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  • Are You in Demand?: 2006 Game Industry Salary Survey

    - Jill Duffy

  •  National Trends in Game Development

    As a game developer, you’re likely to earn the highest possible salary if you live in California, New York, or Washington state. However, you’re almost twice as likely in Washington (71 percent) than California (38 percent) to own your own home. And New York state residents are even worse off in terms of homeownership (26 percent), despite the fact that New York and California account for the highest salaries on average by state.

    As a game developer, where you live greatly affects your potential salary cap as well as your cost of living. Here’s another example: Texas ranks only sixth in terms of top-paid developers by state, yet 60 percent of Texan game developers own their own homes.
    If you don’t live in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle, or Austin, all is not lost. Game development has been spreading into new territories, creeping into states with a low cost of living and tax breaks for technology businesses. Florida, Utah, Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina, and Arizona all house a growing scene.

    A neat resource that we found useful (not to mention fun to play with) is the interactive map at Created by Gaurav Mathur, art department director at Factor 5, GameDevMap is an interactive map of the world that shows the locations of game development businesses and organizations.

    Users click on a city marker, and a list of publishers, organizations, and developers (console, mobile/handheld, and online) appear with their URL and city, state, and country. At a glance, the map illustrates how pervasive the industry is becoming both within the U.S. and globally. So whether you live in Tel Aviv or Oulu, Finland, you can easily discover what studios and IGDA chapters exist in your area.

    To discuss these trends in game industry, join in conversations in the Game Career Guide Community.


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