Top 5 cities in the world for a gaming career
The outlook for the global gaming industry is looking rosy for 2021 and beyond, thanks to a significant influx of online gamers in the past year. During the earlier stages of the pandemic, governments across the world imposed lockdowns and movement control orders to curb the spread of COVID-19. Faced with extensive periods of self-isolation, many turned to gaming to occupy their free.
Last year, the gaming industry outperformed both movies and sports combined as the biggest moneymaker in entertainment. Globally, the gaming industry was valued at over 162 billion US dollars last year. Based on the current growth rate, it’s expected to reach a value of almost US$300 billion over the next five years.
Pandemic aside, there’s no denying that gaming is more than a past-time for millions. Some consider it to be their passion, a social outlet, or a way of life. For enthusiasts, it’s a hobby that could turn into a lucrative career –– earning winnings from sponsored tournaments and personal sponsorships like any professional athlete would.
For others, the urge to get involved in either the technical or creative aspects of the field are more alluring. Now a multi-billion dollar industry, the options are almost endless for those interested in the development process.
Each region of the world showcases various aspects of gaming’s success, collectively contributing to this global growth. However, five have come out on top. The Career Salaries and Insights report, compiled by global gaming recruitment group TechNET Immersive, researched different areas of the world where developers, designers, animators, and writers are given the best opportunities. So if you’re looking for the right place for a gaming career, here are five locations worth considering:
Silicon Valley, California
This innovative city tops the list for a myriad of reasons. For starters, it has proudly represented the state of California as one of the world’s largest hubs for the development of video games, gaming hardware, and gaming softwares in the world.
Silicon Valley is home to established industry leaders such as Unity Technologies, which builds software tools for gaming and VR; Oculus, Facebook’s virtual reality wing; and PopCap Games which was absorbed into EA in a 2011 deal reportedly worth US$1.3 billion.
In Stockholm, some of the world’s biggest game companies rub shoulders with creative start-ups at the cutting edge of game development. The sector is flourishing with more than half of the Swedish game companies currently active being founded after 2010.
Total revenue for Swedish game companies increased to EUR 2.29 billion in 2019, a 23% increase compared to 2018.
Stockholm, in particular, is home to DICE which created Battlefield, Mojang (Minecraft), Experiment 101 (Biomutant), and Hazelight (A Way Out);
Vancouver, British Columbia
Vancouver is home to thousands of pioneering film, TV, VFX, animation and interactive gaming companies –– universally drawn to the region’s inspiring ocean, mountain and rainforest setting, expansive talent pool, and first-rate industry infrastructure.
The city boasts one of the top interactive gaming clusters in the world with more than 170 video game development studios creating billions in annual revenue – hosting the likes of EA (FIFA, NHL), Relic Entertainment (Company of Heroes, Space Marine), and Atomhawk Design (Sniper Elite 4, Injustice 2).
Global recruiter Robert Walters and data provider Vacancysoft have published a report called ‘Gaming: Perfect Play for Growth’ which highlights the continued strength of the UK’s video game industry.
London is leading the region – a gaming powerhouse with tens of thousands of players and more than 500 gaming developers. The entire industry contributes £4.85 billion to the UK economy, more than the TV, film, publishing and fashion sectors combined.
The city hosts top developers such as Rockstar (GTA, Red Dead Redemption) and King (Candy Crush).
With a population of just over 77,000, the compact city has made a name for itself as a British gaming hub. Its beginnings can be traced back to the formation of Bullfrog Productions by Peter Molyneux; the studio went on to create incredible titles like Populous, Theme Park, Theme Hospital, Syndicate, and Dungeon Keeper. Bullfrog was eventually acquired by EA in 1995.
Today, Guildford hosts a long list of developers that include: Hello Games (No Man’s Sky), Supermassive Games (Until Dawn, The Dark Pictures Anthology), Fireproof Studios (The Room), and Criterion Games (Burnout, Need for Speed).