10 Most In-Demand Gaming Jobs of 2024

Most In-Demand Gaming Jobs of 2024 Blog Post

If you’re hiring gaming talent right now, you’re not alone. Despite recent slowdowns and headcount reductions, the global games market is expanding, and experts predict its growth will continue. The industry is expected to reach a market value of $189.3 billion in 2024 and soar beyond $212 billion by 2026.

New titles, technologies, consoles, and game-inspired films are poised to accelerate the sector’s expansion. In particular, mobile and cloud gaming continue to be major growth drivers, with easy accessibility and low costs to players. At the same time, AI advancements are transforming how games are made and played. Plus, independent game development is on the rise, creating opportunities for people with a range of skills and game genre niches.

As the nation’s leading gaming talent solutions provider, Onward Play is privy to the hiring trends of 3,000+ clients, including top brands, game studios, publishers, XR companies and esports organizations. Leveraging exclusive access and extensive research, our specialists found these to be the most in-demand gaming jobs of 2024, by market demand:

  1. AI Engineer
  2. Quality Assurance (QA) Tester
  3. Technical Artist
  4. Gameplay Animator
  5. Game Producer
  6. Game Developer
  7. Graphics Engineer
  8. Sound Designer
  9. Marketing Producer
  10. Community Manager

 

1. AI Engineer

AI engineers design and implement the complex algorithms that bring non-playable characters (NPCs) and video game environments to life. These innovators partner closely with game designers, programmers, and artists to ensure that AI systems fit well within the game’s narrative, aesthetic, and gameplay mechanics. Working at the forefront of technology, they often research and adopt new AI tools to push the boundaries of what’s possible. As innovations continue to advance at an unprecedented rate, AI talent grows in demand.

2. Quality Assurance (QA) Tester

Game testers or QA testers ensure that games are as bug-free, functional, and enjoyable as possible before they reach the public. Their job is to find and report issues within a game, ranging from minor bugs to major system crashes, and to ensure that the game meets the quality standards set by the developers and publishers. The work can be repetitive and demanding, requiring patience, attention to detail, and a deep understanding of both the technical and gameplay aspects of video games.

3. Technical Artist

Technical artists are a cross between programmers, tools developers and video game artists. This hybrid role combines knowledge of both professions to make sure that games and their tools run smoothly. These specialists often act as advisors, guiding other team members on what’s technically possible and artistically recommended. From creating characters to constructing environments, they employ design tools to raise the bar for visual art quality and capability.

4. Gameplay Animator

Gameplay animators design the detailed moving imagery and assets that bring games to life. These multimedia artists work closely with team members to facilitate the balance, anatomy and motion of gameplay. Beyond game studios, companies across industries are hiring these animators today. Their animation skills are critical to corporate gamification and metaverse initiatives alike.

5. Game Producer

Game producers steer video game projects from concept to completion. They manage the schedule, budget, and teams involved in the game development process, ensuring that everything stays on track. Producers also serve as a bridge between the development team and stakeholders, communicating progress and challenges. Their leadership and project management skills are crucial for the successful delivery of every great game.

6. Game Developer

Game developers are specialized programmers who make clean, fun and inventive gameplay possible. They code and test each and every programmed feature in C# and C++ for engines like Unreal, Unity, and Frostbite, amongst others. These developers also need expertise in animation systems, optimization, gameplay techniques, navigation, pathfinding, physics simulation and logic.

7. Graphics Engineer

Graphics engineers collaborate with designers to transform artistic visions into seamless, stunning video game experiences. As they specialize in the visual aspects of game development, their expertise lies in rendering graphics, optimizing visual effects, and shader programming. Since modern titles often demand immersive visuals, these skilled professionals have become indispensable to game studios of all forms.

8. Sound Designer

Sound designers create the auditory experience of the game, which is as vital as the visual component in immersing players in the world. These audio experts use sound to set the mood, tell the story, and enhance gameplay. From epic scores to eerie soundscapes, they craft and curate the noise effects, music, and ambience of every title. Their work involves a mix of creative and technical skills.

9. Marketing Producer

Marketing producers lead a wide range of projects with a focus on promoting games to prospective players across channels. From social media content to promotional materials and ad campaigns, marketing producers ensure the delivery of high-quality work within set timelines. These leaders often require deep knowledge of the gaming industry, player engagement, strong partnerships with multiple stakeholders, and a strategic approach to brand development.

10. Community Manager

Community managers are the voice and ears of the game studio. They manage social media channels, forums, and other platforms where players gather, fostering a positive community around a game or studio. These professionals engage audiences, collect feedback, provide support, and organize events to maintain and grow the player base. Their ability to build relationships with players and communicate effectively is key to player satisfaction and loyalty.

 

If you’re looking to advance your career or hire gaming talent of any kind, keep an eye on the changing hiring landscape. Despite a flood of new candidates entering the market, 68% of studios report finding it “difficult” or “very difficult” to fill gaming jobs like those listed above. Challenges range from budget limitations to skill shortages. Many of these studios are leveraging specialized contract talent to close the gaps, support understaffed teams, and offset increased production costs. As 2024 continues, the gaming industry resurgence isn’t just coming; it’s already underway.


 

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A division of Onward Search, Onward Play connects game-changing talent with forward-thinking companies, game studios, and esports organizations. Together, we take experiences to the next level, push the limits of immersive technologies, and transform the way our world works.

 

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