This is a guest post by Lucy Chow
What are the skillsets you need for the workplace of the future? The total number of jobs in the esports industry grew by 87% percent year over year, to reach 11,000 in 2019, according to a job industry report released by the U.K.-based recruitment platform Hitmarker, one of the global leaders in esports recruitment. And estimates are 50% of jobs are yet to be created. With how quickly esports is growing, it’s logical that there will be many positions opening up for work and a place for people with myriad backgrounds and specializations. There is even a bar association specifically made up of lawyers practicing in the field of esports! Think about it — you can still become a lawyer and focus on your gaming passion. Artists, musicians, and designers are all collaborating with game developers. The entrepreneurial opportunities in this ecosystem are vast. Let’s take a look at how a few individuals have followed an unlikely path to forge a career in this industry.
Geographer to Gamer
Kate Edwards was hired as Microsoft’s first geopolitical strategist in the Geopolitical Strategy team she created and managed. Kate had completed her MA in geography when she learned that Microsoft was looking for a cartographer to build all the maps for a new product called Encarta Encyclopedia. Her story is an unusual one for sure.
Over time, Kate became the lead subject matter expert of the Geopolitical Strategy team and she had the mandate to help all products across the company, which included all the games created by Microsoft and its studios. “I found that my world-building mentality as a geographer fit perfectly with the world-building exercise of creating a game.”
During her time at Microsoft and since, she’s worked on many game franchises, including Halo, Fable, Age of Empires, Dragon Age, Modern Warfare, Mass Effect, and more.
Gamerpreneur Business Coach
Bradford Carlton, a lawyer by trade, is well known for his “The Gamerpreneur Podcast.” He interviews a myriad of individuals, many past gamers, who have built interesting businesses in this industry.
Bradford’s own path as a business coach focused on video gamer-owned businesses began relatively late in life, by his own admission. “Once I hit that ceiling of advancement in the legal field, I figured it was time to go into the world of entrepreneurship, so I started a new law practice with my wife. That practice became one of the fastest growing in Northeast Ohio before I decided to branch out and become a business coach and consultant. The funny thing about all this success was that I came to realize that most of it was due to the skills and experiences I had developed from playing video games. Persistence, patience, problem-solving, critical thinking, and more were all honed and trained while playing games.”
From Gamer to Game Promoter
Johnny Ryan Weaver is one of the gamerpreneurs who has been coached by Bradford Carlton. “Johnny was a multiyear champion at Halo 2, a first-person shooter game. He played at the highest levels but realized that there would come a point when he would age out. When that day came, Johnny moved into consulting. As the founder of Click Gaming, he now works with large corporations to help them establish their own esports tournaments as promotional campaigns.
Johnny secures venues, establishes an administrative team, organizes a content schedule, and oversees the operations of these events, often with budgets ranging in the millions of dollars. He also works with children to help them see there can be a future beyond the controller in gaming.
Gaming Company Builder
Jenny Xu started game coding in the seventh grade and by college was selected as a Forbes 30 Under 30.Multifaceted long-distance runner, artist, programmer, gamer, farmer, and CEO of Talofa Games, she’s passionate about the intersection of fitness and gaming and is currently developing a social running game at Talofa Games. She also solo develops horror comedy mobile games for her indie game company, JCSoft Inc. Whew!
“Many think that video games offer no benefit to society and that they, in fact, detract from it. That’s why I started a mobile fitness gaming company, Talofa, with my dad and brother. We wanted to use games as a medium to inspire people who have never run before or found the
motivation to continue running. As a runner, I’ve found that my friends always tell me that running is intimidating, difficult, and boring, even though there are so many mental and physical health benefits that it provides. Run to My Heart is a game that I’m currently creating that
will help get players into running and guide them into a healthy running routine. This game combines immersive audio with a social community mobilized around a narrative fantasy universe. Not only that, I hope that with my team of seventeen, we can create a diverse and inclusive game that serves players of all fitness levels and body types and that they can see themselves in the characters in our game. As a game that ties in real sports to gaming, I can see how competition that forms around Run to My Heart can parallel those of esports, competing with each other live while getting more fit in their real lives,” writes Jenny.
The future of the gaming industry is in the growth stage and it could well be that your future is there. If you want to learn more about the types of careers that can be found in the esports and gaming space, take a look at the biographies of the 38 contributing authors to “Changing the Game: Discover How Esports and Gaming are Redefining Business, Careers, Education and the Future.”
About the guest post author:
Lucy Chow is a future-focused thought leader directed toward the innovation space, both in terms of supporting founders and as an investor. She is the secretary general of the World Business Angels Investment Forum (WBAF), Global Women Leaders Committee, and a GP, WBAF Angel Investment Fund. She is also an investor with NextWave Impact Fund and The Founder Institute, and is a limited partner with numerous funds globally. She has garnered a strong reputation as someone who has helped build the entrepreneurial ecosystem of the UAE and is a staunch advocate for women in the gaming industry. She has contributed to several anthologies, and most recently has edited Changing the Game.
Learn more at www.lucychowauthor.com.