2014 Gamasutra Salary Survey

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Marie linked this on FB and I didn't find it posted anywhere here so I DO IT.

http://www.gamasutra.com/salarysurvey2014.pdf

Submitting your resume directly to companies - STILL the worst way to get a job :)

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  • Quack!
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    Quack! polycounter lvl 10
    http://www.gamasutra.com/salarysurvey2014.pdf

    Notable highlights include the fact that 91% of game artists are male and make, on average, $21,000 MORE per year than woman.

    Still interesting to read these numbers and compare what you know.

    What are your thoughts on the information?
    Any questions from people outside looking in?
    How do these compare to what you know?
  • TeriyakiStyle
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    TeriyakiStyle quad damage
    bwaha - we posted at the same time ;(
  • skyline5gtr
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    skyline5gtr polycounter lvl 3
    Salaries down, and artist paid the least lol
  • stevston89
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    stevston89 polycounter lvl 5
    Well they aren't really complete numbers. This only salaried employees not contract workers. I imagine there is a slightly larger percentage of females working in the industry. That said there shouldn't be a pay gap. I would also like to see what pay is vs cost of living. Sure it's nice seeing artists average 70k, but I wonder how much of that is skewed by high cost of living areas like California.
  • Quack!
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    Quack! polycounter lvl 10
    bwaha - we posted at the same time ;(

    Sad face ; [

    Mods can merge if necessary.
  • Justin Meisse
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    Justin Meisse polycounter lvl 12
    Maybe I'm biased since I live in Texas with 55% home ownership among devs but I think that's a good indication of wages vs cost of living.

    About the gender wage gap, it's smaller than the national average, so it's not all doom and gloom.
    Salaries down, and artist paid the least lol

    QA & Design make the least. I can understand design because it covers a large spectrum, from high level steering of a game to low level grunt work.
  • TeriyakiStyle
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    TeriyakiStyle quad damage
    They mention non-aaa competition is super high - standing out in the marketplace is harder and harder.

    This is good for artists - I always feel the best way to stand out on the app store or in steam is to have a really great presentation.

    Some designers/execs might not value solid art as much as they should. But it helps make sales. I'll even buy a bad game if it has good art to look at - but I am biased of course.

    I think artists salaries trend lower since they don't yet value their contribution to the product quite enough.

    Maybe this is because they are told most of their lives that making art is fun and you should be grateful to do it? idk.
  • slipsius
    I've yet to see a study about men vs woman salary that actually includes previous experience, asking salary, and if they tried to negotiate more. I think men are more likely to be upfront and try and negotiate more, or just generally ask for more from the get go. Im sure there are companies that still have the older generation making the calls and actually paying women less, but I think over all, I don't think it's because they are women in the sense that everyone thinks. I think it's more they are just willing to accept whatever is offered, and companies will always try and low ball people if they can. Men or women, they`ll try to pay them the least possible. You really have to have the courage to stand up for what you believe you deserve.
  • TeriyakiStyle
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    Damn can we not? JUST ONCE NOT make this a men/women thing in games?

    It's just salary data from a pool of about 2000 participants. I don't think this dataset or anyone here is qualified to make such broad generalizations about why women trend toward lower salaries and men do not.

    That's a whole other thing that goes nowhere on PC.
  • stevston89
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    stevston89 polycounter lvl 5
    slipsius wrote: »
    I've yet to see a study about men vs woman salary that actually includes previous experience, asking salary, and if they tried to negotiate more. I think men are more likely to be upfront and try and negotiate more, or just generally ask for more from the get go. Im sure there are companies that still have the older generation making the calls and actually paying women less, but I think over all, I don't think it's because they are women in the sense that everyone thinks. I think it's more they are just willing to accept whatever is offered, and companies will always try and low ball people if they can. Men or women, they`ll try to pay them the least possible. You really have to have the courage to stand up for what you believe you deserve.

    This is just silly. Why would women not want to get paid well? What makes you think women won't ask for higher wages? It's not like it's an insignificant amount of money. Also you really don't believe larger companies don't pay women less somewhat on purpose to save money?
  • SecretPro
    I do not want to get into too much trouble by saying this, but is clear these numbers are only the exception, with a little boost on top. From experience as an artist, we are leading to a system in which future artist (next generation), will be super happy with an average of 40k. I think I derailed a bit, but my point is, salaries in the game industry need an update. Even if you are the exception, you should feel like you are part of something big. A title and the company you work for is not enough, the salary should also accommodate to all the hard work you have put towards the discipline.

    If that is not the case, is clear what is going on around us.
  • Justin Meisse
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    Justin Meisse polycounter lvl 12
    It's a big issue that we don't need armchair analysis of.

    from Gamasutra:

    "According to Gamasutra's Game Developer Salary Survey 2014 [PDF], men working U.S.-based salaried jobs in the game industry made $85,074 on average in 2013, whereas women made an average of $72,882 (excluding students and educators).

    That means on average, women made 86 cents on every dollar that men made in the U.S. game industry.

    While it’s still an issue that needs to be fixed, the game industry gender wage gap is smaller than the national average: In the U.S. overall, women make 77 cents on every dollar that men make, according figures from a 2012 Census Bureau survey."
  • Neox
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    Neox polycounter lvl 10
    Sadly most women are way more shy when it comes to negotiations or even measuring their own skill. Its sad but true but many women don't have the balls (no pun intended) even tho they might be better than their counterparts. I for one do not care. Can an artist deliver thats all that matters. Women, men from the western worl russia or asia, junior or senior. All have the same chances when it comes to money at our place. A junior will naturally takes longer and might need a senior to support him. But he can make the same money as anyone else.
  • NegevPro
    I might be reading this wrong but is there any reason why programmers with a bachelor's degree make over $10,000 less than programmers with "Some college?" I'd think it would be the other way around, but I guess college really is worthless lol.
  • slipsius
    Ok, so keeping gender out of it then... Artists are being paid less and less it seems.

    Is it safe to assume that if people stop accepting less, they`ll stop being paid less? But only if EVERYONE does.

    When it comes to new artists who just want their foot in the door, they are willing to accept lower wages. Whatever the company throws at them, they`ll accept. I know I did. I know I was / am part of the problem. I didn't want to risk not getting the job by asking for more.

    And when your first salary is low, your next one will be lower than it could have been should you have started higher. It's a snow ball effect. You need to be willing to ask for more. Ask what you`re worth, and stand by your decision, otherwise companies will give you as little as they can. They really don't care about gender. If they think they can pay you less and get away with it, they will.
  • LRoy
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    LRoy polycounter lvl 6
    Damn can we not? JUST ONCE NOT make this a men/women thing in games?
    .
  • The Mad Artist
    Neox wrote: »
    Sadly most women are way more shy when it comes to negotiations or even measuring their own skill. Its sad but true but many women don't have the balls (no pun intended)

    Geezus. All the women that I know that are involved in 3d art (and this spans games, film and oil and gas) are typically far more professional and handle the business side of negotiating for a position far better than a lot of dudes I know.


    ANYWAYS, off of that part of the topic..

    I would really like these surveys to include where in the world these survey applicants were working when they answered. Working in TX and working in CA is a big difference when it comes to cost of living and the salaries reflect that.
  • AtticusMars
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    AtticusMars greentooth
    NegevPro wrote: »
    I might be reading this wrong but is there any reason why programmers with a bachelor's degree make over $10,000 less than programmers with "Some college?" I'd think it would be the other way around, but I guess college really is worthless lol.
    Given the rest of the averages are within 5% of eachother I would assume that is just an artifact caused by low response rate from people in one or both of those groups.
  • imyj
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    imyj polycounter lvl 6
    Given the rest of the averages are within 5% of eachother I would assume that is just an artifact caused by low response rate from people in one or both of those groups.

    Just speculating here but it could also be that more veteran industry folk never had Bachelors Degrees available at the time - only college courses.
  • SecretPro
    slipsius wrote: »
    Ok, so keeping gender out of it then... Artists are being paid less and less it seems.

    Is it safe to assume that if people stop accepting less, they`ll stop being paid less? But only if EVERYONE does.

    When it comes to new artists who just want their foot in the door, they are willing to accept lower wages. Whatever the company throws at them, they`ll accept. I know I did. I know I was / am part of the problem. I didn't want to risk not getting the job by asking for more.

    And when your first salary is low, your next one will be lower than it could have been should you have started higher. It's a snow ball effect. You need to be willing to ask for more. Ask what you`re worth, and stand by your decision, otherwise companies will give you as little as they can. They really don't care about gender. If they think they can pay you less and get away with it, they will.

    Yep well said and too be honest the individual is not to blame, instead is the industry it self and the expectations of the discipline. I also did the same, and if I had to go back in time I would do it again(Any artist with the right mind would). We are under the effect that experiences matter more(which is critical, I cant argue) and working in a AAA is used as a some sort of VIP area in other worlds you should be considered lucky, which is quite sad towards the field people are involved. Also don't forget there is more talent than jobs, the field (3d art)is becoming more and more faster and easier to do. High-school kids in some schools are already doing it and it can well be part of an elementary art class in the near future.


    To stay on topic, if these are the results of 2013, so far 2014 has not been the best with all the layoffs happening and is becoming more apparent that if the project bombs expect layoffs or total shutdown,(Make a game loose your job cycle). Hopefully things get better not just for the folks at the VIP studios but to all the developers in all places.
  • Autocon
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    Autocon polycounter lvl 8
    I need to ask for a raise.
  • marks
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    marks polycounter lvl 9
    Autocon wrote: »
    I need to ask for a raise.

    This. Me too ...
  • xvampire
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    xvampire polycounter lvl 10
    to be honest ... I have high expectation to indie developers... ( even though I am not part of indie)
    but that chart shows how insane indie game competition is >.< ....
  • [HP]
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    [HP] polycounter lvl 9
    Damn can we not? JUST ONCE NOT make this a men/women thing in games?

    +1! It's really annoying.

    As for the chart itself, there are too many variables in these kind of charts. Like, just where you live (rents, cost of living etc) will change how these numbers look.
    Here in Cali for example, you're lucky to find an apartment cheaper than 1500$ a month. (Average is around 1700$)

    That said, the average does look a little bit bloated to me.
  • Tidal Blast
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    Tidal Blast polycounter lvl 3
    Business and management = $101,522 avg.
    Sounds like I found the problem. The dev team should leave for a week and see how the game progressed.
  • Suba
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    Suba polycounter lvl 4
    Is is just me or this looks way overpaid? I mean it is great for us but even the average 50 000$ sounds like a ton of money... Or maybe I got exploited.
  • skylebones
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    skylebones polycounter lvl 7
    Autocon wrote: »
    I need to ask for a raise.

    Yeah I must be terrible at negotiations.
  • ambershee
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    ambershee polycounter lvl 11
    $50k = E37k = £29k

    Sounds like a reasonable average to me. Don't forget that number will be skewed by people in particularly expensive areas of the world.

    Also, to add some context to why women may have much lower averages - experience factors in. Over the past three or four years, we've seen a massive increase in the proportion of women working in the industry. This is a recent trend, so it isn't unreasonable to expect that these people are mostly juniors on lower salaries.

    The average salary for women is still higher than the average salary for juniors, but marginally. This would make a lot of sense since there will be a large number of juniors and a small number of seniors. If anything, it may even indicate that there's either no pay-gap, or that the pay-gap may actually be the other way around.

    Averages though, are completely and utterly useless as statistics. They simply don't take enough into account and can be incredibly misleading.
  • Kwramm
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    Kwramm polycounter lvl 7
    I wish they would make this for Europe too :/
  • RobeOmega
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    RobeOmega polycounter lvl 4
    hermit wrote: »
    Business and management = $101,522 avg.
    Sounds like I found the problem. The dev team should leave for a week and see how the game progressed.

    This is sort of being done in Crytek UK right now. Dev team has walked out because they are not being payed which leaves the Management with no progress on Homefront their product if you will. I guess they will be more hesitant to treat their devs like this again.
  • beefaroni
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    beefaroni greentooth
    Meh, removed. Don't wanna get too off track.
  • Neox
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    Neox polycounter lvl 10
    Geezus. All the women that I know that are involved in 3d art (and this spans games, film and oil and gas) are typically far more professional and handle the business side of negotiating for a position far better than a lot of dudes I know.

    Why Geezus? Sorry in my experience this is the case, in many many game and film productions, don#t know anyone in oil or gas.
    My experience is, usually they are far better than they think they are while with dudes often times its the other way around.
    I really wish there would be more women in games and they will be treated equally, i for one try my best to get this going - here in the studio we have 50% female developers. And i hope we can keep that even after the current productions are over.
  • PyrZern
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    PyrZern polycounter lvl 5
    NegevPro wrote: »
    I might be reading this wrong but is there any reason why programmers with a bachelor's degree make over $10,000 less than programmers with "Some college?" I'd think it would be the other way around, but I guess college really is worthless lol.

    The good ones that make lots of money are self-taught instead of going to college to study useless stuff xD ?
  • Dudestein
    [HP] wrote: »
    That said, the average does look a little bit bloated to me.

    That's the rub with using averages/mean. All it takes is a few extreme outliers to skew the numbers in a direction that doesn't really represent the larger whole.
  • NegevPro
    PyrZern wrote: »
    The good ones that make lots of money are self-taught instead of going to college to study useless stuff xD ?
    That was my initial guess but it's too much of a generalization because there are probably just as many skilled self-taught programmers as there are skilled college-taught programmers. To be fair, you have to work outside of class to get good at anything anyway.

    I'm going to go with the answer in which this was caused by a lack of responses from a specific category. Although I do wonder about programming in the games industry. I'm under the impression that a skilled, self-taught programmer can be just as employable as a skilled college-taught programmer, but I know this may not be the case outside of the games industry as I've asked several people that conduct interviews at different tech companies over forums, reddit, and even some of my brother's co-workers, and many people seem to throw out your resume if they don't see a relevant degree. I'd imagine that working at any company that does that would be miserable for any kind of developer, though.
  • Tits
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    Tits mod
    Neox wrote: »
    Sadly most women are way more shy when it comes to negotiations or even measuring their own skill. Its sad but true but many women don't have the balls (no pun intended) even tho they might be better than their counterparts.
    Actually, Might just be a feeling on my side. But when I compared myself to my male collegues, I was actually more pushy and demanding when it came to raises and advancement. The thing is that I feel I was taken less seriously, they would play with my (low) self-esteem to make me believe/remind me that I really wasn't that much of a big deal, and that I should just be realist about it.

    Plus, I don't know if i've just been real not lucky salary wise, but my salary definitly isn't even close to those number...
  • artquest
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    artquest polycounter lvl 6
    Tits wrote: »
    Actually, Might just be a feeling on my side. But when I compared myself to my male collegues, I was actually more pushy and demanding when it came to raises and advancement. The thing is that I feel I was taken less seriously, they would play with my (low) self-esteem to make me believe/remind me that I really wasn't that much of a big deal, and that I should just be realist about it.

    Plus, I don't know if i've just been real not lucky salary wise, but my salary definitly isn't even close to those number...

    I know what you mean, I think we as developers need to stop taking low offers just because we really want to work on a particular project. It's something I'm quite guilty of myself.. But I'm trying to work on that. It can be really hard to walk away though. That's totally silly that they didn't take you seriously, your work is amazing!

    Think about it, this industry is very unstable in terms of steady jobs, why shouldn't we be compensated to put up with having to move around the world every few years?

    I don't know about you guys but I'm really tired of moving around and having to re-furnish an apartment every time from scratch, and by the time my wife and I get it all looking nice it's time to leave again.
  • slipsius
  • Autocon
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    Autocon polycounter lvl 8
    slipsius wrote: »

    Now that is a fair and honest look at the salary range as well as the side effects of the job.
  • EarthQuake
  • TeriyakiStyle
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    TeriyakiStyle quad damage
    I give all my nothing to charity
  • skylebones
  • imyj
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    imyj polycounter lvl 6
    For anyone interested, Develop-Online (UK) also holds a yearly salary survey:

    http://www.develop-online.net/news/revealed-average-game-developer-salary-falls-to-32-500/0188668
  • SecretPro
    Thanks for the link. I know for sure this is an industry I would talk my children out off, for their own good and future well being.
  • PyrZern
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    PyrZern polycounter lvl 5
    Is this why many great artists I follow are now freelancing instead ?

    On a related unrelated note; why are freelancers not revealing their quotes :( ?
  • TeriyakiStyle
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    TeriyakiStyle quad damage
    Why on earth would they reveal their quotes/rates?
  • slipsius
    Why on earth would they reveal their quotes/rates?

    Same reason FT salary people do?
  • TeriyakiStyle
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    TeriyakiStyle quad damage
    Sorry they are very different. A salary is determined largely by industry standards/trends. A company can reveal their salary range because they are trying to attract a certain level of talent. Industry salaries dip too low to live off of people go elsewhere - advertising, film, etc.

    That's why salary fixing cartels we are seeing in the news are so bad. It limits competition and suddenly all salaries are lowered industry wide and no studio is "allowed" by the cartels to post a big attractive salary.

    A freelancer is a business - it'd be foolish to reveal publicly to your competitors what you are negotiating with clients. You mostly determine your rate based on your financial needs and how in demand your service is.

    I think of freelancers as the smallest possible studio.
    If a game studio revealed what they negotiated with a client to make a game. Any other studio in the world could find a way to undercut them.
  • Cor_3D
    wow this is interesting, I truly think this needs to be updated. Plenty of artists out there seem to be earning around 40K on average. I think what Gamasutra provided is exaggerated there.
  • PyrZern
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    PyrZern polycounter lvl 5
    But freelancing is a service. If you gonna get an oil changed for your car, or get a heat pump installed in your place, you could just Google up the pricing from different company. When you get a hair cut, you know how much it's gonna charge, because it's usually right on the front door. Ballroom studios also have their pricing available in public as well (brochure, website, newspaper, ads, etc).

    Why does it have to be different for game industry T_T
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