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UK games industry struggling in recruiting, says study

Wednesday, 5th October 2011 15:26 GMT By Johnny Cullen

According to a study, the UK games industry is currently struggling in trying to recruit graduates.

As noted by GI.Biz, the games industry was mentioned as the third biggest concern despite all other industries in the study rated the availability of gaining graduate recruits as very low in the study’s list of concerns.

“The UK has always punched above its weight globally in new technologies, and the digital economy is vital to the economic growth of the country in the future,” said Blitz Games CEO Phillip Oliver.

“Video games will be the primary entertainment media of the twenty first century and growth in this sector and other digital sectors will only be powered by a constant flow of fresh, talented, highly skilled technical & creative staff.”

More at the link.

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15 Comments

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  1. DSB

    So, would you like to work in the UK for a lower salary, or work in California for a higher one? UK is the place with the fat chicks in track suits, California is the place with porn valley. You’re welcome.

    #1 3 years ago
  2. Deacon

    With studio closures all over, and the industry the way it is, they’ve probably all set up shop in their garages, busily working away on the next runaway indie hit

    #2 3 years ago
  3. silkvg247

    Well if they insist on grads then I can’t help them. I do want to work in the gaming industry and do have 16 years experience in IT :p

    #3 3 years ago
  4. DSB

    @2 I’m not sure, but I think you may just have described the collective future of the european game development.

    #4 3 years ago
  5. Vapsyvox

    @1
    then again, california is part of the country that invented spray-on-cheese and spam-mail

    #5 3 years ago
  6. Fin

    I honestly believe its companies being too picky, only wanting elite people – I came out of university rarely having programmed in my spare time and never having worked on a mod, but I’m still a good programmer. Took me about 40-50 CVs to get a single interview.

    The thing about not having enough experience is crap too – you’re always going to have to hire graduates/low level people. If you don’t have positions like that in your company, then you’re doing something wrong (or are fucking elite).

    #6 3 years ago
  7. DSB

    @5 Well the UK invented bestiality and probably murder. And smelling badly.

    So I really don’t see your argument.

    #7 3 years ago
  8. foofly

    I know a quite a few talented graduates who are struggling to get jobs do to the fact that companies are asking for years of experience for their junior positions. Which is something that is difficult to obtain straight out of university.

    #8 3 years ago
  9. Vapsyvox

    @7 all that was covered by our dear evolutionary ancestors

    #9 3 years ago
  10. NightCrawler1970

    Who wants to work in UK as game-designer, and the British government, ban here and there games, because they are to violence on the market…

    @1 agreed…

    #10 3 years ago
  11. BlitzGames

    A few comments to correct people.
    Most companies DONT ask for degrees – we at Blitz certainly dont. Portfolio work is essential for applying to games companies. Yes we want to see what you can do.
    The shortage is programmers. (that’s demonstratable C++ skills mostly).
    We have lots of vacancies for good people with the right attitude and skills.
    http://www.blitzgamesstudios.com/careers/
    As far as I’m aware the UK government doesn’t ban games. Occasionally a single MP has asked for bans. But he’s in the minority and generally the UK government is very supportive of the games industry (sadly not with financial support – but TIGA are working on that !)
    Philip Oliver – CEO, Blitz Games Studios

    #11 3 years ago
  12. Lounds

    @11

    Any IT Support job’s going?
    Currently working in a secondary school with 30+ servers & 700 machines (laptop’s & desktops).

    #12 3 years ago
  13. silkvg247

    The issue as I see it, is that the industry asks for prior experience in gaming, OR that they be a graduate. That means that genuinely talented folks who are in a different sector are overlooked.

    I think with programming you either have a natural knack / understanding of it as a whole, or you learn it from a book and trial and error. It’s the former that can really bolster your ranks, and I for one don’t think the industry they come from is paramount.

    Yet every single application I’ve looked at asks for things that I rank as somewhat irrelevant compared to an actual ability to program well.. prior experience? Erm not in programming games, but gaming experience combined with programming experience means that in my mind I have a damn solid idea of what it would entail. Grad? Nope, 33 and a big kid if it counts.

    TLDR: Hey gaming industries! Stop being so darned picky, an experienced programmer from a different sector would soon settle in and be productive, in fact I’d wager they’d be churning out quality code much faster than a grad who’s got a lot left to learn about programming in general.

    I keep thinking of starting my own indie game. Maybe I will. :)

    #13 3 years ago
  14. DrDamn

    @12
    Try to keep an eye on somewhere like here …
    http://www.gamesindustry.biz/jobs/by-category/it—technical-support

    @13
    You’ve still got to demonstrate programming skills in the right areas though. Do something to distinguish yourself . How would an employer know you are any better than 30 other applicants with similar experience. Do your own indie game, or some sort of technical demonstration of the particular area you are interested in. Perhaps the easier way in for you is Tools programming as that may link in more directly to what you do now?

    #14 3 years ago
  15. silkvg247

    @14 by tools programming do you mean custom/user controls?

    Here’s the conundrum when we talk about demonstrating prgoramming skills. The industry expects a partially or fully written game to be demonstrated.

    For a graduate this is easier, he’s probably been on a course to do this exact thing and can pretty much use his course material, possibly extended upon to impress people more.

    For a full time worker in a different sector, hey, let’s use me as an example, we have no such material. I can tell you about dozens of very clever and intelligent programs I’ve written, how they predict patterns and give best answers when there’s hundreds of “right” answers, but trouble is, it’s not relevant.

    So for me to even be on equal grounds with a graduate, I have to spend all of my spare time, self teaching and creating my own game, with no guidance from anyone. This vs. the graduate who had the luxury of learning is as part of their “day job”, from a mentor.

    In otherwords it seems to be ten times harder for someone with 100 times more experience (in programming!) to even get a foot in the door.

    The ultimate irony here being that the people with programming experience as a whole, the people with programming in their blood, are the people who would give the most. Be they a graduate, a senior dev in the wrong industry, or some dude off the street who doesn’t even know he has the perfect aptitude to program well (by the way, I was the latter, 16 years ago – a young girl on the deli who somehow landed an interview and got the best results in an aptitude test that the company had ever seen).

    The other thing the games industry seems to be forgetting is that 30+ year olds never had gaming degree courses. They didn’t exist. So yes here we are, full time programmers, but wrong industry. A vast sea just waiting to be picked from. It would take mere weeks for us to be on par with others already in the industry, because the hard part is being a good programmer, period.

    Sometimes all people need is a chance.

    #15 3 years ago