2012 Game Career Outlook

Deciding on a career in games can be as financially as creatively rewarding, if you choose the right path that supports your talents and ambitions. Consult the chart below to find out who's being paid what in the gaming industry and plan for your future.

When Game Developer Magazine issued their “Career Guide, Fall 2012,” they shared some great insights into what you can expect out of your game career. We were particularly interested in how well the most popular game careers worked out for technicians and artists trying to pay their bills. Consult the chart below to gauge how your current or future career in games is projected to play out, in terms of salary and experience.

Game Careers to Consider

A lot of work goes into making the games that make jaws drop and thumbs ache. Whether you’re the lead gameplay programmer, responsible for the logic of the game, or the cinematics designer, creating the cutscenes between gameplay, the effort you put in is undoubtedly experienced by the person going through those motions, seeking trophies and ultimately beating the game. Now that you have a reasonable expectation for what each type of career pays, here are some career descriptions to help you deduce what type of game career suits your interests, abilities, and goals.


AI Programmer
Audio Programmer
Lead Gameplay Programmer
Lead Server Programmer
Sequencing Programmer

Artists & Animators

Animation Layout Artist
Concept Artist
Lead Environment Artist
Rotoscope Artist
Senior Animator

Game Designers

Cinematics Designer
Combat Systems Designer
Lead Level Designer
Mission Designer
Online Game Designer


Assistant Producer
Localization Producer
Production Coordinator

Game Changer: Lead Analyst Darius Kazemi

His first gig had him testing weapons for Dungeons and Dragons Online, but now Blue Fang Games’ lead analyst is an authority on automation and metrics.

Audio Production

Audio Lead
Foley Artist
Sound Designer

QA Testers

Game Tester
Lead Game Tester
QA Design Analyst
QA Software Engineer
Usability Researcher

View an exhaustive list of more game careers here.

Related Content

Have some feedback for our editors? Contact Us