How to Get a Job in the Game Industry, Tales from PAX South

I’ll be at PAX South this month, and hope to see some of you there! At the show, I’ll be moderating a panel that I’ve run for a number of shows, focusing on how to get into, and move up in, the game industry.

Here at ModSquad, we have a huge team of game enthusiasts working for game industry clients and getting the kind of knowledge and experience that will serve them well if they want to pursue careers in that industry.

In thinking about doing the upcoming PAX South panels, I was reminded of some of the best advice I’ve heard over the years from awesome game industry veterans.

If you want to make games, then make games. There are dozens of toolsets out there to help people make games. If you want to show that you should be making games for a living, then do it. Even making a small, simple game can set you apart from the crowd.

Love of playing games is not a unique qualification. lot of people like playing games. If you want to work in the game industry, take some time to learn about the industry itself and how it works, regardless of what part of the business you’re interested in.

Understand it’s a job (and a business). Fairly or unfairly, the game industry has a reputation as being wild and crazy. But make no mistake, at the end of the day, it’s a business, with the same priorities as any other business — such as profitability.  This may run counter to the old notion of “playing games for a living.”

Genius is less important than work ethic. The game industry has its share of brilliant minds, no doubt about that. But behind every hit game from a super-creative developer and team, there is hard work, false starts, corrections, and persistence. Even what some people would call an average game takes a degree of effort and time that might surprise you.

Obviously, a lot of my game-business friends know most of this already. However, the great folks I’ve had the honor to speak with on similar panels have gotten a fantastic reaction talking to game industry aspirants around the world about this very topic. But there’s one additional piece of advice that I can offer exclusively, which other pros might not realize: As I referenced at the top of the article, many of our Mods have gone onto successful careers in the gaming industry. It’s that passion for, and innate understanding of, the field that makes them worthy of being a Mod. We definitely know gaming.

I’m looking forward to another great panel at PAX South this year! If you’re going to be there, or are in the area and would like to chat, drop me a line.

Rich Weil
Sr. VP of Global Operations

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