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We all read job vacancies via the internet like GitHub jobs or StackExchange Careers 2.0 for example. You know, web app development, iOS/Android jobs and many other things. We even read about jobs ads in Google, Apple or any other big company.

Why don't we read about "Game Developer" vacancies? Is the demand for game developers so low? Or are game developers really rare?

How are companies like EA, Konami or Activision are getting their developers?

How can I overcome this response to an application: "You can't work for us because you don't have experience in developing games." How am I supposed to get experience if I'm not able to work in the field?

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We do read about them - just not where you're looking. Gamasutra has a job board. For Australian developers, tsumea is on such good terms with most developers that job ads go there before anywhere else. –  Jonathan Hobbs Aug 9 '11 at 4:01
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@lootdrop is tweeting job offers all the time –  Lohoris Aug 9 '11 at 9:26
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Yes. First rule: You do not talk about game development club. –  grega g Aug 12 '11 at 12:13
    
Why the rollback? Did my edit miss something crucial? –  Anko Apr 9 at 12:31
    
@Anko Here on gamedev you mods are really aggressively editing questions. This is sort of disconcerting at first and that may be the issue here. If it is better or not is a different question. For example on stackoverflow I have almost never go a question edited, here on gamedev, I get almost every question edited. (95% by you) –  rioki Apr 10 at 9:44
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4 Answers

The first question is where are you looking? If you are interested in a particular studio, outside of industry sites the best place to find jobs for the studios is on their own site.

In my experience (from just looking around, speaking to people) the industry has no shortage of applicants. Because of that, there is no real need to expend extra resources paying a premium to get listed on various jobs sites. People interested in their companies will already be checking their website.

Finally, the experience issue. The positions that you see advertised on these sites are generally not for entry-level positions.

  • Larger game companies (like the ones you listed) get tons of entry level resumes sent to them from a variety of people. There is little financial incentive to advertise that they are looking for entry level people.

    • Also, I've yet to meet a recruiter that wasn't ok with having my resume on file. It's generally understood that companies need fresh blood.
  • What isn't always known, is if they have any place to fit the higher experience people (at their right pay grades and all) so it's beneficial to advertise it. Also, these people are generally harder to find, and might be otherwise employed.

    • These people are less likely to shoot resume's into the dark.

Of course, making a cool demo never hurts.

For more information on applying for a job in the games industry, I turn to Sloperama: http://www.sloperama.com/advice/jobapp.htm

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Every game company I've worked for (EA, THQ, Arkadium) has paid for ad space as well as head hunters. The fact is, there's a dearth of experienced developers. The important word in there is "experienced." –  A.A. Grapsas Aug 30 '11 at 18:48
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If you want to make games, why don't you start by developing your own, there is many ways to start, and like noctrine said, making a cool demo won't hurt and it should give you more chances when applying in a big company.

You can start looking in a website like game programming wiki, they have a lot of useful advice, you can for example check the "how I get started" section to help you make your primary choices Getting started

After that, maybe you can find some people who'd like to start developing games too, maybe some of your friends, or you can gather a group of people on the internet.

You can as well check some open source games, and participate in their development, or you can start your own.

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I think you need to look in the right places, Edge magazine in the UK always has a section on game jobs, and all the articles have adverts for games companies looking for developers.

Likewise Gamesindustry.biz advertises for developer jobs.

There are recruiters who specialize in the games industry here is a list of agencies and sites that might be of help.

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You don't see game development positions on general programming job sites because good candidates don't come from there. With few exceptions (web/database guys, for one), game programming is such a different beast than the majority of programming jobs out there. And "game programmer" is one of those "sexy" titles that has a lot of casual people throwing their hat into the ring and not being good fits for it. Your signal/noise ratio from the responses would be crap. Not to mention, most [experienced] game programmers aren't looking at sites like that because they're not the kinds of jobs they're trained for or want to do.

Even if a person you find on a general programming site is a smart guy and can pick up on the topics, their salary expectations are probably not in the ballpark of what most game programmers make. Most people who have a cushy 100k/year programming job aren't going to take one with most likely longer hours and a steep pay cut.

So most game companies put their high profile positions on their own site and on game specific job boards like gamasutra. From the applicant's perspective, there usually aren't that many game companies in any given city (with a few notable exceptions like L.A.), so for looking for a job if you're not in a position to move you can usually get the short list and apply directly.

There are a few other places to get good people. Job fairs at game educational places is one. Booths at industry events (i.e. GDC) is another. If you manage to go to GDC, it's amusing to see the huge line for "students" vs "professionals" for the larger, well known companies out there.

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