Should I work in the games industry?

Game art
(Image credit: Raphael Lacoste)

Working in games can be a thrilling career, but it’s also something that requires tough compromises. On the one hand, being part of a world-class team that creates beautiful universes for AAA games might sound like a dream job. On the other, the industry is notorious for its crunch culture, and there’s plenty of controversy around poor treatment of women and minorities at big companies. 

So what’s it really like? And is it right for you? To help you decide, we asked four artists about what it does for your journey as an artist, the culture, the working life, and what traits and skills make someone suited to the job. And, if you do decide it’s for you, we’ve got advice on breaking into the industry. (Check out the gaming trends to watch if you want to stay ahead of the curve). 

Fanny Vergne headshot
Fanny Vergne

A lead 3D artist and principal artist at Blizzard Entertainment, Fanny Vergne works on World of Warcraft. 

Donglu Yu headshot
Donglu Yu

Donglu Yu is an acclaimed concept artist whose list of credits includes the Assassin’s Creed series and Far Cry 4. She says that working in games puts you into a cyclical routine of always striving to become better.

Raphael Lacoste headshot
Raphael Lacoste

An art director who has worked in both the film and games industries, Raphael Lacoste is well-known for his work at Electronic Arts Montreal and Ubisoft. Like Donglu, he enjoys the learning, artistic development and creative solutions that come from working within the limits of a problem that needs to be solved.

Jordan Grimmer headshot
Jordan Grimmer

Jordan Grimmer is a senior concept artist at UK-based studio The Chinese Room. 

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Tanya Combrinck

Tanya is a writer covering art, design, and visual effects. She has 16 years of experience as a magazine journalist and has written for numerous publications including 3D World, 3D Artist, ImagineFX, Computer Arts, net magazine, and Creative Bloq. For Creative Bloq, she mostly writes about web design, including the hottest new tools, as well as 3D artwork and VFX.