Is it possible to enter the games industry without prior experience?

Hi, everyone! It’s really nice to meet you all.

My name is Mateus and I’m an indie game developer. During the last six years I designed, developed and published four titles on every modern platform currently available in the market (PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series S/X and Nintendo Switch).

However, at the start of 2023 I had a small “breakthrough” and I started to want to leave the indie scene and start working for an AAA company as a regular employee. Choosing a field wasn’t hard, since I’ve always been fascinated with realtime VFX, so I went ahead and started to do some research before buying courses, digging for resources, etc.

The problem is that I looked at about 60 AAA studios websites and about 90% of them had available positions for VFX artists, but literally all of them required 2-5 years of experience… So my question is: Is it possible to enter the games industry without prior experience? I mean, even if I study for months or years and actually become a good VFX artist, how am I going to meet such a requirement?

I’m probably missing something here, so please help me understand what’s the current state of the games industry to make sure I’m going in the right direction. Thanks a lot!

Ye, it is possible. If you build strong portfolio (you can always ask here if a portfolio you have is strong or not) and try applying. Some companies might decline, but some might accept you even though you don’ have experience :smiley:

1 Like

Thank you for the quick reply, Manus! So in theory if you’re good enough you can simply skip that experience time requirement? Now I’m wonder how good someone would need to be in that case. :thinking:

By the way, if you don’t mind me asking: do you’ve any portfolios from other game VFX artists you personally admire? That would be a great source of inspiration. Thanks! :slightly_smiling_face:

1 Like

Oh, it depends on whether you will find a associate or mid vfx position. For Associate you mostly would need to just get a good hold of timings and dynamics while for mid prob also more technical stuff too.

And omg, that’s a really tough question XD there are so many that I will have a trouble to even list just couple of them.

Enjoy getting complexes


Most importantly I would suggest to experiment first with different styles and see which one you enjoy the most. Then try to make some effects and ask people here or in discord for feedback. How to make them better. If you will have 3-4 really well made and polished effects then it’s an amazing start

1 Like

Short answer: it is. (i did)
All those game companies really care is that the quality of your effects is up to their standards and that you are great person to work with. That’s pretty much it. I think your experience as indie dev counts here a lot and it’s not like you don’t have any experience at all. Just put together a portfolio and start applying! :slight_smile:

1 Like

Thank you so much for the tips and the incredibly inspiring portfolios, Manus! Everything you said is super insightful and I’ll definitely keep it all in mind during my studies. :slightly_smiling_face:

By the way, my apologies for the late reply, I’ve been taking a few VFX courses and they’re eating up almost all my spare time, so I wasn’t able to properly thank you in time. :sweat_smile:

1 Like

I’m glad I could be of some help :smiley:
And no worries! It’s a great thing if you don’t have time, because of courses! Wish you all the best!

1 Like

You’ve no idea how inspiring this is, Walt! Hearing from someone that already managed to break that entry barrier years ago keeps me super motivated. Also, from what I can see you’re currently working at Remedy, which is basically my dream company as a beginner VFX artist. Actually, now that I stopped to think about it, my two favorite studios are based in Finland (Remedy and Housemarque), what an interesting coincidence, as I’ve never realized how strong the Finish game development scene is. :thinking:

If you don’t mind, I would like to add you on Discord (I already sent the request to be honest), so we can stay in touch to some extent. I would like to show you some of my work for you to judge in the near future, but I promise I wont bother you too much.

In any case, thank you very much for everything you said! It means a lot. :slightly_smiling_face:

1 Like

Reading everyone post is inspiring and already in my 30’s been playing games mainly all my life and I want to get into this industry. Everyone stories is great and been working on Unity VFX just learning, but it’s fascinating stuff!


Thanks! And great to hear you are interested in Finnish game companies :smiley: ,there’s some excellent choices here for sure and the whole scene is nice and chill, there’s game dev gatherings (with free beers) and things like that. Yeah please ping me on Discord when you have something to show!

1 Like