Game Developer Salary Survey Released

April 27, 2011 -

Game Developer magazine released the results of its tenth annual Game Developer Salary Survey, revealing what various positions in the video game industry are paid in 2010. This year's survey contrasts increasing salaries for mainstream game developers with continued gains for independent creators.

Mainstream video game industry salaries enjoyed a seven percent increase in 2010 over 2009, reaching and average salary of $80,817. Independent contractors earned an average of $55,493, while "independent game" team members trailed with a $26,780 average, an increase of over $6,000 from the previous year's survey.

By job type, programmer continued to the highest paid position in both the console and online game industry - after production and those in the business and legal sectors - with an average annual salary of $85,733. Salaries for programmers increased by around $5,000 over 2009 numbers, except in entry-level positions, which saw a $1,000 decrease.

Art and animation positions were mostly flat compared to 2009 at $71,354. Art directors saw a slight bump in compensation from pay raises.

Game designers saw a slight boost from 2009 numbers, with the average salary being reported at $70,223. Designers saw little movement in 2010, as the discipline has been one of the most stable in terms of compensation.

Producers saw an overall salary dip in 2009, but in 2010 the position increased by over $13,000, for a total average salary of $88,544. Female employees continued to be best-represented in this field, with 17 percent of the respondents being women.

Sound designers and composers earned an average of $68,088, with 15 percent of respondents reporting that they earned less than in 2009. The category typically has a low response rate, due to the fact that there are few full-time audio professionals employed in games, but individuals in the field are those most likely to receive royalties for their work.

Quality assurance remains the lowest paid discipline, with an average salary of $49,009 being reported. Similar to industry employees working in production, the 2010 salary bump over 2009's $37,905 figure may be a result of those individuals working in web game-centric industries and with more complex testing skills.

Business and legal employees remain the highest paid in the industry across all levels of experience, with the average salary being reported at $106,452. Along with having the second-highest numbers for female representation, those working in business and legal are also more likely to receive additional compensation, with 85 percent of respondents reporting that they had.

In the "self-reporting" part of the survey, where developers can express opinions, salaried game developers often had a bleaker outlook on the industry. These respondents stated that working in the traditional structure is "frustrating," complaining that larger studios are "trimming talent" and crunching harder. Independent developers felt that the industry was more fertile and and as innovative than ever, praising the arrival of new platforms and revenue streams. Some of these individuals called 2010 "the year of the indie."

The full survey results appear in the latest issue of the magazine .

Posted in

 
Forgot your password?
Username :
Password :

Shout box

You're not permitted to post shouts.
ZippyDSMleeMost social justice is great but some of it is so stupid it taints the whole thing into triple negatives. A shame most of the gamergate stuff is bad...the core ideals are not bad it just jumped the shark and the n ut cases came out of the wood work..08/03/2015 - 10:07am
ZippyDSMleeJim dives into the red ash controversy , http://www.thejimquisition.com/2015/08/1876/08/03/2015 - 10:03am
IronPatriotSeriously people, do not believe crap spread by those who think "social justice" is an insult or that its a good idea to join a movement created for harassment. Like your gamergate hero TotalBiscuit.08/03/2015 - 9:32am
IvresseSeriously people, do not believe the shit that the internet spreads about anyone, especially with the whole gamergate SJW crap colouring the issue to the point of stupidity08/03/2015 - 9:14am
Ivresse@Big Perm: Only to the morons that inhabit the internet. Also his wife is damn awesome, I bumped into her when I had to catch my train before TB's meet and sign session, she ran to find TB, got him to sign my mousemat, then ran back to give it to me.08/03/2015 - 9:13am
MechaTama31I dunno. I'd rather see new characters than see, for example, someone other than Bill Murray try to be Venkman.08/03/2015 - 9:10am
Big Perm@ Ivresse. Is true that TB eats puppies?08/03/2015 - 9:01am
MattsworknamePS: hudson played winston zedimore08/03/2015 - 7:24am
Mattsworknameinfo: the orignoal cast wasn't part of Star trek, but the charecters in the movie were the same charecters. Ghostbusters with out stance, ego, venkman, and Earnie hudsons charecter, whose name I forget for some reason , feels wrong to me08/03/2015 - 7:23am
PHX Corphttp://www.nintendolife.com/news/2015/08/scathing_nikkei_report_hints_at_shameful_treatment_of_staff_by_dictatorial_konami_management Scathing Nikkei Report Hints At Shameful Treatment Of Staff By Dictatorial Konami Management08/03/2015 - 7:15am
IvresseJust finished with Coxcon 2015 last night (convention in the UK organised by Youtube Jesse Cox). Was a damn good weekend meeting Jesse, Totalbiscuit, Dodger etc. and getting to ask them questions and stuff.08/03/2015 - 6:15am
InfophileReference for my comment earlier about Dan Aykroyd in the new Ghostbusters: http://www.theguardian.com/film/2015/jul/15/ghostbusters-call-dan-aykroyd-for-cameo08/03/2015 - 6:00am
benohawkI hope the new ghostbusters is good regardless, but I also expect it to have to surpass the orignal for people to acknowledge that.08/03/2015 - 1:37am
benohawkMecha, those changes are also some of the bigger complaints I've heard about the Abrams Star Trek movie.08/03/2015 - 1:35am
MechaTama31https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vU_D96AdK0M <-- Letterman interview with Bill Murray, he seems to have a similar opinion to mine about the pink-slime movie.08/02/2015 - 11:27pm
MechaTama31I don't think it's as big a deal as you think, matts. After all, JJ Abrams' Star Trek removed the original cast (mostly) and changed the formula significantly. If the movie is enjoyable, people will enjoy it.08/02/2015 - 11:23pm
MattsworknameDoc: Hope he recovers soon.08/02/2015 - 7:49pm
Matthew Wilsonhttp://www.pcgamer.com/what-directx-12-means-for-gamers-and-developers/#page-1 by Peter Thoman, and better known by the name Durante. he talks about dx12 in detail08/02/2015 - 7:45pm
DocMelonheadIGF's Chairman resigns due to cancer: http://igf.com/2015/07/letter_from_the_chairman_so_lo.html08/02/2015 - 6:46pm
Matthew Wilsonit wont let me update it, so the title is Tifa's Breasts Too Big for the FF7 Remake?08/02/2015 - 6:14pm
 

Be Heard - Contact Your Politician