The total market value of the video gaming industry in 2018 reached almost $135 billion, and with that growth has come an increased demand for game developers. The University of Texas at Austin hopes some of its graduates to stand out in that market. It’s launching a new degree program in video game design and development.
Michael Baker, director of the Department of Arts and Entertainment Technologies Game Design program at the University of Texas at Austin, says it’s easier than ever to get into the industry.
“The engines that run the games, the tools that are used to create content for the games, all of that has developed to the point now that it’s very accessible for a lot of people,” Baker says. “It means that the industry is exploding. … It also means that there is competition and opportunity as well.”
Baker says salaries for many jobs in the gaming industry approach six figures, and specialists in augmented and virtual reality can expect to make the most.
“There’s a lot of investment that continues to pour into those two categories,” Baker says. “Finding qualified people who not only understand how games are made and how to work with the tools but also understand how to apply those to these new realms is really important.”
In addition to creating games for consoles, and for PC and mobile platforms, designers are now applying their techniques to other fields, including architecture and automobile design. Baker says the future of ride-hailing, for example, is now tied to game development.
“We’re seeing this expansion, as well, to experience design,” Baker says. “Game technology is the medium that is being used to design those spaces or design those experiences.”
Written By Sol Chase.