Games – Games: Skills and Recruitment

Great games don’t need an “army of devs”
Riccardo Zacconi, the CEO of casual games portal King.com, has stated that the modern games development studio system is not necessarily the best place to source creative talent owing to the nature of modern Flash games development.

The comments come after King’s Flash title Hunted Forever, which was developed by 21 year old Evan Miller, earned a place in Time’s Top Ten picks for 2008 – a list that also includes the likes of Grand Theft Auto IV, Spore and Gears of War 2.

Outsourcing in India
Manchester, UK-based independent establishes team to back MMO plans
Manchester-based Monumental has expanded further with a new studio in India. Based in the city of Pune, the new studio will support Monumental’s plans to grow its success in the online game and virtual world sector. The studio already provides MMO middleware and is developing Football Superstars for Cybersports.

The studio was founded with off-shoring experts Quickstart Global and currently houses a core team with plans to expand it further.

Neal Gandhi, CEO of Quickstart Global added: “We are delighted that Monumental chose to establish their operation in Pune. We knew from previous experience in this sector that there were candidates in the area with the specific skills to meet their needs. The Games Industry continues to enjoy significant growth (40 per cent revenue growth in 2009), however the availability of skills remains the biggest inhibitor to growth. Adoption of the Quickstart Global model can solve the problem for growing independent studios.”

Reinforcing Links with Universities

Research by the Centre for Development and Applied Research in Education at Wolverhampton University confirms that the games industry is short of skilled staff in all roles, business-university links need to be improved and students need better information about employment opportunities in the sector. The report, An Investigation into the Labour Market and Skills Demands of the Games and Serious Games Industries, was based in part on a series of interviews with games employers and educational providers earlier in 2008.

Richard Wilson, CEO of Tiga, said: “The UK’s development workforce is experienced, talented and highly qualified. This Report confirms that if we are to maintain this competitive advantage then the development sector must ensure that universities keep pace with technological changes in the industry, skill needs are accurately specified and students are provided with good information about career paths in development studios”.

For more information about the report, see Jill Turbin, Karl Royle and Anna King, An Investigation into the Labour Market and Skills Demands of the Games and Serious Games Industries (University of Wolverhampton, Centre for Developmental and Applied Research in Education, 2008).

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