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  • Game Developer Salary Survey 2011

    - Ryan Newman and Brandon Sheffield

  • Audio Professionals

    Average Salary - 3 Years or Less: $39,375

    Of the audio professionals surveyed, 15 percent reported earning less than they did the previous year, the highest of any discipline. There was a slight uptick in respondents this year, in a category that typically has a low response rate due to the low number of full-time audio professionals in games, but numbers are still low, so it is difficult to gauge with absolute certainty.

    Audio developers continue to be the least likely to receive additional benefits, such as health insurance. However, they were the most likely to receive royalties for their work, with the reported 25 percent significantly higher than other disciplines, with game design coming in second at 17 percent.

    Canadian audio developers reported earning more in 2010, with the average salary increasing from $61,250 to $68,571 (USD). European audio developers reported an increase in average salary, up $6,111 to $46,944, with 50 percent earning more in 2010.

    QA Testers

    Average Salary - 3 Years or Less - $36,136

    Home to many entry-level positions, quality assurance remains one of the lowest-paid disciplines. However, testers were rewarded in 2010 with a modest increase in salary and benefits. Many developers still get their start in QA.

    A lot of QA professionals are on contract, so the entire range may not be represented here, and the fact that QA leads are the most likely to be salaried could potentially explain the increase. Like producers though, the bump could come from those working in the web industries, with companies such as Zynga having long-hours QA needs. Web developers in general tend to be paid a little better than their counterparts in traditional video games.

    Canadian testers did not benefit as much as those in the United States with the average salary reporting as having dropped from $39,375 to $37,857 (USD) in 2010. European testers benefited from an increase of $7,722, bringing the average salary to $37,222 (USD).


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