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Mobile Video Game Programmer

What is a mobile video game programmer? Quite simply, They are the person who will bring a video game on a smartphone or tablet to life due to their coding skills. They are programming professionals; they will know how to put their skills into practice to develop hyper-casual (simple gameplay accessible to all), casual, mid-core, and hard-core games.

Mobile Programmer Job Description
Last update
Level of studies: Master’s degree
Recommended high school specialisation: Scientific
Employability: Very good
Beginner salary: € 3,300
Salary after experience: € 6,500
Mobility: Very good
ROME code: M1805
FAP code: M2790


With their expertise, the mobile video game programmer is responsible for developing a game on mobile platforms. But their role may be different depending on their speciality, as explained by Ben Kaltenbaek, CEO of Revolt Games, studio editor of the video game Neopolis Game:

"We have the so-called backend programmer who creates the logic and calculations but not that which is perceptible on the screen by the player. And then, we have the person who creates the frontend, which creates what is displayed on the player's screen and uses mobile application technologies (iOS, Android) or graphics engine (Unity). "
Logo Revolt Games Ben Kaltenbaek
Ben Kaltenbaek
Co-founder and CEO of Revolt Games

They also develop ideas and game concepts « with very fast production cycles and based on permanent iteration, » Ben explains.

The skills of the mobile video game programmer

« First of all, you have to know how to program, » says Ben Kaltenbaek. You can learn this with practice and exchanges with other programmers. Once the basics of programming have been acquired, it is possible to specialise in technologies specific to mobile video games such as Unity.  »

To do this job, a programmer must therefore be able to master computer technology. They must therefore know:

  • Development tools (Visual studio, version controller, bug database, etc.)
  • Programming techniques
  • Mobile development tools: Swift for iOS and Android Studio for Android
  • Web programming (HTML, Javascript, PHP)
  • C ++, C # languages
"A mobile game programmer is a programmer who likes extra challenges in terms of developing specifically for a platform and also for the market. They have to know how to make themselves stand out", underlines Valentin Birembaut, developer for the Ohbibi studio.
ohbibi logo Valentin Birembaut
Valentin Birembaut
Developer for the Ohbibi studio

Below are some examples of software interfaces you will need to know if you become a mobile video game programmer.

Interface Android Studio
Android Studio interface
Interface Visual Studio
Visual Studio interface

The qualities of a mobile video game programmer

In this position, you are undeniably required to know how to work in a team, and an employer must also be able to count on the many qualities of the mobile programmer, namely:

  • Communication
  • Autonomy
  • Rigour
  • A creative mind
  • A passion for video games
  • A sense of initiative

It is a set of skills that are sought after by recruiters. A mobile video game programmer is a profession for which it is relatively easy to find a job right out of school. « Some studios (like us) only recruit juniors to train them internally on innovative, little-taught technologies. All you need is to have an excellent capacity for learning and the motivation to be recruited », explains Ben Kaltenbaek.

casual studio mobile Voodoo
Casual games from mobile studio Voodoo are very popular for download.

Studies needed to become a mobile video game programmer

A minimum level of study will often be required, including a certain technical level that is required for this position. Therefore, it is ideal to do your high school diploma with a speciality in science or mathematics and then continue with a bachelor’s degree in computer science specialising in video game technologies. Another possibility is to take a BTS or IUT in IT before taking a video game programming course before starting a master’s degree.

Education to become a mobile video game programmer

Following a course in an establishment specialising in video game careers is the best path to obtaining all the skills necessary to become a mobile video game programmer. G. Tech trains future professionals by teaching the fundamentals of computer development within the IT developer bachelor’s degree with a video games specialisation. Over three years, we ensure that the student is confronted with creative and technical projects such as developing a hyper-casual mobile game. We also teach gaming culture and digital culture.

After this, it is possible to join the MSc Video Game Programmer course. It is a two-year course that allows you to look more deeply at video game programming techniques and immerse yourself in the heart of the company during internships or work-study programs.

Valentin Birembaut, who trained as a classic programmer at Supinfogame (Valenciennes) specifies: « We do not specifically choose to make mobile video games; mobile game programming experience is obtained through the different projects that we develop. »

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This is one of the main characteristics of our school. We want all students to experience the professional world. This is the reason why there are many internship periods during the training course. This means two months in the 1st and 2nd year of the bachelor’s degree and three months in the last year.

If continuing onto an MSc, there is a six-month internship at the end of the 4th year. The 5th is only available through work-study placements, internships, and fixed-term contracts.

Pokemon Go

Pokémon Go, a mobile game, was downloaded over 800 million times in 2018

The salary of a mobile video game programmer

It all depends on their skills and experience; however, a junior programmer will start at 40,000 euros gross per year and may see their salary increase over the years. With experience, it can rise to more than 50,000 euros.

As for video game strongholds, we can see that in Montreal, the average salary is $ 70,000. It starts at around $ 40,000. As for San Francisco, the annual salary is exploding, with the lowest salary being around 90,000 dollars and climbing to more than 165,000 dollars.

Where can you work?

Many studios have an internal mobile section. Knowing that the market is growing strongly, the number of games released on tablets or smartphones is not in danger of stopping or slowing down. Many studios are only specialised in the development of mobile games. The best known are King (Candy Crush), Epic Games (Fortnite), Niantic (Pokemon Go) or even Bandai Namco (Dragon Ball Legends).

Opportunities for the mobile video game programmer

It is a career that is evolving in a growth sector that exceeded one billion euros in revenue in 2019 (+ 28% of growth, according to the Syndicate of Leisure Software Publishers). The opportunities are therefore numerous. While today a programmer can easily carry out their profession with a bachelor’s degree in video game development, they can later move on to positions of responsibility by becoming, for example, a video game project manager.

The prospects for development can also materialise in other positions, still related to technology, such as video game programming.

Work freelance

Working as a freelance for a mobile developer is feasible, not unlike other programming careers. Many choose to do so. We recommend having one or more experiences in business or in games before going solo. Then, it’s time for professional freedom. But beware, this freedom has its constraints. Sometimes a self-employed person works a lot more. This requires them to invest more and to have a certain level of organisation and a great work ethic.

The advantages and disadvantages of the trade

Though mobile games development is a steady profession often untouched by crisis, there are advantages and disadvantages, the same as everywhere.

The advantages: rapid development, attractive salary, high employability, the possibility of creating a video game, changing sector or speciality.

The disadvantages: Having to stand out, working on average quality games, a demanding profession.

Qui sont les programmeurs mobiles jeux vidéo connus ?

Behind the most popular mobile games are programming greats like Keith Shepherd, co-founder and developer of Temple Run (170 million downloads), or Fortnite founder and programmer Tim Sweeney.

Keith Shepherd Temple Run
Keith Shepherd is famous for the mobile game Temple Run

In summary

summary mobile programmer

How can you become a mobile video game programmer?

Mobile video game programming is a dynamic branch of a sector that has not experienced a crisis, and mobile video games are booming. They are booming enough to benefit mobile video game programmers who, thanks to their coding skills and sense of creativity, will bring games to life on all mobile platforms. To become a mobile video game programmer, the ideal option is first to do a scientific high school diploma then to follow this up with a bachelor’s degree in Computer Development with a video game specialisation, which G. Tech offers. It is a training course that provides all the basics to become a programmer with a bachelor’s degree.

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