2007 Game Developer Salary Survey Reveals U.S. Game Industry Average Income of $73,600

Mon Apr 14, 2008 9:01am EDT

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2007 Game Developer Salary Survey Reveals U.S. Game Industry Average Income of

SAN FRANCISCO, April 14 /PRNewswire/ -- Editors at Game Developer
magazine, the leading video game industry publication, have released the
results of its seventh annual Game Developer Salary Survey, calculating an
average American game industry salary in 2007 of $73,600, slightly up from
2006's figure of $73,316.
    Highlights of specific findings per category for the survey, which is the
only major publicly released analysis of salaries in the worldwide video game
industry, is available in further detail in the newly published April 2008
issue of Game Developer magazine (http://www.gdmag.com), include:
    Programming:  programmers are the highest paid talent next to high-end
businesspeople, with an average annual salary of $83,383.  They are also among
the highest educated group; 50% hold bachelor's degrees and about 26% have
some graduate work.
    Art & Animation:  artists -- averaging a $66,594 salary -- are also a well
trained group, with 66% reporting at least a bachelor's degree. The percentage
of artists with six or more years of experience increased to 40%, up 5% over
last year, as industry workers matured.
    Game Design:  averaging $63,649, design positions sprouted an average
$2,111 over last year, with writers new to the industry up by $6,000 to an
average of $51,731. In addition, Game Developer surveyed community managers
for the first time, with an average salary of $50,294 for the increasingly
important job function.
    Production:  of all the game development disciplines, production -- with a
salary average overall of $78,716 -- seems to be one of the most welcoming to
women, with 18% of the workforce made up of females.  The discipline as a
whole saw an above-average, though somewhat marginal $1,585 bump from last
    Quality Assurance:  testers with less than three years experience make up
the largest percentage of this segment.  Quality assurance is the lowest paid
of the game development disciplines, averaging $39,063, and also receives the
least in additional compensation -- although Q/A leads with more than 6 years
of experience average a salary of $70,658.
    Audio:  sound designers as a group earned more than they did in 2006, up
$3,474 on average over last year to $73,409. Interestingly, 40% of those in
the game audio industry have been working there for 6 years or more -- more
than the 36% for game design, but less than the 51% for production.
    Business & Marketing:  the business field as a whole remains the highest
compensated group in game development -- with an average salary of $101,848 --
and also receives the highest amount of additional compensation.  However,
salaries vary significantly between individual job titles in this section,
with experienced executives making the most of any individual section in the
entire survey -- at $132,305 average for more than 6 years experience.
    "Our Salary Survey continues to provide canonical information on the state
of game pay," Simon Carless, publisher of Game Developer magazine, said.  "We
hope the data presented by Game Developer magazine will serve to both
encourage aspiring developers, as well as focus the attention of increasingly
important new industry positions such as community managers."
    An extended version of the "Game Developer Salary Survey" includes much
more detailed U.S. regional and growth data for year-over-year results from
2004, 2005, 2006, and 2007, plus international information from Canada and
Europe. It will be of particular interest to business and HR professionals in
the game industry, and is now available for purchase through Game Developer
Research -- more information is available at http://www.gamedevresearch.com.
    About Study Methodology
    The survey was conducted February-March 2008 with the assistance of
research firm Audience Insights.  More than 4,860 responses were gathered from
participants in total. The survey excluded salaries under $10,000 as well as
salary figures from students and educators.  The small number of reported
salaries over $202,500 was excluded to prevent their high numbers from
unnaturally skewing the average.  The sample represented in the salary survey
can be projected to the overall game developer community with a margin of
error for the U.S. statistics of plus or minus 1.7% at a 95% confidence level.
    About Think Services (http://www.think-services.com/)
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SOURCE  Think Services

Craig Sinel, craig@fortyseven.com, or Sibel Sunar, sibel@fortyseven.com, both
of fortyseven communications, +1-323-658-1200, for Think Services
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