How many people work behind a video game?

Every time a video game is released, many people don't know how many workers are involved in creating it. Let's analyze this situation .

Woman wearing a virtual reality glasses

The creation of videogames has behind a great circuit of production and participation of different areas. / Photo: Pexels

LatinAmerican Post | Ariel Cipolla

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Leer en español: ¿Cuántas personas trabajan detrás de un videojuego?

Video games are part of our day to day. Whether we consider ourselves gamers or not, it is clear that different cultures are formed through them. However, we don't always think about how many people are involved in their creation.

Recently, the specialized medium of Hobbyconsoles revealed that The Last of Us 2, the popular and long-awaited sequel , had the collaboration of more than 2,000 people and 14 development studios. Each member excels in various areas, but it sounds like an impressive number, even for an industry as large as this.

Knowing the importance of video games in our culture (where, for example, the Barcelona School of Management website asks whether they can be considered the "seventh art"), we decided to investigate how many people work behind our favorite games and what the game  production circuit is like. 

How many workers does it take to make a video game?

The first thing to think about is that, first of all, it is a market. Rankia's specialized website highlights that Tencent Holdings is currently the world's leading video game company. With a specialization in online games, last year they obtained revenues of $ 13.75 billion, having at their disposal several studios, such as TiMi Studios or Riot Games, from the popular League of Legends.

Let's analyze this last case in particular, since they are in charge of different currently successful games, such as the Valorant shooter. Well, the specialized media Malditos Nerds highlighted that this study "employs more than 2,500 people", all through some 24 offices spread throughout the planet.

Now, that figure may sound a bit big if we don't think about what is behind it. To know it, we must understand a little the circuit of imagination, production and post-production of any video game. As with any work area, there are people employed who are dedicated to the different facets of the company.

The medium of La Vanguardia explains it perfectly, saying that the creation of a video game is a "multidisciplinary activity" , where programming knowledge is needed to be able to start it ... although that is not all. What many people forget is that, in addition, experts in music, sound and acting are required.

What happens is that, since these are not jobs that are visible to everyone, sometimes they tend to be unrecognized. Such is the case that the Infobae medium emphasizes that, despite the fact that video games generate fortunes, voice actors "struggle to earn a living." At the same time, as there are many characters within the same title, it is common for several to be hired for different functions, so a large part of the staff is also explained here.

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In addition to the experts in everything that concerns the video game itself, there are two factors that few take into account, but that are also really important: advertising and customer service . Any video game needs to be promoted, through different videos, campaigns or images. At the same time, there must always be support from the company to resolve the doubts or concerns of users.

Even if the game is great, if it doesn't reach the public in a massive way or “sell” correctly, it could fail completely. This is mentioned by the specialized medium Xataka, which tells the story of a creator of a video game, with the title Zeran's Folly, who did not manage to make too much publicity for its delivery, since he acted alone in the development and did not understand the relevance of game marketing.

Regarding customer service, the Bien Pensado website highlights the case of the Blizzard company, where its managers provide customer service through the game itself, that is, interacting with its players with characters created on their servers, achieving the best service in the industry in terms of customer service.

Therefore, the fact of having a very high staff of employees not only means having people who prepare the video game, but also the administration of resources, the graphic design of the story, the publicity to disseminate it and the customer service who will buy it. That explains why there are thousands of people involved in these highly developed video games that we like so much.