Think of a workplace where you do not have to follow a fixed 9-5 schedule; where you play games for 12-14 hours a day, and get paid attractive figures. You guessed that right. A career in gaming is now a reality! You can become a pro-gamer; take part in national and international championships and play for your country. What’s not to love? But hey, there is something you must know- you have to be fantastic at this!
Why a career in gaming?
According to KPMG and Google’s report ‘Online gaming in India: Reaching a new pinnacle’, the Indian gaming industry is set to add 190 million gamers by 2021. As the market drivers of this industry are rising income of households, increasing smartphone accessibility in rural and urban areas, and affordable and economical technological systems, the internet penetration as of today stands at 31% and is going to see an elevation of 53% of the total population by 2021. This means the gaming sector in India is expected to rise in the upcoming coming years.
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Frankly, a career in gaming is not for everyone. Not if you want a steady salary or fixed working hours. But it is for those who have a knack in gaming, knowledge of the technical know-how, and are aware of the demands of this unconventional career.
To become a professional gamer, you must hone your skills in one game. This gives you an edge and clarity on which game do you want to acquire mastery at. You can choose from different genres such as:
- MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena)
- Online card games (such as poker and blackjack)
- FPS (First Person Shooter)
- DCCG (Digital Collectible Card Games)
- Battle Royal Games
- RTS (Real-Time Strategy Games)
These games are played either online or offline and gamers team up with others; play and compete in video game competitions and tournaments. The video game tournaments are organized by various organizations and eSports associations.
Fun fact – India too has its own eSports federation called the eSports Federation of India.
Live streaming channels like Twitch.tv, YouTube Gaming; etc. broadcast these tournaments just like it is done in cricket and FIFA. Not all of these video game competitions are played online; some are organized as physical events where players compete with others in front of a live audience. Hence, not only a career in gaming could offer exciting opportunities, but it also lets you be a part of a global community of professionals.
Top 5 Gaming networks in India
1. ESL India Premiership: ESL India Premiership is a part of the ESL Gaming Network. It organizes tournaments and championships for games such as Brawl Stars, Counter-Strike, Dota-2, FIFA, League of Legends, Mortal Kombat, and many more. These competitions are held globally and winners can get prize money of Rs.10, 000- 1, 10, 00,000 per game or competition.
If you are already pro in any of these games and want to diligently focus on making a successful career in gaming, then starting with ESL India Premiership could open a number of pathways for you.
2. NGS Championships: Neon Gaming Studio (NGS) is India’s eSports and video gaming company. NGS organizes tournaments and is a one-stop platform for all gamers to practice, compete, and win attractive cash prizes. Some of the top games for tournaments are: Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Dota 2, Need for Speed, PUBG, FIFA 18, and many more.
3. PUBG Mobile India: PUBG Mobile India organizes events and tournaments in India for extremely competitive and pro-PUBG players. The winner teams get massive cash prizes up to Rs.50, 00, 000.
If you are a pro in PUBG and want to pursue a career in gaming just so you can master your gaming skills in this game, then PUBG Mobile India is the right place for you to begin practicing in championships and tournaments.
4. U Cypher: U Sports, sports Business Company is involved in various sports disciplines such as Kabaddi, Table Tennis, Volleyball, Football, E-Sports, and Motorsports. U Cypher is its ESports franchise which is a multi-platform for multi-gaming eSports championships.
It organizes tournaments and championship battles for games such as Counter-Strike GO, Tekken 7, DOTA 2, etc. with prize money ranging from anywhere between Rs. 15 Lakh to Rs.51 Lakh. A global platform where amateur and pro gamers unite is a great place to start building a career in gaming.
5. Ultimate Battle: Ultimate Battle is India’s leading eSports online gaming platform. It organizes multiplayer mobile, console, and PC video game tournaments online. It also offers amazing cash prizes for games such as PUBG, Call of Duty, FIFA 20, DOTA 2, CS: GO, and many others. Moreover, students can make a successful career in gaming by honing their gaming skills via these gaming networks for practice.
Think about it, a career in gaming is not just about playing games, you can literally earn a lot more before you turn 30. Sounds crazy right? It is true. 28-year-old Ho Kun Xian, who started gaming in his early years, soon became a pro in fighting games. He is now a pro-gamer earning hundreds and thousands of dollars with his exceptional and competitive gaming skills.
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Top 10 Careers in Gaming
A career in gaming is not only limited to just playing games and championship battles. There are diverse careers in gaming to choose from and you can actually be a part of this exciting gaming industry. For instance, Video Game Developers/Designers write and debug codes to develop games for different platforms. They determine the design and basic concept of the game as well as the story and sketch of how the game will look like.
Apart from determining the basic functioning of video games and programming, a game developer also tests and evaluates the games; looks for bugs and errors in the design and programming of the game. But game developers and designers’ work involves more than just design and development. Video Game Development is complex and involves creativity and logical reasoning.
The entire game development team consists of a programmer, writer, audio programmer, level designer, animator, modeler, license support engineer and software engineer. If you are looking for a career in gaming or game designing courses after 12th, then you can expect the following as your career options:
1. Game Animator: Ever experienced those graphics and animations in games that present out-of-world picturesque? Well, the masters behind these graphics and designs are Game Animators, who design, animate, and re-create game characters and objects. They combine technology with art and create interactive animated environments and images for video games.
2. Game Producer: A video game producer is involved in the planning, coordinating, and supervising the entire game-development cycle. They are part editors, part producers, part managers of the product. They perform the major task of scheduling, budgeting, developing, editing, and licensing of the project to scale. A video game producer is the one to help guide the project towards a final shelf date.
3. Audio Engineer: The overall look and experience of a video game rely on audio quality. Therefore, as video game audio/sound engineers, you will be working on the soundtrack of the entire game i.e. the sound effects, ambiances, voice over, background music, etc. to enhance the gaming experience as per the directions of the game producer.
4. Creative Director: Video game creative directors are responsible for the overall look and feel of a game. They manage all the aspects of the game, starting from creating the concept of the game until its final completion. As a video game creative director, you will look after these aspects: gameplay, audio and visual style, story, and narrative, as well as marketing elements. Many people who wish to pursue a successful career in gaming and want to stay connected to the gaming industry often aspire to become a creative director.
5. Game Designer: The role of a game designer is to create the narrative features, design storylines, character bio, and other elements involved in designing the video game. Therefore, as a Game Designer, you will be involved in designing the artwork for visual game aspects like characters, graphics, tools, and weapons.
You would also focus on refining the forms and color theory. Game Designer earns significantly less as compared to developers. A game developer salary in India is higher as per the educational & qualification requirements.
6. Game Programmer: Video game programmers are involved in the development of codebases for video games. They work primarily on game development tools and gaming programs. Therefore, as a game programmer, you will work extensively on game programming which requires expertise in coding and software programming. This is one of the most preferred choices for those looking for a career in gaming.
7. Games Artist: Ever see the three-dimensional characters and other graphics in a video game? Well, these are created by Games Artist. As a Games Artist, you would create the 2D and 3D art for all the visual elements of the video game. These include characters, vehicles, backgrounds, objects, textures, clothing, and coloring.
A Games Artist basically handles the visual experience of the entire video game and enhances the elements of the game with assistance from game designers and creative directors.
8. Lead Artist: Lead Artists are involved in developing and driving the original and innovative art style of the entire video game. They work in almost all verticals to establish technical as well as aesthetic norms for art in the game. They also focus on console interface designing, flow and usability of gaming features.
If you happen to have a creative bent of mind and a tad analytical and technical, then go for a career in gaming and stick to the artist in you and work up the ladder to become a lead artist.
9. Writer: A writer for video games is one of the latest and trending career options in gaming as you get to write scripts, narratives, storylines, dialogues and other technical writings for the video game.
As a writer for video games, you are also involved in creating unique characters and gripping screenplays for enhancing the video gaming experience. By entering a career in gaming as a writer, not only you have the opportunity to unleash your creativity but also a chance to explore diverse roles within the writing.
10. Game Tester: The role of a video game tester is no less different from a professional gamer in the sense they play video games. As a Game Tester, you play the game, complete all the levels and test the game on the basis of user experience, bugs, errors, voice-overs, dialogues, speed and other elements to make sure the video game is error-free. Therefore, if you wish to be a part of the gaming industry, then becoming a Game Tester could be a great option.
A career in gaming when looked at from the perspective of salary and reward, offers endless opportunities for professionals. As various championships and tournaments are held internationally, cash prizes and rewards are usually higher.
If you are interested in a career in gaming but are not really a pro-gamer yet want to pursue a career within this industry, then hang on. You can choose any of the above career paths. Moreover, a game developer salary in India ranges from Rs.50,000 to Rs.1, 20, 000 per month. Salaries and other perks for a career in gaming depend majorly on the gaming companies, skills, and level of expertise.
Expertise and educational qualifications add a lot of value. For instance, with a Masters or Postgraduate degree, a game developer salary in India is comparatively higher than that of the graduates in similar fields.
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Best Gaming Courses
Although to become a professional gamer you don’t really need to pursue any course or certification, but if you want to explore other careers in gaming such as in the field of designing or programming, then you can look at the following game designing courses after 12th class.
Top 10 Game Designing Courses after 12th (Diploma and Certificate Courses)
- Certificate course in Game Art & Design
- Diploma in Production Gaming
- Diploma in Game Design and Integration
- Diploma in Game Programming
- Diploma in Animation, Gaming and Special Effect
- Diploma in Game Development
- Diploma in Game Design (DGD)
- Advanced Diploma in Game Art & 3D Game Content Creation
- Advance Diploma in Game Programming
- Advance Diploma in Game Design and Development Application
Top 5 Game Designing Courses after 12th (Bachelor Degrees)
- B.Sc. Animation & Gaming
- Bachelor of Science in Animation Game Design and Development
- Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Animation & Computer Graphics
- Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Digital Filmmaking & Animation
- Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) in Graphics, Animation & Gaming
Top 5 Master’s Courses in Game Designing
- Master’s in Computer Graphics and Game Technology
- MFA in Game Design
- MA in Interactive Design and Game Development
- Master of Science (M.Sc.) in Multimedia and Animation
- Integrated M.Sc. in Multimedia & Animation with Game Art & Design
Best 6 International Schools for careers in gaming
If you have just started to think about pursuing a career in gaming, and want to explore study options abroad, then go for it. Across the world, some of the top universities offering gaming courses are:
- The University of Southern California
- Rochester Institute of Technology
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology
- University of Central Florida
- Southern Methodist University
- Carnegie Mellon University
Best 5 Game Developing/ Design/ Animation colleges and institutes in India
Thinking of exploring your design and creative abilities for a career in gaming, then look at the following top design and animation institutes:
- ISOG – Indian School of Gaming
- Arena Animation
- ICAT College
- Backstage Pass- Institute of Gaming and Technology
- Maya Academy of Advanced Cinematics (MAAC)
Top 5 Gaming books
If you are just a beginner in the gaming industry or an expert, reading a book can make you more informed all about gaming. Moreover, to understand the intricacies for a better career in gaming, you can always fall back upon some of these books for expert advice:
- The History of Future by Blake J. Harris
- The Art of Game Design by Jesse Schell
- Masters of Doom by David Kushner
- Rules of Play by Eric Zimmerman and Katie Salen
- Challenges for Game Designers by Brenda Romero, Ian Schreiber
A career in gaming is the most opted career choice for youngsters as it is an industry that offers immense scope for the players. Moreover, if you want to pursue a game designing course after 12th, then you can refer to the above national and international universities offering the best gaming courses. After a game designing course at graduation, you can work in various different fields.
There is no easy path to get into the gaming industry, it’s a world full of hardcore and professional gamers coming together to make better and bigger games for everyone. Therefore, if you still have doubts and want to get help from career experts for guidance and counseling the scope of a career in gaming, then now is the right time to take action!
Shruti Verma is a researcher and analyst in the areas of careers, industries, and education. She has completed her Masters in English Literature and is an alumnus of Delhi University and IP University. She interned during her masters at iDreamCareer and later joined iDC full-time as a Content Analyst. She is determined to secure an expert position in content space with the guidance of experienced mentors within the iDC team.