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How Much Do Game Developers Make

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#1 Muhammad Farrukh

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 16:43

Game Developer Magazine sheds some light.


If you've ever wondered how much money the people creating the games you play make, wonder no more. Gamasutra has relayed a report from its "sister publication" Game Developer Magazine that breaks down the average amount of money made over several positions at any given developer.
These statistics are garnered from The Game Developer Salary Survey conducted by Game Developer Magazine. The study pinpoints the average salary at "mainstream" US-based companies during 2011 at $81,192 (up from $80,817 in 2010). But when broken down by position and expertise, you come up with the numbers listed below.

  • Art and Animation - $75,780 (up from $71,354)
  • Audio - $83,182 (up from $68,088)
  • Business - $102,160 (down from $106,452)
  • Game Design - $73,386 (up from $70,223)
  • Production - $85,687 (down from $88,544)
  • Programming - $92,962 (up from $85,733)
  • Quality Assurance - $47,910 (down from $49,009)




#2 OP Muhammad Farrukh

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 16:45

Average 2011 US dev salary over $81,000

Lowest paid developers now making even less as QA testers see average salary cut while most other roles rake in more.





Curious as to how much money the average game developer makes? According to Game Developer magazine's 2011 Game Developer Salary Survey (via Gamasutra), the average US industry salary was $81,192 for the year, a small increase from 2010's $80,817.

Though the average developer salary was virtually flat, 66 percent of survey respondents made more money in 2011 than they did in 2010. This figure is up from the 56 percent rise from 2010 to 2009.
What area of game development is the best paid? That would be the business and legal sector, with employees in this area taking home $102,160 in 2011, down from $106,452 the year prior.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, quality assurance staffers again received the least compensation among all developers for the year. In 2011, the average QA employee took home $47,910, down from $49,009 the year prior.

The full list of average 2011 developer salaries--broken down by unit and year--is available below.

Programming:
$92,962 (2011) $85,873 (2010) +7.6 percent
Art and animation:
$75,780 (2011) $71,354 (2010) +5.8 percent
Game design:
$73,386 (2011) $70,223 (2010) +4.3 percent
Production:
$85,687 (2011) $88,544 (2010) -3.3 percent
Audio:
$83,182 (2011) $68,088 (2010) +18 percent
Quality assurance:
$47,910 (2011) $49, 009 (2010) -2.3 percent
Business:
$102,160 (2011) $106,452 (2010) -4.2 percent



#3 Charisma

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 16:46

Interesting read.
Seems that in the game industry, like a few others, the fun level of the job is inversely proportional to the salary.

#4 Vandalsquad

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Posted 04 April 2012 - 01:32

Yay I make more then a game dev.. Honestly but I would want more money then that for the time frames of games and headaches that come with coding. Just come to Australia and shovel some coal instead..

#5 firey

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Posted 04 April 2012 - 01:51

I program for a living doing point of sales code. I make Half of what the game programmers (the actual programming part) make. So I get paid the quality assurance job's salary. But as a game programmer you work with hundreds of other programmers.. I work with 1 other.. but he does all the register / firmware code. I do all the back office code.

#6 giantpotato

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Posted 04 April 2012 - 16:20

Interesting read.
Seems that in the game industry, like a few others, the fun level of the job is inversely proportional to the salary.

I don't think that's right. QA is definitely not fun.

#7 Noxa12

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Posted 08 April 2012 - 21:47

I'm at Uni studying Games Design, can say i'll be pretty happy with $73,386 a year, after my 3 years of Uni :p