2011 Salary Report of Game Developers

Curious how much money game developers make? Here is a detailed report of Game Developer Magazine published in 2011 that shows the average salaries of programmers, audio engineers, designers, etc of 2010. Note that this is a report which is published in 2011 but the figures it contains is of 2010 (as 2011 isn't over yet).

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Hufandpuf2546d ago

Impressive numbers, the game industry is the place to be i guess.

SilentNegotiator2546d ago (Edited 2546d ago )


Wow....that's better than I expected. You usually hear bad things. This is some good motivation to keep studying in the field I'm studying! I didn't think design would be so much less than some of the others, though :/ It's more about the passion to me, though.

Still lots of overtime and conditions to consider.

ABizzel12546d ago

I think it's funny that people are surprised by their salaries. I remember this question came up a long time ago, and some ignorant people believed top the Average "Lead" struggled to make $50,000, even though I told them they make $70,000, and I personally know game developers. But people on n4g talk out the @$$ all the time.

ArmrdChaos2546d ago

Yes, but you have to keep in mind that these are salary figures. You really have to look at how much time they actually end up putting into their projects. I am sure that alot of the overtime they have to deal with is uncompensated, so while it looks impressive at first some of the lower end jobs probably make a lot less per hour on the average.

guitarded772545d ago

Yes, it is average salary. I'm currently getting my degree in CS (programming) and I know a lot of programmers (a couple in gaming). Programmers are in high demand, so if they weren't kept happy, they can up and leave to go somewhere like the medical field and make more money with less hours. Many of my programming friends prefer to work outside of gaming so they can live normal 9-5 jobs and we all live outside of Austin where there's plenty of opportunity. I know a few people that work for Blizzard and love it though. They are happy there and the passion for the games keeps them working even when they're at home. Sure, they know they can make more elsewhere, but 100k for a 50-60hr work week isn't anything to frown upon either... especially if you love what you do. Funniest thing is, most everyone I know who works in programming prefers to game on console because they work on computers all the time... and many don't even game that much, coding and logic is enough of a game to them.

TheIneffableBob2546d ago

If you want to develop games, yes. But if you just want to make money, there are easier programming jobs that give you as much or even more money than game programmers.

If you want the big bucks and you're a programming expert (like, you're really, REALLY good at programming), you can go into high-frequency trading (HFT) programming and make hundreds of thousands of dollars a year, *starting*. Get more experience and you can be paid as high as a million a year. It can be an extremely stressful job, though.

superrey192546d ago

The main problem with working in the game industry is the high competition.

Intentions2546d ago

Yeah true.

That's why you aim to work for high profile studios/publisher like Rockstar.

Basically high profile games. which Rockstar manages to do for every game.

kneon2546d ago

Actually I thought they were kind of low, you can make more money as a programmer in other industries.

ATi_Elite2545d ago

make 2 or 3 games and BAM your making 100K a year.

That's good money!

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gotgame19852546d ago

yhea I guess it is I thought abut going to school for it because i started using udk and see how easy it is, I learn
how to do most of every thing without a training video.

Reborn2546d ago

Sure, these may be true in some cases. However, salaries vary with company etc.

Plus, I'd have to consider the environment I'd be working in. (Given what usually pops out of the top places)

Guwapo772546d ago

It's pretty obvious companies need to invest more into the QA department...

maniacmayhem2546d ago

QA departments are usually the entry positions into the industry. And are usually the biggest department in the company.

Guwapo772546d ago (Edited 2546d ago )

They very well could be but the fact remains their QA sections aren't doing that well.

Imagine a well paid and experienced Skyrim QA department.

hay2546d ago (Edited 2546d ago )

@Guwapo77: That wouldn't change a thing. I'm experienced programmer and QA myself. Testers are paid less, there are usually enough of them, but bugs won't fix themselves. I'm pretty sure 90% of those retail Skyrim bugs were "known issues" but there are criteria for fixes.
Some issues might even not surface for even hundred of testers but will for some of the millions of players.
Some might be too much hassle to fix(rewriting much of the code), dangerous(fix might break other things or move project outside the specs), left by lazy coders, or deliberately pushed beyond release date to patch 'cause of deadlines. And managers tend to shit bricks when deadlines are drawing near.

C_Menz2546d ago

Think I chose the wrong career! (Culinary)

dgonza402545d ago

Everyone has to eat, not everybody needs to play videogames :)

In the end, it shouldnt always be about the money, but about your passions

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