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Job Roles: Management

The game industry has matured over the last 30 years as the scope of games has rapidly expanded. Game teams can now number more than 50 people, and as such, job roles have begun to fragment into more specialised areas. Read through the job role descriptions to find out exactly what each one entails. If you are looking to enter the industry there are additional guidelines on where you need to concentrate your creative efforts to increase your chances of success in our Getting the Job section.

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Management Overview

During the past 15 years the game industry has matured fast, as the scope of games has rapidly expanded. Game development has become a highly competitive and mainstream industry with ever-increasing budgets and teams now numbering anywhere between 35 and 200 people. As such, job roles in management have begun to fragment into more specialised areas, with development teams requiring a number of different managers for the duration of a project.

In this section, we want to give a broad overview of the management skills needed in the games industry. We're not aiming to tackle the discipline-specific management roles, such as Design Managers or QA Managers, which are mentioned in the other Job Roles sections.

There are many job titles in management which vary from company to company, but they often include roles such as: Project Director/Manager/Producer, Head of Development, Creative Director, Assistant Project Manager, External Projects Manager, Pitch Team Manager and Special Projects Manager.

As the structure of team management also varies from company to company, we're merely giving an outline of the main components of a Manager's job role. Specific industry experience and knowledge is always going to be necessary.

Project Director/Manager

Manager There are different management structures across the industry and therefore, management responsibilities vary. Below is a very general outline of some of the main responsibilities of a Project Director/Manager. Assistant management roles may contain many of these responsibilities also, but usually in the capacity of assisting the Project Director/Manager.

Project planning: includes making decisions on the scope of the game and creating a schedule with milestones. This would include a a PR and marketing schedule, and money and time budgeting. There is considerable financial responsibility involved in this as budgets can stretch to tens of millions of dollars. The Project Director/Manager needs to make sure that the development processes are all in place and to schedule, and that the contract is met. They need to have a creative vision of the project in order to maintain consistency of quality and style throughout development.

People planning: the Project Director/Manager is responsible for the efficient running of a development team and the co-ordination of their work. They oversee the Technical, Design, Art, Animation and QA Managers, who in turn oversee their respective areas of the team. They are responsible for the performance management of the team, which includes personal development and training, manpower requirements and recruitment when needed. Above all the Project Director/Manager needs to inspire and motivate their team and make sure they are working to their full potential.

Communication: the Project Director/Manager oversees the individual discipline Managers, reports in turn to senior management and takes part in company meetings. They also manage relations with the publisher and oversee any outsourcing companies. The Project Director/Manager also needs to be the team's point of contact for day-to-day information, problems and decisions.

Resources

For application advice and information please see the Getting the Job: Management section.