How Common are Internships in the Games Industry?

polycounter lvl 6
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Bartalon polycounter lvl 6
I was having a chat with some friends about their plans to enroll at a college that teaches game development and to start looking for internships while they're studying.  It got me thinking: how common are game dev internships actually?  And what's the split between student and non-student internships?  Nearly every internship I've ever heard of (not that I've heard of many) has had the prerequisite of being enrolled as a student, such as the Blizzard internship program. 

I've gone through my share of job hunting in the past, and non-student internship positions were virtually non-existent.  Is there a reason for this?  Why would a student be more eligible for an internship than someone who, say, has graduated already and might even have a better portfolio but still no industry experience?  Are there legal reasons behind larger studios not taking in "stray" artists as interns?

Thanks for any insight or links on this topic :)


  • PyrZern
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    PyrZern polycounter lvl 6
    ArenaNet takes in non-student interns. (low pay)

    To me, many internship seems more about cutting costs for the studio, than to actually groom better artists up properly. Maybe that's why it makes sense to accept students as interns; more ok to not pay em. 

    There are probably exceptions to this; of course... I hope ?
  • Mask_Salesman
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    Mask_Salesman polycounter lvl 8
    I'd wager for smaller studios it's cheap labour, young people generally know less about work laws and or pay. 
  • Kyetja
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    Kyetja polygon
    You could try searching for Post-Graduate internships and who knows something will pop-up!

    Anyway, I'm going to do an internship as Environment Artist (as student) and I posed this question to my contact at the company during a casual interview,
    he said that whilst students know less they often have a higher drive to grow skill and personality wise, more of a motivation to reach for the stars and less scared to fail. 

    In addition in a lot of countries i.e. the Netherlands there are certain funds, subsidies that support companies that hire students, and for example in Sweden I believe some companies have certain connections with universities and/or the government that promotes hiring students to improve their chances on employment.
  • chrisradsby
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    chrisradsby polycounter lvl 8
    In Sweden at least there seems like some of the bigger companies have made deals with the schools which makes it really hard for "stray" artists to get an intern position. Not impossible by any means but really hard. Most of the times I feel like it'd be easier to apply for a junior position straight up instead.
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