Is the Games Technical Director Job the hardest hire in games business

Is the Games Technical Director Job the hardest hire in the industry (Updated now with jobs list)

Ubisoft London


Natural Motion Dawn of Titans


Average Salary

The salary is on average £74,969 according to Glassdoor

Being a Video Game Technical Director is recognised as one of if not the hardest hire in the games industry.

In this post we why this is and what if anything you can do about it

Why the Games Technical Director Job is so important

Outside of the founding or senior management team of a games studio or publisher the Games Technical Director Job is arguably the most important hire because so much of their near and long term success is dependent on the person in this role having exceptional level of ability across numerous skill sets.

Smartest Guy in the room

The Games Technical Director has to have a comparable if not greater level of technical understanding of modern software, architecture and methodology than a competent games developer. That alone makes it a small hiring pool but then because this is a developer lead environment they then have to be as clever if not as a sea of extremely clever and experienced team unless they are bring some serious firepower in other areas. And even then, you have to think, if I can’t rely on the Technical Director for guidance and stack decisions then who do I speak to!

Programming Languages

The person who fills the Games Technical Director Job will be expected in a recent part of their career to have extensive experience with a breadth of programming languages and tools. They will get a pass on not being up to date with all modules and frameworks associated but this is a clear competency that a good Games Technical Director will need.

Leadership Skills

You can’t just hire the hottest rock star head of development guru out there.  The Technical Director will need to compellingly articulate and argue for adoption or investment in big ticket commitments for the company or project to underpin the long tail success against other factors which may have more short term gain like marketing, staffing or advertising. This will take exceptional communication and leadership skills that often a rock star developer however good they are has not yet cultivated.

Its a small pool

Internet Technical Directors and Games Technical Directors speak entirely different languages and rarely do they cross over to games. It’s weird, even the most interesting new trends in web development just won’t register on the radar of a games technical director and vice versa. This means you have to hire sideways from other games studios or catch an emerging star ready to make the jump into the management team

Why should they leave

Games development has long cycles and are now mostly real time services and Game Technical Directors are not the jump ship regularly types like their colleagues in the sales team. Also, Games Studios value the position and ensure they receive the full package and a market equal or leading salary.


So there you have it. A highly skilled multi-faceted technical/planning/creative management role in a niche industry with only a few suitable ready made candidates who are largely stimulated, well remunerated and happy in their current role and where you can’t confidently hire from the wider pool means…

The Games Technical Director Job is the hardest job to fill in the Games Industry! 🙂

Average Salary

The salary is on average £74,969 according to Glassdoor

Are you hiring? Do check out our games recruitment agencies and IT recruitment London agencies lists

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