I wanted to get some opinions on the topic of moving to California to pursue a career in the industry. Preferably from those who are actually working in the industry in California.
More specifically, I'm close to the age of starting a family, wanting to buy a house, continuing to save for retirement. None of which seem even slightly plausible to do while trying to get into the industry in LA (for example) because it seems just be living there - you have a consistent major drain on your finances even if you have a job. Of course, if you land a gig at a high-end studio and they pay your above average salary - then there you go, but I'm trying to be realistic about someone who has no industry experience.
With the pandemic, my current industry (themed entertainment (theme parks)) has completely stopped, I'm wondering if switching to the game industry is a safe move for someone with those goals in mind.
For those of you who moved out west, found a job, and are living the dream - what's the reality of moving towards said life goals in a high priced area like Cali? Do the salary trends for the industry have you living paycheck to paycheck? Is buying a house (median value = 600-700k for a small house) even seem like an option unless you are established at a top studio for multiple years?
I know of so many who are my age (31) who still have room mates working at big studios. They are living the dream, if the dream is having almost no finances for your future - but you get to work in games so its worth it.