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  • Game Developer Salary Survey 2011

    - Ryan Newman and Brandon Sheffield

  • Game Designers

    Average Salary - 3 Years or Less: $46,214

    Game designers, creative directors, and writers received a slight boost from last year. This is an area that many aspiring developers want to move into, but it isn't so easy your first time out. Making some games on your own first can help, but designers are among the worst paid of the creative-side disciplines.

    Overall, designers across all experience ranges saw little movement, and design has been one of the most stable positions as far as compensation throughout our survey. 66 percent of those surveyed reported at least a slight increase in pay from last year.

    Designers working out of Canada experienced a decrease in pay, with the average salary falling from $61,520 in 2009 to $58,319 (USD) in 2010. European designers also had lower incomes but fared slightly better with an average salary of $41,250 (USD), down $1,173 from 2009.


    Average Salary - 3 Years or Less: $51,324

    After an overall average salary dip in 2009, producers rebounded with an increase of $13,462. Seventy-three percent of respondents reported an increase in their salary. This could be due to the fact that over half our respondents reported having over six years of experience, but also may indicate the shift toward social games, which can pay producers web 2.0 salaries. Producers with three years or less experience saw their average salary shoot up some $9,000 in 2010, which is an impressive number for an inexperienced group.

    Production also had the second-highest percentage of additional compensation, at 83 percent, second only to business' 85 percent.

    Canadian producers reported a significant decrease in salary, with the average dropping from $87,130 in 2009 to $72,500 (USD) in 2010. Producers in Europe had a slight increase in 2010 with an average of $52,884 (USD) and 56 percent reporting a salary increase.


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