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The Meteoric Rise Of The Video Game Career

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While we all know that video games are big business, not many parents realise the scale of the industry or the opportunities for children to find a career in this space.

When I see my son fastidiously practicing and competing at Rocket League, I can easily fail to encourage him as I would in other sports. Whether it's the long-shot of eSports professional, hard grind of streaming video games for others to watch, or more realistic dreams of being a video game programmer, artists or designer, there are lots of ways we can support our children to make these hopes a reality.

Brilliant news on this front is that we in the UK have a long history of making world class video games. As of June 2018, there are over  2,200 games companies in the UK of all shapes and sizes with world-class talent across the full spectrum of games technologies.

Entertainment Retailers Association (ERA) figures combine physical and digital UK games sales. It reports in 2018 video games generated a record £3.86bn, increasing 9.1% on the previous year.

This figure is now greater than that of home music and video sales combined, comprising 51.3% of the overall value of the sector, making the UK games market 1.65 times the size of the video market (£2.3bn) and 2.9 times the size of music (£1.3bn).

In 2016, Electronic Art's FIFA 17 was the highest selling entertainment product selling 2.5m units, approximately 9% more sales than Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which sold 2.3m units.

A recent British Film Industry report found that in 2016, the UK games industry provided 47,620 FTE jobs and contributed £2.87bn in Gross Value Added to the UK economy.

We have outlined the opportunities for young people to find their career in the industry in a series of posts that highlight the different directions they can take:

Game Designer Game Artists Game Producer Game Coder/Programmer Game Writer Game Performer Game Audio Specialist Game Tester/QA/Localisation Specialist

Esports Competitor

Video Game Streaming

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Andrew Robertson
Andy Robertson is the editor of AskAboutGames and has written for national press and broadcast about video games and families for over 15 years. He has just published the Taming Gaming book with its Family Video Game Database.