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Jean-Francois Levesque, a fellow IGDA (Interspatial Glockenspiel Defamation Alliance) LinkedIn member, recently started a new job board for Game Industry Grunts. These are entry level people, who are frustrated that the game industry is notoriously tough to break into because every position requires a few years’ experience, or credits on a published title.

Help Wanted in the Game Industry

If only.

The board is a fantastic idea. When i was working through my program in college, the buzz was that you could land a $60k job right out of school. Reality smacked me in the chops when i graduated and realized not only were those $60k entry-level positions a myth, but that any entry level position was a rare beast indeed.

i’ve had a few conversations on the LinkedIn boards lately about outsourcing, and they tie in well to the entry-level dilemma. i wanted to repost a comment by Fran Mulhern, a UK recruiter:

In years to come, the cost of doing business with overseas outsourcing studios will rise dramatically as their employees demand better living standards and salaries, and government welfare increases. And at that point, western studios are going to realise one thing: that in the intervening years they’ve neglected their own workforce, that there’s no junior environment artists locally to do the work. Why? Because for the last ten or fifteen years all the work has been going overseas.

At that point, the sheer lunacy of dumbing down your own workforce, while paying to increase the skill-base of another one, is going to come home to bite.

As well as seeing this in my own day to day work, my wife’s an animator in the games industry, and I see it through a lot of her friends etc. It’s not to say there are NO jobs for juniors any more – but there ARE very few, relative to even a few years ago.

Food for thought. Thanks for taking the initiative, J-F.

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