I get hit up quite often by students or other young adults, for advice on getting into the games industry. I was asked today, by a student in the UK, about working in America. I thought I’d share the soul crushing advice I gave him ..
Working in America can be tricky, particularly for someone fairly new to the business. It costs a lot of $$ for a company to sponsor someone and bring them out to work. Typically, a company will only consider doing this for someone really experienced or really good, or both.
Having drive is good, because you’ll need it to realize your dream of working in America. You need to approach this methodically, and start by building your resume. Unless you get really lucky, you’ll have to put time into your craft. You need to get some titles under your belt, and start building a reputation. It’ll be a slog and you’ll need resolve.
You could also try working for an American company who has offices in the UK. If you’re good, an opportunity may arise where the company will sponsor you to work in America.
There may be another route too, but it would involve some financial outlay, and becoming a student in America. You could choose to study art and technology at a college out here, and see what opportunities come out of that. Los Angeles has some fantastic schools here, for example “Art Center”, or “LA Film School”, and many graduates end up working for companies like Disney.
At the end of the day, there are no short cuts. The business is a meritocracy, so if you’re good, you’ll probably do pretty well. It just takes time to build a career and have opportunities open up to you.