Industry Insights: How Did You Get Into The Game Industry?
Wednesday, December 14th
Working in the gaming industry is a dream for lots of people, and a reality for many as well! Today we are kicking off our series called “Industry Insights”, where we ask our Klangers about their experience working in game development. For our first piece, we are going to look at a few different Klanger’s answers to the question “How did you get started in the gaming industry?”. Our hope is that their answers will both show the diverse paths that people take into the gaming industry, as well as inspire others to forge their own way!
Like a handful of other Klangers, Stephan Röhrig, our Interims Head of Publishing/Marketing Director’, started his path into the game industry with a chapter in QA (Quality Assurance). For three months, during his studies in Management and Economics, Stephan worked for Electronic Arts, testing “seminal” games like Lego Bionicle and Looney Tunes - Back in Action. “This gave me a foot in the door to come back two years later and work as a summer intern at Electronic Arts in the department of Online Marketing”, he explains. These experiences really kickstarted Stephan’s career in gaming, and his advice to others looking to start their own career are very connected. “Always keep your eyes out for internships while you’re studying”, he advises. He also stresses the value of working in QA as a great stepping stone into other fields.
Because Edwige Lelièvre has always loved playing video games and drawing, she decided to get a Masters Degree in Technical Art. Due to the sexism that she faced when initially looking to get a job in games, Edwige turned towards academics instead and completed a PhD in Online Role Playing Games. After she graduated, Edwige was offered a tenured position teaching game creation at the University of Versailles. Although she liked teaching very much, she found herself getting burnt out by the lifestyle, and so she decided it was time to give the game industry another try. Luckily, this time around Edwige did not experience the same kind of gender descrimination she did previously, and she quickly got scooped up by a small indie studio. Now she is one of our Game Engineers here at Klang, and we are so grateful to have her! Edwige’s recommendation for people wanting to work in games is “expand your knowledge on the culture of games and choose a company that is actually a good fit for you”. She stresses the fact that “games that are fun to play are not always fun to work on”, so finding a role that fulfills you with a team you like is very important.
Emmet Burke, one of our Product Owners, had a very different path into game development. “I took a really weird indirect route into the gaming industry”, he says. After accidentally purchasing a Mega Drive at a yard sale, Emmet fell in love with video games and knew that he wanted to make a career out of them. So, when he was 13, he decided to take matters into his own hands, and he sent a pitch for a game to Insomniac Studios. And while his pitch didn’t work out, he did get an email back from Insomniac Studios with a list of ways to get into the games industry. It must have been pretty good advice, because since then Emmet received his Masters in Augmented Reality, started his own game development studio called Neon Dream, and eventually found his way to Klang! Emmet’s piece of advice is “never be afraid to reach out”. He says that talking to people, either in person or virtually (through things like LinkedIn) is a great way to get to know the industry better, while also building connections.
Growing up in the small country of Kosovo, Agnesë, one of our Senior Game Designers, explains, “we lived 20 years behind the rest of the world”. So even though she knew that she loved video games, she wasn’t aware that working in the industry was a real possibility. The closest thing that was available to her was computer programming, so that’s where she started. Soon after, Agnesë found out about a Masters scholarship program, put on by the U.S. Embassy, which helped people from Kosovo study abroad in the U.S. Excited by the idea of pursuing Game Design, Agnesë jumped on this opportunity, was awarded the scholarship, and moved to the U.S. to attend Florida Interactive Entertainment Academy. After graduating from her program, Agnesë worked at Electronic Arts, and then she returned to Kosovo, using her skills to establish game development grassroots initiatives. Although Agnesë enjoyed working in Kosovo, she ultimately chose to enter back into the global industry in order to continue her professional growth. Agnesë’s piece of wisdom is “don’t get discouraged by lack of opportunity, know what you want and go for it”.
As you can see, there are many different unique paths into the gaming industry. These were just four stories, and look how different they all were! Check out our careers page to see what kind of positions we are currently hiring for!