creates employment opportunities.

As people become more equipped and intended to work in the sector, some universities in UK provide a series of well-respected gaming degree courses. For example, University of South Wales in Glamorgan provides work experience opportunity to students who are pursing relevant courses such as BA Game (Lugmayr and Grueblbauer 2017). Therefore, the gaming companies in UK hire skilled candidates to increase the strength of their teams.  In addition to this, the directors of Dojo Arcade mentioned that they are now able to employ few local graduates through the Jobs Growth Wales fund (Leung and Gray 2016).

7

Figure 2: People working in UK’s gaming sector

(Source: Leung and Gray 2016)

Particularly, the video gaming sector employees nearly 5500 people in UK and they  are earning average salary of £30,755 (Hollist 2015). As put forward by Wan, Wong and Kong (2014), almost half of the employees are recruited directly from education. Particularly, the employment is especially focused in West Midland s (39%), Scotland (19%) and the East Midlands (14%) and London (14%) (Griffiths, King and Delfabbro 2014).

If a candidate wants to work in the games development, the candidate has to be involved in the creation as well as production of games for personal computers, online games, arcade game, tables, mobile phones as well as other hand-held devices. Workers’ work will usually be concerned with either design or programming. As mentioned by Wan, Wong and Kong (2014), making of a game from the concept to finished product may take years as well as involve teams of professionals. The following are some of the available jobs roles in the gaming sector of United Kingdom.

Game programmer- The major role of a programmer is to take the ideas of the designers and write codes necessary to develop playable game. Thereby, it is significant for the candidates to understand and follow instructions to form creative visions of the designers to life. The candidates usually work in a team headed by the lead programmer.

 IT technical support officer- The role of technical support office is to link video game publishers to their customers. Hence, the candidates remain as the point of contact for the gamers who have issues with the gaming product. As put forward by Keune (2018)  communication skills are essential to develop career in thin particular job role because the candidates have to listen to the customer complaints and questions and resolve them in a professional manner.

Designer: Game designer plays a wide role in developing games. Lugmayr and Grueblbauer (2017) particularly, mentioned that game designers play the role like a movie directors. A game designer has to define the style and ensure consistency of games’ look and appearance. Game designers stand as the visionaries but when designing a game; they must have to come up with an exciting story that could manufacture a good game play. On the other side, Derevensky and Gainsbury (2016) mentioned that game development career can challenge the designers sometimes by stretching their imaginations. As the technology is continuously growing, the new possibilities such as motion sensing as well as full-body recognitions are the demands of the customers in games. Thereby, the designers often have to face the challenge of developing new ideas and imagination to design the games the way end-users want them to be.

QA tester:  When the designer is done with designing the entre the structure of the games, tester’s job is to verify programming free of flaws and bugs. This has to b done by repeatedly playing the games with a different level with the help an automation tools to regenerate different scenarios.

Animator: The role of animator is to create and develop the graphical elements of the game from the backgrounds and scoreboards.  The game animators have to use different computer based tools and painted 3D programs to create a richly texture elements

Some organizations have been adopting the values as well as goals of gamification in their recruitment process with advanced innovative approaches. Hence, gamification remains as the concept of applying different game mechanics as well as design non-game context (Kerr and Kelleher 2015). Thereby, the organizations use this method to engage people with the brand and personalize the jobs hunting techniques for the potential talents. Following are some of the recruitment techniques used by large and top companies in UK such as ustwo, Rockstar North and CD project.

Google inviting the best programmers to compete

Google organizes a Google Code Jam Software –writing competition for the period of 12 years, as the way to find fresh and new talents to work for the organization, So, the programs developers as well as the engineers who take part in the contest are competing in a game to avail the monetary benefits. However, the tech monster Google uses it as a way to attract key talents with the appropriate skis for the job and the organization.

Rockstar North: As put forward by Fusar-Poli et al. (2015), the Rockstar North are struggling to retain employees. After a short period of trial, which did not provide any positive outcome, the company adopted the method of the gamification. Form post introduced Jeu Factuer Academy, which enables the player to remain in the job post for a week.

Skill test: According to Kim et al. (2017) some large gaming companies in UK rely on skill test when the organizations need to hire employees. In the skill test, the candidates have to resolve few mathematical problems relating to gaming, which the candidates have to resolve in a limited time. However, Woźniak (2015) mentioned that this “skill test” method does not provide any efficiency now days due to the growing needs of gaming. On a very frequent basis, the gaming organizations are observing the need of including new programming languages, themes and ideas that are taught by the universities in UK. Thus, the candidates find it difficult to cope up with newly appearing challenges. On the other side, the organizations using this “skill test” this method also have to make further investment for training and development for employee skills development.

The above presented report helps to observe and understand that UK gaming sector is rapidly developing with extended employment opportunities. The government is backing up the organizations in the sector as the purpose of increasing employment opportunities. However, due to this growth and demand in the market, the industry observes an increasing competition with respect to recruitment and retention. In order to start a professional career in the gaming sector in the United Kingdom, the following strategies should be developed:

Laying the ground work with a related degree: As put forward by Kerr and Kelleher (2015), most of the organizations in the video game sector usually do not place a lot of weight on their particular college degree. Hence, the most important aspect here, is the candidate has to demonstrate skills that they are able to do their work. The candidates need to gain knowledge or teach him/her, the basic of the designs and coding. These things usually remain easier to learn in the structure setting of particular degree programs.

Taking part in a game design competition- Joining a game design competition is a significant way that candidates can stand out from the crowd. Hence, the candidates can gain some significant advantage such as the first thing is that competition holders provide incentives to work on and finish the project for their portfolio (Keune et al. 2018). Without a completely finished project, candidates cannot take part in the competition to submit the work. Most significant point here is that by taking part in the competition, the candidates receive the opportunity for working with large and popular future employers.

Join a gaming course: As discussed above, due to the increasing demand of gaming jobs in UK, some universities in the sector offering gaming courses for the students who want to develop their career in this sector. Thereby, availing this particular course would help the candidates to gain knowledge about the elements required to develop and design games. Particularly, this gaming course helps candidates to learn new programming and gaming languages. The universities include the learning elements on the basis of the demands in the industry. This means that as per the trends in the sector, the universities are offering the courses. Thus, taking such additional courses help candidates to crack the test; this test is supposed to be taken as an interview during the time of joining.

Skills development: The candidates have to remain in touch with the recent trends to learn about the type of games designed and developed presently in the sector. Based on this analysis, the candidates can increase their knowledge.  Gaining knowledge and skills in designing is not the only requirement that candidates should posses to work in the gaming sector (Wan, Wong and Kong 2014).  The candidates should gain knowledge in each section such as coding, script preparing, findings bugs in the program and design. Another strategy that candidates can apply to develop skills is, develop and design a demo projects. Demo projects or internship often helps the candidates to get selected in gaming sector. The demo projects often help to impress the recruiters.

Gaining knowledge about market: The candidates have to conduct online market research to learn about the needs and demands of game lovers. This would help the candidates to learn the current and future needs of games in the sector (Lugmayr and Grueblbauer 2017). On the other side, the candidates can conduct a research to learn about the organizational demands in the gaming sector when it comes to recruitment. With the help of a market research, the candidates can learn what are the sill and elements that organizations looking for to develop their projects.

In conclusion, it can be mentioned that gaming industry is a rapidly changing industry, because the needs and demands of the industry is changing due to the technological advancement in the sector.  Therefore, the requirements for hiring and retaining employees are also changing on a frequent basis. So, the candidates should not rely on long-term career development strategy. They could rather focus on the short-term approaches such as the recent trends of gaming, which would help them to build their career as per the industry demands.

Derevensky, J.L. and Gainsbury, S.M., 2016. Social casino gaming and adolescents: Should we be concerned and is regulation in sight?. International Journal of Law and Psychiatry44, pp.1-6.

Fusar-Poli, P., Schultze-Lutter, F., Cappucciati, M., Rutigliano, G., Bonoldi, I., Stahl, D., Borgwardt, S., Riecher-Rössler, A., Addington, J., Perkins, D.O. and Woods, S.W., 2015. The dark side of the moon: meta-analytical impact of recruitment strategies on risk enrichment in the clinical high risk state for psychosis. Schizophrenia bulletin42(3), pp.732-743.

Griffiths, M.D., King, D.L. and Delfabbro, P.H., 2014. The technological convergence of gambling and gaming practices. The Wiley-Blackwell handbook of disordered gambling, pp.327-346.

Hing, N., Cherney, L., Blaszczynski, A., Gainsbury, S.M. and Lubman, D.I., 2014. Do advertising and promotions for online gambling increase gambling consumption? An exploratory study. International Gambling Studies14(3), pp.394-409.

Hollist, K.E., 2015. Time to be grown-ups about video gaming: the rising eSports industry and the need for regulation. Ariz. L. Rev.57, p.823.

Kerr, A. and Kelleher, J.D., 2015. The recruitment of passion and community in the service of capital: Community managers in the digital games industry. Critical Studies in Media Communication32(3), pp.177-192.

Keune, M., Payton, N., Rehnström, C.W. and Wright, S., 2018. –Innovation and Job Quality in the Games Industry in Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden and the UK. Virtuous circles between innovations, job quality and employment in Europe? Case study evidence from the manufacturing sector, private and public service sector, p.234.

Kim, J.S., Song, H., Lee, C.K. and Lee, J.Y., 2017. The impact of four CSR dimensions on a gaming company’s image and customers’ revisit intentions. International Journal of Hospitality Management61, pp.73-81.

Leung, T.C.H. and Gray, R., 2016. Social responsibility disclosure in the international gambling industry: A research note. Meditari Accountancy Research24(1), pp.73-90.

Liu, C.H., Lin, S.H., Pan, Y.C. and Lin, Y.H., 2016. Smartphone gaming and frequent use pattern associated with smartphone addiction. Medicine95(28).

Loh, C.M., Deegan, C. and Inglis, R., 2015. The changing trends of corporate social and environmental disclosure within the Australian gambling industry. Accounting & Finance55(3), pp.783-823.

Lugmayr, A. and Grueblbauer, J., 2017. Review of information systems research for media industry–recent advances, challenges, and introduction of information systems research in the media industry. Electronic Markets27(1), pp.33-47.

Markham, F. and Young, M., 2015. “Big Gambling”: The rise of the global industry-state gambling complex.

Mateos-Garcia, J., Bakhshi, H. and Lenel, M., 2014. A map of the UK games industry. Nesta, http://www. nesta. org. uk/publications/map-uk-games-industry.(Accessed: 30/01/2016).

To, W.M., Martin Jr, E.F. and Billy, T.W., 2015. Effect of management commitment to internal marketing on employee work attitude. International Journal of Hospitality Management45, pp.14-21.

Wan, Y.K.P., Wong, I.A. and Kong, W.H., 2014. Student career prospect and industry commitment: The roles of industry attitude, perceived social status, and salary expectations. Tourism Management40, pp.1-14.

Woźniak, J., 2015. The use of gamification at different levels of e-recruitment. Management Dynamics in the Knowledge Economy3(2), p.257.

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