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With increasing internet penetration, growing numbers of mobile connections, and the highest youth population in the world, India has all the key drivers for the accelerated growth of online gaming in the country. With research indicating an expected compounded annual growth rate of 40 percent in the year 2022, the mobile gaming industry has a lot to offer in terms of career opportunities. However, as technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) are upskilling the people, we have a very precise hiring process, leading to some novel trends and challenges for the industry.
Growth trajectory in gaming sector creating job opportunities across the board
Around 30 years ago, when games with consoles were first launched in India, they received a lukewarm response. Later, computer and pricey console-handled games were also introduced, but their high cost always remained a drawback for the Indian market. But things changed quickly with the arrival of mobile games. In a short period, India secured its place among the top five gaming countries.
During the lockdown, when people were cooped up in their homes with limited amusement options, mobile gaming received a big push forward. Compounded with immediate other tailwinds, like low-cost data and widespread use of smartphones, the mobile gaming industry is on a long-term growth trajectory. According to projections, by the year 2022, we will have 379 million users of mobile games in the country.As existing mobile gaming companies expand with more offerings and swell to newer geographies, and new gaming companies enter the arena, more jobs will be created. Jobs supporting the industry are on the rise, such as information technology (IT), telecommunications, marketing, events, and designers, among others.
Career and hiring trends to look for
With the dramatic growth in online gaming, the cloud is the area to look out for. Cloud technology frees gamers from expensive consoles by providing them with easy access to online games from any mobile device, anywhere.
Technologies such as voice recognition, 3D graphics, artificial intelligence (AI), gesture controls, high-definition displays, virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) and wearable gaming devices are tools to amplify the gaming experience by making it more immersive and engaging. So, in 2022 and beyond, people with expertise in these technologies will find good employment opportunities in the gaming industry in India.
Additionally, there will be high demand for games designers in the industry - this will also require educational institutions in the country to introduce new courses that will develop future talent.
In times to come, the gaming industry will start expecting more versatility from game artists. A game artist's creative expertise will be expected to be complemented by a keen understanding of the business aspect of their work as well. This will help them become better leaders in the future and add more value to the ecosystem.
Also as the free to play (F2P) games category continues to expand, new roles in marketing will open up focusing on how to break through & get gamers to spend money on F2P games.
However, since we don’t have a history of building games in the country, we still lack a comprehensive infrastructure which enables engineers to get exposed to exciting technologies, and development kits. This is why we have a limited talent pool of people who, along with being great engineers, are also passionate about building games. So, the talent acquisition today is not merely about emphasising on degree but also recognising a passion for developing games.
Trends to stay in coming years
Opening prospects to access talent across the globe, virtual hiring, a practice that became greatly more common during the pandemic, is going to stay for a few more years. Remote hiring has opened a whole lot of opportunities for gaming brands, where talents can be acquired without asking them to relocate and worthy candidates can contribute remotely without having to be in the same city as the organisation.
As the pandemic changed the way we function, so also the job description. The ability to work from home, to develop synergies with remotely working team members, and the ability to perform without supervision ― these are some new and very important pointers in the hiring process today.
Another fallout of the pandemic is separation from loved ones, loss of freedom, boredom, and uncertainty. This is affecting mental health across age groups. So, ensuring the good mental health of employees by bonding with them and scanning new candidates for soft skills, like problem-solving and critical thinking, is an add-on in the recruitment process.