A San Francisco-based recruiting firm Vonchurch estimates social gaming revenues will increase $3-5B in the next 3-5 years with evidence suggesting this number might be exponentially higher. VonChurch, who specializes in placing engineers working in the gaming space, is seeing companies not only struggle to keep talent but find enough. Back-end development, design, and product management positions are in the highest demand while mobile steadily grows. “[The] biggest increase that we will see in terms of a specific position will be Wireless Developers as companies capitalize on the iPhone/iPad and Android.” The virtual goods and gaming industry is not showing any signs of slowing down either.
Zynga is valued at $5.5 Billion dollars according to a recent Bloomberg article with mobile gaming growing in direct parallel with recent expectations for mobile gaming projected at $10 Billion dollars. If these expectations are met – and most likely be passed – gaming and mobility is where talent will be heavily recruited.
With Digg recently laying off nearly 37% of its workforce, the flush of talent back on the market has been to welcoming arms. Dozens of San Francisco-based companies reached out via Twitter to ex-Diggers letting them know there’s plenty of need for talent. Which is surprising to hear as unemployment moves past 14% nation wide, businesses in gaming continues to surge.
Vonchurch has seen estimates that 2011 iPad sales might top 28million units. Apple Apps account for 30% of the mobile gaming market. Its no surprise then why Apple is rumoured to be investing in Facebook, who has previously been the leader in online social gaming. Facebook denies these rumors. In a earnest attempt to improve and compete, Blackberry released a new Facebook Mobile App this week.
With the average age of an engineer in San Francisco just 28 years old and numerous projects and gaming opportunities for the talented, the demand to develop quality titles that are able to translate to mobile are set high. Social gaming companies are set to dominate the niche, while the risk for smaller companies becoming very high. For some small firms, one under-performing title can be the end of business.
Either way, recruiting firms that have made a name for themselves in this area will prove to be the gatekeepers of next year’s working force.