Remote Jobs in the Video Game Industry: The Complete Guide
The video game industry is a rapidly growing and dynamic sector, with its global value projected to surpass $200 billion this year. In recent years, remote work has become increasingly popular within the industry, especially as companies and employees have had to adapt to new ways of working during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. This in-depth article explores the prominence of remote work in the video game industry, the types of jobs that can be worked remotely, how people can set themselves up to work fully remotely, and the benefits and drawbacks of remote working for both employers and employees.
The Prominence of Remote Work in the Video Game Industry
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, remote work was already gaining traction in the video game industry, thanks to advances in technology and communication tools that made collaboration over long distances more feasible. Many companies, particularly smaller studios and indie developers, embraced remote work as a cost-saving measure, allowing them to reduce overheads and tap into a wider pool of talent without being limited by geographical boundaries. However, larger studios and AAA developers were typically slower to adopt remote work practices, often citing concerns about maintaining productivity, communication, and company culture.
The COVID-19 pandemic that hit in early 2020 forced many companies in the video game industry to quickly adapt to remote work, as lockdown measures and social distancing guidelines made traditional office-based work environments untenable. This rapid shift to remote work demonstrated that even large studios could maintain productivity and collaboration while working remotely, leading many companies to reevaluate their long-term remote work policies. As a result, remote work has become more accepted and widespread in the video game industry, with many companies now offering permanent remote or hybrid work options for their employees. Indeed, it’s only very recently that larger studios and AAA developers have took steps back towards mandatory in-person working.
Types of Remote Jobs in the Video Game Industry
The video game industry comprises a wide range of roles that can be performed remotely, including:
Game Design: Game designers can work remotely, collaborating with team members and stakeholders via video calls, messaging platforms, and project management tools. They can develop game concepts, create design documents, and iterate on game mechanics from the comfort of their home office.
Game Development: Game developers can write, test, and debug code remotely, using version control systems and other collaborative development tools to work seamlessly with their team members.
Art and Animation: Artists and animators can create assets, design characters, and build environments using industry-standard software and hardware from their home studios.
Audio Engineering and Sound Design: Audio engineers and sound designers can record, edit, and mix game audio remotely, using professional audio equipment and software.
Quality Assurance (QA): QA testers can playtest games, identify bugs, and report issues from their home setup, using VPNs and secure file sharing tools to access game builds and other confidential materials.
Localization: Localization specialists can translate game text, adapt cultural references, and ensure that games are accessible to global audiences from their remote workspaces.
Marketing and Community Management: Marketing and community management professionals can develop promotional campaigns, engage with fans on social media, and coordinate events from their home offices.
Setting Up a Successful Remote Work Environment
To work remotely in the video game industry, employees should consider the following strategies for setting up a successful remote work environment:
Dedicated Workspace: Create a dedicated workspace at home, separate from personal living areas, to maintain focus and establish a clear boundary between work and leisure time.
Reliable Technology: Invest in reliable technology, including a high-performance computer, high-speed internet connection, and any necessary software and hardware specific to the job role, to ensure smooth and efficient work processes.
Ergonomic Setup: Prioritize ergonomics by investing in a comfortable chair, adjustable desk, and proper lighting to prevent strain and promote good posture during long work hours.
Time Management: Develop strong time management skills, setting daily goals and creating a structured schedule to maintain productivity and work-life balance.
Communication Tools: Utilize communication tools, such as video conferencing, messaging platforms, and project management software, to stay connected with team members and stakeholders.
Continuous Learning: Stay current with industry news/trends and advancements by participating in online courses, webinars, and industry events to ensure continued professional growth.
Benefits of Remote Work for Employers and Employees
Remote work offers various benefits for both employers and employees in the video game industry, including:
Cost Savings: Remote work can reduce overheads for companies, as they save on office space, utilities, and other expenses. Employees can also save on commuting costs and potentially benefit from a lower cost of living if they choose to work from a more affordable location.
Access to a Wider Talent Pool: Companies can hire talent from anywhere in the world, enabling them to find the best candidates for specific roles without being limited by geographical constraints.
Increased Productivity: Remote work can lead to increased productivity, as employees often report fewer distractions and a better work-life balance.
Improved Employee Satisfaction and Retention: Remote work can lead to higher employee satisfaction, as it allows for more flexibility, autonomy, and control over one's work environment. This, in turn, can lead to improved employee retention.
Drawbacks of Remote Work for Employers and Employees
Despite its many benefits, remote work also presents some challenges for employers and employees, including:
Communication Challenges: Remote work can make communication more difficult, as face-to-face interactions are replaced by virtual meetings, which can lead to misunderstandings or delays in decision-making.
Potential Isolation: Working remotely can lead to feelings of isolation for employees, as they may miss out on the social aspects of working in an office environment.
Security Concerns: Remote work can pose security risks, as employees access sensitive company information and intellectual property from their home networks, which may be less secure than corporate networks.
Difficulty Maintaining Company Culture: Preserving company culture can be challenging when employees are working remotely, as they may have limited opportunities to engage in team-building activities or informal interactions with colleagues.
Tips for Landing a Remote Job in the Video Game Industry
Networking: Leveraging personal and professional networks, attending industry events (both in-person and online), and participating in online forums and social media groups (like the Hitmarker Discord) can increase visibility and open up potential remote job opportunities.
Building a Strong Portfolio: Creating a compelling portfolio showcasing relevant skills, experience, and projects can help to demonstrate expertise and attract potential employers.
Tailoring Application Materials: Customizing resumes and cover letters to highlight specific skills and experiences relevant to the remote job being applied for can increase the chances of securing an interview.
Preparing for Remote Interviews: Practicing remote interview skills, such as speaking clearly, maintaining eye contact through video calls, and ensuring a professional background, can help to make a strong impression on potential employers.
Legal and Tax Considerations for Remote Workers in the Video Game Industry
Employment Laws: Remote workers should familiarize themselves with applicable employment laws and regulations, such as minimum wage, overtime, and benefits requirements, which may vary depending on their location and the location of their employer.
Tax Implications: Remote employees may face unique tax considerations, such as differing tax rates, deductions for home office expenses, and potential complications when working across state or country borders.
International Remote Work: Remote workers who choose to live and work in a different country from their employer should be aware of visa requirements, local labor laws, and any potential tax implications.
The Future of Remote Work in the Video Game Industry
Technological Advancements: As technology continues to advance, virtual and augmented reality tools, as well as new communication platforms, may further enhance remote work capabilities and collaboration in the video game industry.
Globalization: The increasing globalization of the video game industry may drive greater demand for remote work opportunities, as companies seek to tap into diverse talent pools and cater to a wider range of markets.
Evolving Work Models: The video game industry may see a shift toward more flexible work models, including fully remote, hybrid, and co-working arrangements, as companies continue to adapt to the changing needs and preferences of their workforce.
Remote work has become an increasingly popular and viable option in the video game industry, offering various opportunities and challenges for both employers and employees. By understanding the types of jobs that can be worked remotely, implementing strategies for successful remote work, and weighing the benefits and drawbacks of remote working, individuals and companies in the video game industry can make informed decisions about whether remote work is the right choice for them.
If you believe that it is, why not dive in to see all of the remote opportunities we have available on Hitmarker by clicking here?