Gamasutra recently polled over 4,000 game developers worldwide, asking them the question: How much money did you make?
We did this as part of the annual Game Developer Salary Survey — the most extensive survey of its kind in the game industry. This year, the survey was run by Gamasutra in lieu of our beloved sibling magazine, Game Developer.
Gamasutra will be releasing Salary Survey highlights on our special Salary Survey page. So, onto the topline stats:
Salaried game developers
In 2013, salaried game developers in the U.S. made an average of $83,060 last year, down 2 percent from the year prior.
Business and management salaries topped all other disciplines once again this year, averaging $101,572, followed by audio professionals ($95,682) and programmers ($93,251). Quality assurance professionals earned the lowest average salary at $54,833.
Here are the rest of the disciplines we covered (U.S.):
- Business and management: $101,572
- Audio professionals: $95,682
- Programmers: $93,251
- Artists and animators: $74,349
- Producers: $82,286
- Game designers: $73,864
- Quality Assurance: $54,833
In Canada, salaried game developers, including all disciplines, made an average annual salary of USD $71,445 (up 9 percent year-on-year) in 2013, whereas Europe-based game developers made USD $46,232 (flat).
The indie report
Non-salaried solo independent game developers made an average of $11,812 (down 49 percent year-on-year) last year, while individual members of an indie team made an average of $50,833 (up 161 percent). (These averages do not take into account indies who made less than $10,000, or over $200,000.)
The drop in solo salaries seems alarming, while the rise in indie team salaries seems promising -- but be careful in making assumptions about this data. We've found that average indie salaries are prone to big fluctuations over the years.
Check out the full report!
Conducted in May 2014 for the period between January 1, 2013 and December 31, 2013, Gamasutra gathered well over 4,000 unique responses worldwide, with help from market research company Audience Insights.