How I got to work in the games industry – Reader’s Feature

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You don’t have to make games to be in the games industry

A reader reveals the efforts he went to in order to get a job at a games company, and how it doesn’t have to involve being a developer…

A GameCentral reader recently asked if there was anyone reading who worked in gaming and if so how did they get there, what did they do, and what did they think about the industry.

It has always been my dream to work in the games industry. Ever since getting my PlayStation 2 one Christmas morning, I knew games were more than just a toy for me. As cheesy as it sounds, I knew they were going to be a big part of my life. Every day I talked about them, read the news about them, even the news for games I knew I would never end up playing. I just loved games and the whole circus that surrounds them. I’m pleased to say that I finally achieved my dream and this is the story of how I got there.

Well, after a few years working in a boring office job for a business supplies company, after graduating with an Economics degree, I finally achieved my dream in September last year of working in the games industry. I knew it was hard to get into, especially on the non-development side of things which is the area I would have to work in unless I was go back into studying how to make games, but to be honest development didn’t really interest me.

I soon realised that even though it would be hard, I needed to work in games. So I started looking at analyst jobs (as that was what my Economics degree was kind of centred around) and saw that there were a few analyst jobs in games, looking at anything ranging from marketing data to in-game data. The job descriptions indicated I would need to learn some software and coding languages like Power BI, SQL, and Python.

So I took it upon myself to start online courses in these so I could put them on my CV. It was well worth it as I started getting interviews and despite my lack of industry experience, I finally got a job as a User Acquisition Analyst at the mobile gaming company Zynga, working in their London NaturalMotion office. This required me to move out of my parents for the first time in my life as I even stayed with them whilst at university, so it was quite a big step for me. But it needed to be done, and what did I have to lose?

So what has it been like? It has been everything I hoped it would be! I love the job itself day to day. I don’t like to sound like I’m bragging but I actually look forward to work and no longer have the feeling of dread on a Sunday evening. The company is amazing too, the office space is really cool; as you would imagine for a gaming firm, there is a games room, plenty of social activities arranged, free soft drinks, breakfast and dinner, a free weekly yoga class and more.

Zynga HQ is actually based in San Francisco, which has meant I have had to go out there twice in the past year. I was literally pinching myself the first time I went. I can’t believe how much my life has changed in the past 12 months, I feel incredibly lucky but to be fair to myself I put the work in by doing stuff like learning SQL in my own time in order to get the skills I needed.

So for anyone else wanting to work in the industry, I say go for it. It doesn’t have to be on the development side of things, there are other jobs available. Just research what you need and go get it. Oh, and ignore any job descriptions saying X amount of experience, my job required three years. I had zero but still got the job.

By reader Angry_Kurt (Twitter)

The reader’s feature does not necessary represent the views of GameCentral or Metro.

You can submit your own 500 to 600-word reader feature at any time, which if used will be published in the next appropriate weekend slot. As always, email gamecentral@ukmetro.co.uk and follow us on Twitter.

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