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  • Game Developer Salary Survey 2012

    - staff

  • Game Designers

    Average Salary, 3 Years or Less: $50,375

    The average salary for entry-level game designers and writers is $4,100 higher than the previous year's, and it stands roughly in the middle of the industry's salary spectrum. This discipline isn't always the easiest one to get into, though, meaning there can be a lot of competition for relatively few jobs. Also, if you have no prior game industry experience, you probably won't be able to land a design gig without having at least made a few of your own games.

    Canadian game designers across all skill levels averaged $60,240 (USD), up about $1,950 from 2010, while European game designers averaged $38,281 (USD), which is down about $3,000.

    Female designers made up 10.9 percent of our designer responses, compared to 7 percent from 2010, and their average salary across all skill levels of $67,000 is up $2,850 from 2010. Male designers, on the other hand, made an average of $74,180 in

    2011-up $3,500 from 2010.


    Average Salary, 3 Years or Less: $55,893

    Entry-level producers received an average of about $3,600 more in 2011 than they did in 2010, and their overall average of $55,893 is on the higher end for the game industry. This stands in contrast to the overall average for producers in 2011; they saw a $2,850 salary cut compared to 2010, though they still draw a higher salary than all other departments except programming and business.

    Canadian game producers across all skill levels averaged $71,500 in 2011, down $1,000 from 2010. European producers' salaries increased $3,500 to $56,346. Interestingly, producers in Europe are paid more than any other department of game development in the region.

    Women are well represented in the producer ranks this year (16 percent), down 1 percent from 2010. Interestingly, men absorbed most of the salary drop; their average salary across all skill levels dropped from $90,744 to $87,119, while women producers' salaries actually rose slightly from $77,870 to $78,354.

    Audio Professionals

    Average Salary, 3 Years or Less: $32,500

    Audio jobs in the game industry are a tricky thing to monitor because there aren't nearly as many jobs for audio professionals, and most of those jobs are offered as contract gigs instead of salaried work. Full-time, salaried audio jobs are often only open to accomplished developers at the higher end of the experience (and salary) spectrum, while entry-level gigs are scarce and not particularly well paid. (This, by the way, makes it harder to collect reliable data for our survey-the $32,500 average for entry-level audio workers comes from a grand total of four respondents.)

    Audio professionals working in contract roles also made an extra $3,200 in 2010. Salaried audio workers were the least likely to receive extra compensation for their work out of any discipline, though the $9,875 they received is up $2,200 from 2010.

    Canada-based audio professionals received an average salary across all skill levels of $67,955 in 2011, down $600 from 2010. Unfortunately, we didn't collect enough responses from European audio workers to make any significant conclusions.


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