Over the last 20 years the games industry has changed a great deal. Before it was all bedroom programmers and now it's large teams working together.
The success of games is the key to this. A successful game with large profits will mean a greater budget for the next project and so on, creating spaces for more employees and better technology. A game ten years ago would have had a budget of around $1.5 million, where as now a game tends to have a budget of $15-30 million. I Find it amazing how quickly the industry has progressed, and I am convinced that one day it will compete with the film industry.
The one word that is most feared by me when I think about the future is outsourcing. The process of recruiting people from outside the company, often from different countries, to work for you thus reducing the head count and salaries in your company. As a result, less job opportunities...eek!
But upon reading an interview with Pandemics Executive Art Director, Carey Chico, I was slightly more reassured. He explained that they are always looking for talented artist, especially those who are capable of more than one task. He also shed more light on the outsourcing situation, by explaining that the artists are need to get the message across to the outsourced employees, they don't just hand them a brief and pick the work up a couple of months later.
Of course different companies vary and so will the industry 2 years from now when I'm job hunting.