Only one-third of CEOs in games started their working lives in the industry

Tim Sweeney mowed lawns before becoming a developer

Only one-third of CEOs in games started their working lives in the industry

Only 33 per cent of CEOs in the games industry started their working lives in the sector, as found in research by Kwalee.

Of that third of executives, 30 per cent got started as a programmer, while a further 30 per cent started out as indie developers and entrepreneurs. Meanwhile, 13 per cent kicked off their careers as a game designer, and nine per cent were involved in production. The final 17 per cent comprises of accountancy, games testing, art, and intern roles.

One of the CEOs to not get a start in the games industry is Tim Sweeney of Epic Games – he began his working life mowing lawns.

You can find the full research here.

There is hope

"Having worked in the games industry for decades now, I've noticed that it can have this aura around it, that it's on one hand really difficult to get a job in, and on the other, really difficult to progress once you’re in," said Kwalee CEO David Darling CBE (pictured).

"From experience, I know that this isn’t the case, and it's arguably the industry with the biggest opportunity as it's still evolving. We hope that our research into CEO's first roles is a novel way to highlight this, and show anyone stood on the outside looking in, that making their way into the industry isn’t as hard as they thought."

Darling concluded: "If the people at the very top of this world came from such humble beginnings, there's no reason that they can’t do the same, or at the very least, work in the industry they desire and have fun while doing it.”

Earlier this month, we caught up with Darling to discuss combating toxicity in the workplace. As part of our Women in Gaming week, we spoke to Kwalee's talent acquisition manager Verónica Miñano.

Staff Writer

Kayleigh is the Staff Writer for Besides PGbiz and PCGI she has written as a list writer for Game Rant, rambling about any and all things games related. You can also find her on Twitter talking utter nonsense.