Dr. Mundy’s research primarily focuses around information security (with a particular emphasis on privacy protecting technologies), e-government, and educational technologies. He has managed a 19 partner EU Lifelong Learning funded research project titled ‘Euroversity’ between 2011-2014 and has been involved in a number of externally funded innovation projects focused around the innovative use of information technologies and digital media to support business services. He has more than 45 published articles and has also supervised several postgraduate students through to successful completion of studies at the University of Hull.
PWC expect the size of the global video games market to reach US$321.1bn by 2026 (‘Global Entertainment & Media Outlook Perspectives Report’, 2022). This growth in size being driven by the diffusion of video games across multiple platforms from mobile devices, through web-based gaming to traditional PC and video game console based products. In India, similar to global markets, the diversity of video game players and individuals involved in the games market continues to be a key element of this change with an exponential growth in female games players (‘Women gamers’ community in India has grown exponentially during the pandemic’, 2021). Games industry organisations continue to value broadening the make-up of both their development teams and the locations of the world in which they place or source their products from, to better enable this strong growth to continue.
Understanding the Games Market
From a historical context it is difficult to conceive that this multi-billion dollar industry has routes in a battle between two spaceships and the batting of a virtual ball between sides of a piece of visual science equipment, an osciloscope. These historical routes though, coupled with the range of game genres introduced towards the end of the 20th century, form the basis from which many of our high performing games of today are constructed. Whilst the market remains strong for online multiplayer Battle Royale or equivalent games, there has also been growth in games designed to promote exploration, mindfulness and interactive storytelling purposes. The range of platforms available for game production invites companies in the game industry to create a range of innovative solutions, with different game genres working more effectively on particular devices. For example, games in the puzzle based genre now form a significant amount of the revenue generated in the mobile market.In addition, the diversity and expectations of players also differs dependent on the development platform. For example, with a younger game player market found on the Nintendo suite of products.
Training for the Games Market
As the Video Games market continues to grow the demand for specialists in different areas of game design production continues to increase. A key element of choosing a specific course in the area of Game Design is the development of skills within platforms such as Unity (unity.com) or The UNREAL engine (www.unrealengine.com). The development of knowledge within these environments exposes students to the multiplicity of skills needed to create small scale independent through to AAA games. In general, courses designed to produce graduates for the video game industry align either to games programming or align to digital design related areas of focus – the inclusion of games development platform-based knowledge enables students to connect together their science and/or arts based skillsets to produce material for their individual portfolios.
From an arts perspective, there are a range of skills required within the video games market. Traditional skills such as 2D and 3D visual design and animation are substantial key components needed to create games for the industry, but these can be found alongside creative writing, sound design and visual effects specialists.
Students can move directly into the Games Industry on completion of their Bachelor’s degree. Alternatively, students can develop further specialised creative or technical skillsets by undertaking a Master’s programme, for example in an area such as immersive design (for a focus on the development of Virtual or Mixed reality games) or games programming.
Courses offering the potential for a placement year, live projects and/or short internship within games related employment, can help students to link study through to the professional context. In addition courses which offer a range of opportunities to develop a level of multidisciplinary understanding can also help students to recognise and understand the wider value of colleagues in professional game design teams.
With the continuing rise in size of the video game market, career opportunities for skilled graduates continue to be substantial. Whilst the aim of many students entering Game Design educational courses is to work for a company such as Activison Blizzard (https://www.activisionblizzard.com/), Nintendo (www.nintendo.com) or Rockstar (www.rockstargames.com), opportunities for graduates with skills in this area are required across multiple industries.
The rise of games for serious purposes create the potential for students of games design degree programmes to utilise their skillsets to support the development of a plethora of products such as those for virtual reality training products, games for branding or marketing purposes, and architectural design visualisation.
Whichever route taken the level of satisfaction gained from creating materials which can be used to enrich lives and increase the enjoyment of others is a positive outcome. Becoming a specialist in the area of Game Design is an exciting career route for many students from all backgrounds, with it being increasingly important that companies employing individuals with game design skills embrace the need for greater diversity in the production environment to match the continuing diversification of the player base.