Careers in the gaming industry you probably didn't know existed

17th August 2023

It's hard to overstate the significance of video games to modern culture. In the UK, the gaming industry is worth over £7bn to the economy, and trusted EE partner BAFTA has made investing in its future a key part of its vision for the arts and society.


Naturally, an industry this big and bold needs more than just talented programmers – and that could mean you. Whether you want to bring the next World of Warcraft to life or dream of working on cosy games like Spiritfarer, there could be a role for you in the games industry – and probably some you didn’t even expect.

Build worlds with words

Games writing is a broad spectrum, but can be narrowed down to two key categories.


Narrative and quest designers

Game writers create everything from plot and main characters to items and quests you’ll encounter along the way. BioWare co-founders Ray Muzyka and Dr. Greg Zeschuk said during their BAFTA Annual Video Games Lecture that what makes games writing unique is that you have to consider how players will interact with your narrative – which isn’t always easy.

Dialogue and lore writers

There’s a lot more to games writing than just crafting the narrative. That means dialogue, flavour text, item descriptions, as well as consultants and sensitivity readers from marginalised backgrounds. Because anyone can tell a story, effective video game writers are those that bring something unique to the industry rather than simply those that possess formal qualifications.

Try writing your own small game in Twine in your spare time before branching out to engines like Unity or Unreal. Flesh out your portfolio by writing scenarios, character descriptions, dialogue samples, and flavour text snippets as well.

A design for digital life

Bioshock isn’t just remembered for its story twists. Its mesmeric ‘Welcome to Rapture’ opening sequence is regularly hailed as phenomenal first impression. Or consider the glorious HD-2D pixel art of titles like Octopath Traveler, a refreshingly modern take on retro nostalgia.
To make your mark visually, try training in art, graphic design or animation, and find your own style. A career as a game animator, technical artist or VFX artist could await. A video game art portfolio will help here too of course.

Set the tone with music and sound careers

Want to be the next Koji Kondo or Grant Kirkhope? A video game music career could be the path for you.
This is not work in isolation. Composer Gareth Coker, who wrote scores for Minecraft and Ori & the Blind Forest, says music and sound are core parts of a game’s creative process and often determine the direction the art and narrative teams adopt for their own work.

Create the atmosphere with game sound design

Ever stopped to appreciate the wind whistling through trees in Tears of the Kingdom? Or have the eerie groans of Resident Evil 7’s Baker house sent shivers down your spine? You can thank a sound designer. They shape everything you hear that isn’t music, including sound effects, ambient noise and voices.

Breaking into video game soundtracks or sound design is challenging. Media Molecule’s Siobhan Reddy told BAFTA that a portfolio or showreel is essential for getting noticed, and you can start putting your own together as soon as now by:

  • Recording or digitally arranging your own music for a game
  • Contributing to sound design or composition on small or indie projects

Earn fame and fortune in esports

Esports is a nascent industry celebrating players and competition, with roles for event planners, testers and writers alongside professional gamers.

“Given how quickly the competitive gaming industry has evolved in less than a quarter of a century, I don’t think it’s unreasonable to suggest that another decade will completely change the scene as we know it,” says Paul Chaloner, former esports pro and broadcaster.


There are all sorts of esports career pathways. Marketing, hosting, video production, engineering, and even business management all play a role in landing an esports career – or you could just earn recognition as a competitive gamer through your play by joining local tournaments or streaming your own.

If competitive play doesn’t appeal but you can build an audience on social platforms, streaming on Twitch or producing gaming videos for YouTube are two greatly viable careers.

Get paid to play games before anyone else

You play games to win, right? Not if you’re a QA tester. Then, you play the game to break it as inventively as possible to find problems of every description.

Private Division’s senior quality assurance manager Anthony Price said during a QA Masterclass at the 2022 Game Developer’s Conference that a tester might plan and execute a experiment for a specific segment of a game, or you may need to create expansive tests across multiple devices over an extended period of time.

QA testing provides valuable experience in development production that transfers to other parts of the games industry. You can stay in the QA line and become a QA lead or manager, or – if looking after budgets, cultivating relationships and project management are your fortes – a video game producer role could be for you.


Find the next indie hit – and sell it

Think of the iconic Nintendo Switch click. With a simple snap of the fingers, it communicates the fun and convenience of detachable joycon controllers for gaming anywhere. Games marketing isn’t just selling stuff to people – it’s inspiring excitement by understanding players.

Marketing specialist

Marketing appeals to creative thinkers, meticulous planners and passionate gaming experts. You might spend your days brainstorming a new game reveal, or which influencers and journalists could cover an update.

Community manager

From Call of Duty weapon balance to customisable genders in The Sims, the community manager is a game publisher’s front line, understanding what fans want and translating that into something the dev team can actually use to make their game better.


Whatever your focus, a marketing or communications degree is helpful to get started in this part of the industry.

Fast travel to career success

Gaming is for everyone. If a job in the industry is your dream, EE partners BAFTA offer game mentorship programmes, a selection of game masterclass sessions, and an awards ceremony celebrating the best games and the talent behind them. Whatever your path, put your passion to good use and help make something special.

The EE Games Store is your destination for all things gaming. Find your inspiration and kickstart your career.

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