I worked for a big AAA publisher in business unit finance for over 6 years and loved it.
I supported the GMs and product marketing teams (also rather enjoyable jobs) so the intersection of my love of video games and technical/financial skill was perfect.
If you want to be closer to the development side marketing really is the way to go. You can get very involved in partnering with the studio but generally have more job security as you can rotate from title to title or studio to studio as games ebb and flow.
I also did physics at university, and I now work on a game engine team with a bunch of other physicists and mathematicians. It is pretty chilled out and I have never seen anyone in my team crunch, although we do work hard to make customers happy. Not doing a comp sci degree is not really a drawback as long as you can program C++ okay.
I feel you OP. I love programming, writing, and game design and I love video games. Problem is my academic education is in Physics so I can't just apply for jobs in the industry right now. I'm in grad school and trying to use my free time to improve my programming and game design skills and to build some kind of portfolio. The regrets of not just doing a comp sci degree. Yet, despite all that I am terrified of the idea of getting a game dev job and then feeling crushed by it. The dream is to eventually open my own studio so I can make the games I want, but at this point I am in debt and haven't worked a single professional year in my life.
Edit - To address other comments, I feel very well paid for my location and level of seniority. You can get paid more in software development by working in business software or finance, but those fields are objectively less interesting and creative. The best thing about working in games is being surrounded by other people who really care about what you are making, take pride in their work and pride in their own mastery.
It also depends on your chosen profession, Programmers more than anyone else are the ones that end up pulling crazy hours. As an animator I have only had to do a small amount of overtime in the last 6 or so years. And most of the artists that aren't leads go home on time 95% of the time. Of course this varies from studio to studio, but speaking for me personally it hasn't been bad.
I have however seen programmers work 12 hours a day 7 days a week for months and that is NOT pretty.