Gamasutra Announces Results Of The 2014 Game Developer Salary Survey

Annual Polling Reveals Global Salary Trends Across All Major Job Disciplines Within the Realm of AAA and Independent Game Development

Jul 22, 2014

SAN FRANCISCO, July 22, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Leading game industry website Gamasutra, a UBM Tech property, revealed the results of its annual Game Developer Salary Survey. Results can be viewed in PDF format, as well as Gamasutra's dedicated Salary Survey page

The survey showed that, overall, salaried game developers in the U.S. made $83,060 on average in 2013, down 2% from 2012. 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.

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.

"There were major transitions in 2013 that affected the way game developers make a living," said Gamasutra editor-in-chief Kris Graft. "Whether talking about the advancements in the democratization of game development, or the release of a new generation of consoles, it was a year in which the disruption and chaos of prior years settled in just enough for game developers to identify and adapt to a new reality. Despite the challenges, there's still an undercurrent of enthusiasm."

Key findings from the survey:

- Average annual pay among U.S.-based salaried game developers in 2013 was $83,060 (down 2%)

- Worldwide, solo indies made an average of $11,812 (down 49%)

- Worldwide, members of an indie team averaged $50,833 (up 161%)

- Per discipline, average U.S. salaries were:

Programmers: $93,251
Artists and animators: $74,349
Game designers: $73,864
Producers: $82,286
Audio professionals: $95,682
Quality Assurance: $54,833
Business and management: $101,572

- Canadian developers averaged USD $71,445 (up 9%)

- European developers averaged USD $46,232 (flat)

Download the full Salary Survey results in PDF form here:


With the help of research firm Audience Insights, we sent email invitations to Game Developers Conference 2014 attendees, and Gamasutra readers in May 2014 inviting them to participate in our annual salary survey.

Although we received well over 4,000 unique responses worldwide, not all who participated in this survey provided sufficient compensation information to be included in the findings. Among participants, 6.5% were disqualified as not having derived their income directly from the game industry.

We also excluded cases in which the compensation was given as less than $10,000 USD, and the highest salary range was limited to $200,000 USD to prevent a limited number of outliers from distorting the true central tendency of the computed average salaries in each category. We further excluded records missing key demographic and classification information.

While there were participants from all parts of the world, this report focuses primarily on U.S. compensation, plus additional consolidated figures for respondents from Canada and Europe. The total sample reflected in the data presented for U.S. is 1,246; for Canada 292; and for Europe 573. For other global regions there was insufficient sample size to include in the report. The sample represented in our salary survey can be projected to the overall game developer community with a margin of error, for the U.S., of plus or minus 2.6% at the 95% confidence level. The margin of error increases for specific subgroups reported within this community.

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