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  • Game Developer Salary Survey 2011

    - Ryan Newman and Brandon Sheffield

  • Business and Legal People

    Average Salary - 3 Years or Less: $57,778

    Those surveyed in the business and legal disciplines include chief executives and executive managers, community managers, marketing, legal, human resources, IT, content acquisition and licensing, and general administration staff.

    Those in business were most likely to receive any additional compensation (85 percent). Business not only had the highest average salary, but it also led in average salary across all experience levels. Of the disciplines surveyed, business also had the highest percentage of those with six or more years of experience, at 55.6 percent. As a student, finding a good business partner you can trust early on is crucial, so novice businesspersons are equally in demand.

    The business, marketing, and legal arena is also where the second-most women can be found, dwarfed only by production's 17%.

    Canadian business personnel fared well with an increased average salary of $85,312 (USD). Business persons in Europe also saw an increase, up from $59,231 to $63,235 (USD) in 2010.


    Of the Almost 4,000 surveyed developers, 14 percent had been laid off at one point or another in 2010. That is a 5 percent decrease from 2009's 19 percent, but it is still higher than 2008's 12 percent.

    Fifty-two percent of those laid off were able to find employment at a game studio or publisher, while 16 percent were unable to find new jobs in the industry. More developers (23 percent) also found themselves going into contracting and consulting in 2010, up from 17 percent in 2009. Thirteen percent went on to found or cofound a company, up from 10 percent in 2009.

    Developers also went into indie development in greater numbers (19 percent), up from 16 percent in 2009. The increased amount of developers going into independent and contract work combined is up 9 percent over 2009, another strong indicator in the rise of development outside the traditional developer-and-publisher venue.

    Average Salary By U.S. Region

    (across all levels of experience and disciplines)

    Top States With Highest Average Salaries

    (across all levels of experience, excluding states with low sample size)

    Average Salary By U.S. Region By Discipline

    Average Salary For Homeowners Vs. Non-Homeowners By U.S. Region

    Average Salaries In The U.S., Canada, And Europe

    (across all levels of experience, by discipline, given in USD)

    *Most Canadian respondents were from British Columbia, Quebec, and Ontario.

    **Most European respondents were from the United Kingdom (26%), France (15%), Germany (10%), Spain (9%), The Netherlands (5%), and Italy (5%).


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