How to secure top gaming talent and score the next big win

After seeing explosive growth during the Covid-19 pandemic, the global video games market continues to expand at pace. Valued at US$ 406.2 billion in 2023, video game revenue is expected to grow at 10.83% (CAGR) year on year until 2028. However, as bullish as these statistics are, the need to satisfy consumer demand for many different types of games is creating unprecedented challenges for games developers. To keep up with trends, maintain their user base and attract new customers, producers must now launch games across multiple genres, including action, role play, simulation and strategy – for competing platforms and for varying levels of console sophistication.

The only way developers can overcome these challenges is by continued investment in technology and creativity. However, both these needs are constrained by an acute shortage of skilled talent.

With the UK currently in the grip of the tightest labour market for 17 years, the availability of skilled IT and tech workers further impacted by the immigration effects of Brexit, and a reduction in government funding for arts and design courses (limiting the number of entry level workers), developers cannot simply rely on the traditional hiring practices that have helped them in the past.

To secure the talent they’ll need to meet current and future demands, games developers must think outside the box.

Player demands are driving the need for top talent

The need to satisfy gamer demand for more title variety, greater player immersion and deeper sophistication of story and characters keeps increasing. What gamers want gamers will get, as player experience is king and games that do not stack up are swiftly punished in the market.

Additionally, production costs are rising. Competition, the fracturing of the market into multiple genres with a myriad of storylines, and the large-scale adoption of advanced gaming consoles equipped with features such as record and share and cross-platform gameplay, are elevating the price of perfection. Players expect a flawless experience and developers are scrambling to provide it, so much so that it is now common for large, virtual-world games to cost US$80 to US$300 million to build – a price tag that is heading toward US$1 billion by 2027, based on historic trajectory.

The powerful combination of player expectation, wider game choice and spiralling costs is exponentially increasing risk. With the price of failure so high and the opportunities to fail so many, one of the few ways developers can defend themselves is by an investment in talent – literally paying for success by securing the best.

Actual reality – talent scarcity in the UK gaming industry

Unfortunately, buying success by buying talent is not so easy. Meeting the challenges of a rapidly evolving and expanding market by increasing manpower would be a fine strategy in a normal labour market. However, the current hiring outlook is anything but normal. In mid-2022, the UK video games industry was short of more than 2,000 creative workers – approximately 1% of the total UK games studio workforce – and in roles as varied as game developers, programmers, creative artists, technical artists and writers.

Industry response to these shortages has been typical of supply and demand crises. Compensation is rising to meet the salary demands of workers moving jobs, production bottlenecks are increasing where hard-to-find talent is unavailable, and employers with more financial firepower than others are luring workers away from incumbents who cannot match their offer.

The reality is that just-in-time hiring to fill a project need is no longer an option. If game studios wish to tackle the many issues that are facing the UK video game industry by investing in talent, they must follow a new playbook.

Finding next-level gaming talent is just a question of agility

In a hyper-competitive hiring market, video game developers must adopt a new agile approach to talent management. Experis Gaming Services provides instant access to industry-leading talent that organisations most urgently need on flexible terms, giving access to an array of skilled workers from a single central provider and avoiding the competitive cut and thrust of open-market recruitment.

Experis Gaming Services works as a ‘plug and play’ outsourced talent model, providing highly skilled workers on a continuous or flexible basis. Talent may be secured at short notice, working onsite, remotely or in hybrid mode, with employees working autonomously, as part of a client team or as a complete service team hired to solve one or more challenging areas of a game project build. Our highly skilled consultants have worked with some of the largest names in gaming – creating, developing and testing some of the world’s leading games – and come with a wealth of knowledge and expertise.

At a glance:

  • Community – Access to a resource pool of qualified gaming consultants
  • Work Ready – Short notice availability to ensure you meet project deadlines
  • Holistic – Contingent and permanent engagement options
  • Location – Onsite, nearshore or global delivery capability
  • Upskilling – Experis Academy trains the skills you need for tomorrow
  • Cost-effective – solutions that are measured against a fixed price rate card
  • Flexibility – can be scaled up or down to meet you fluctuating demand
  • Skills – wide range from pre-production, production and delivery
  • Quality – Service manager to drive continuous improvements.

There is no cure-all solution to solve the challenges that are facing the video gaming industry; however, Experis Gaming Services removes many of the traditional recruitment obstacles that studios are struggling with, giving them immediate access to the best workers and allowing organisations to concentrate on what they do best – creating the games that their fans love and demand.

Experis Gaming Services – helping video game developers score the next big win

In the world of video gaming, developers are only as good as the last game they launched. To stay ahead and to score the next big win, organisations must adopt an agile talent strategy. With more than 100 offices in over 50 countries and 1.2 million candidates in our database, Experis is a leading provider of top gaming talent.

To find out how Experis Gaming Services can resolve your short-, mid- and long-term talent needs, see the Experis Gaming Services flyer now.


For more information, please contacts us: [email protected].