can you be too experienced/over qualified in games

Hi, just thought i would pose the question out there, can you be too experienced that you place yourself out of opportunities? I would say you can never be too experienced for a large company, but for smaller and mid range companies, which are many in australia, an experienced artist and programmer can demand much more in salary than a junior would. and many companies would rather not have to pay that large salary. most often a company can hire two juniors for the price of a very experienced individual and choose to train the juniors with there experienced staff instead. For a company on a tight budget, money becomes very important. From what i have seen on some of the msg boards here, companies like ratbag seem to use the model, instead of hiring experienced artists, hire many juniors and get the experienced artists who were once juniors train the juniors?, is this true or not?
lets say an artist who has just finished working on halflife2, wants to work in australia, can any company in australia realisticly afford him/her? will they think, oh geez be great to have someone like that work for us, but we can't afford them? I think it would be a tragedy that someone with that sort of experience would have small options? is the whole salary thing much of an issue at all? if many companies choose to hire juniors over experience will this affect the quality of the games they make? when looking at job descriptions for some companies in australia like krome and blue tongue I notice they require at least a few years in game development experience, how come some companies in there job description have no minimum experience needed? anyways I just thought i would say my 2 cents and pose the question and see what you guys think about this issue, and what are your opinions?

mcdrewski's picture

As they keep saying on Law and Order in response to questions like this... "Anything is possible".

However, I don't think you could put a price on the sort of skills that your experienced artist/programmer will bring and share with all the less experienced in the company either. I very much suspect that if there was any way at all to employ a "guru" then most companies would jump at the chance.

rezn0r's picture

In fact I know a few people like this. They're usually able to choose which house they want to work for and move around almost as they please.

It's good to be the king. :P


Aloriael's picture

Kinda hard getting to that stage...

groovyone's picture

You're speaking of two things..

Experience and Money.

You can be too experienced for a position. A company may feel like they're wasting your time or you'll be bored in the job if you're overqualified. Bored people leave the company too soon.

The other thing is money, just because you're a lead artist on HalfLife 2 doesn't mean if the company and you agree that they can't afford to pay you as highly as before, but you have other benefits, like sponsorship to work in Australia, or a product or company you really want to work with, or even that you're migrating here and need work then it's just down to negotiation on both parties.

Red 5's picture

jazzy, employing at least one hugely experienced artist and programmer can be the smartest move any studio can make, even if it means having to advertise overseas and then paying those people double what you'd expect to pay a local.
The real value in doing this is to place those people in a position to mentor the less experienced staff, so it's vital to choose applicants who have good people skills.

So to answer you question, I don't believe one can ever be too experienced, experience opens doors and new opportunities.
I also believe that any developer who refuses to pay for the services of highly experienced/skilled staff is not a serious developer.

McKnight's picture

Just because the person is extremely experienced in the particular area doesn't mean that they MUST be payed an extreme amount. It just means that if the person wants the job they must agree to the salary/wage they are offered. If they do not agree then obviously they are looking in the wrong place for the job.

I mean if I was over experienced (How can you be over experienced?) then I would not become all snobby and say that I can be payed no less than 80k+ .. prancing around like hot property :D... But that is just me. Also why would someone who worked on Half Life 2 move to Australia and expect the same pay from a smaller company :S.