When the first iPhone went on sale, people endured queues for many hours, fatigue, heat, urges to go to the toilet, came with tents and sleeping bags to be among the first buyers. Rarely can an industry boast of such reckless love of customers. Except for gamedev.

Customers of game development companies do not sleep at night, take time off at work in anticipation of releases, spare no money on Steam, sew costumes of game characters and name children in their honor.

The level of loyalty to this audience can be assessed as purple-epic (for example, the Tibia player killed 9 years to pump up to level 999 and solve the riddle of the developers). This audience is huge: back in 1995 there were 100 million gamers, now there are more than 2.6 billion worldwide (quarterly audience estimates). The annual turnover of the game development industry is estimated at $100 billion.

In this material, we will talk about what gamedev is, what specialists are needed there, what salaries you can count on, and where to learn, in general - how to become the one who makes games if you are thinking about building this particular career.

What is gamedev

It is the process of creating a game for a specific gaming platform. It can be a game for PC, consoles, mobile, VR headsets, smartwatches, etc. Many developers and publishers do not want to choose the parties - multi-platform development has long been considered a trend.

Gamedev is the habitat of universal experts: those who work in game development usually understand what colleagues do. And ideally, they have two professions, like NASA astronauts. 

To create a game, you need at least three people (or one that combines these skills): artist, programmer and game designer. But if you delve into the topic, much more specialists are involved in the very process of creating and supporting games:

  • programmers of game architecture,
  • programmers of game chips and modes,
  • tool programmers,
  • level designers,
  • scripters,
  • modelers,
  • animators,
  • artists,
  • creators of concept art,
  • texture creators,
  • UI /UX designers,
  • facial animators,
  • sound designers,
  • screenwriters,
  • localizers,
  • mocap actors,
  • voice actors,
  • testers,
  • project managers,
  • producers.

And this, of course, is not the whole list. At each stage of the development or publication of the game, tasks for a variety of skills appear. Remuneration for such work also varies depending on the region (animation projects outsourcing may be needed), the scope of the game project, the type of task.

The process of creating a game can vary greatly in resources, team, time and result. The code, music, script, design and 1000 lines of dialogue of the game Unepic were created by one person, spending two years of free time on it. The Grand Theft Auto V, released in 2013, has been working on over 1,000 people for four years, and its creation and marketing cost $265 million. For comparison, the budget of the Jungle Book, which won this year's Oscar for the best visual effects, is $175 million.

Who are these people and how to get into their ranks

Programmers of various directions, artists and game designers, as well as administrators, managers and producers are in demand in this market - that is, people who set areas of work, count the money earned and bring the game to life. 

You can get to any of these positions without experience in game development, but experience from a similar industry will be useful. The main thing is to understand that playing games and producing them are not identical formulations.


Gamedev nowadays resembles a gold rush. Making games is not only fun and exciting, you can also earn money. There are many successful stories about how someone made a game and sailed away on a yacht to Cyprus. But do not forget that hundreds of games on mobile platforms and dozens on PCs are released daily. Thousands of developers make another Minecraft or Flappybird, dreaming of getting into the tops of app stores and earning millions. And if you want to become one of them, then prepare for something that will not be easy.