Game Testing and Marketing
The job of the marketing department (also known as PR, or public relations) is to get information about a video game out to the public and to get as many people as excited as possible about the game's release. The marketing department must figure out how to sell the game, what the game's hook is, and how to generate public interest. The marketing department also designs and organizes the game's advertisement campaign. They will put together events or parties centered around the game. They will generally do anything within their means to generate as much buzz about the game as possible leading up to its release and to keep gamers buying once the game is on the shelves.
Hours involved: Typical forty-hour workweek, but can often turn into a sixty- to eighty-hour workweek during game production.
Work environment: Working in the office or coordinating publicity and PR events out in the field.
Salary: Starting salary around $60,000; more experienced marketers can make $80,000 and up.
An education in public relations, media relations, or advertising is key for anyone interested in a career in video game marketing. Outside of education, experience in marketing and connections in the video game industry can go a long way in convincing a video game company that you're the right person to market their game.
An understanding of how the advertising world works, including all the different ways in which video games are marketed, is an important quality to have. It is the job of the marketing department to understand what makes a game worth purchasing. Whether it's the celebrity voicing the lead character, an advanced new graphics engine, or a well-known game designer launching his or her newest game, the person marketing the game must have an understanding of how video games work and what makes a game successful in today's market.
You've got to love talking about video games and have a great passion for the game you're selling. The majority of a video game marketer's time is spent pitching the game to different retailers, advertisers, and gamers in the hopes of convincing them to take an interest in the game.
You've also got to have excellent people skills. A marketer's most important asset is his or her relationships with others in the video game industry. You've got to be an outgoing, friendly person who enjoys the art of conversation and salesmanship.
How to Get Your Foot in the Door
Having connections in the video game industry is important for anyone interested in a career in video game marketing. Therefore, the best way to get your foot in the door is to gain as much experience as possible in the industry. Start by finding a summer internship with a video game company or with a marketing/PR company that works in the video game industry. Attending video game conferences and trade shows such as E3 (Electronic Entertainment Expo) can be a great way to meet others who work in the video game industry.