In the name of transparency, game developers and companies have recently committed to sharing their salaries. Alongside the rampant worker abuse allegations and anti-union sentiment of big companies like Activision Blizzard and Ubisoft, there have also been massive company-wide lay-offs from large companies, but I’ve got a feeling we’ll be covering more on that another day! Possibly today, we’ll see.
In addition to the salary reveals promoting transparency, they in my opinion, also highlight the vast wealth inequality between designers and CEOs. Essentially calling for reevaluation and discussion of why certain roles should or shouldn’t pay more than others.
The hashtag #GameDevPaidMe is currently trending on Twitter, mostly covering the pay developers and designers make per year of work. Below, you’ll find some from Christopher Giroir, a software engineer for Airbnb with 7 years of past experience at Activision Blizzard.
2007 – 65k First job
2012 – 95k
2012 – 65k Associate
2014 – 90k Mid
2015 – 115k Senior
2018 – 150k Senior II
+ Profit Sharing
2019 – 170k Senior
2021 – 196k Principal
2021 – 250k Staff + Bonuses + RSUs
— Christopher Giroir (@kelsin5) December 5, 2021
From what I’ve seen so far in the hashtag section, most salaries in the late 2000s and early 2010s average around $25k to $45k a year. That’s around £18,850 to £33,930 for us limeys. It’s good that more recent salaries have been heading up to the hundreds of thousands, but most of the salaries are PEANUTS compared to the literal millions (and hundreds of millions in the case of Bobby Kotick) made by many CEOs who don’t always necessarily put in the same level of effort into a product.
While most companies are quite closed-off regarding publicizing employment salaries, Nintendo has been open with an annual report of it’s worker salaries that released last year, so gold star to comrade Nintendo for that!
I made a spreadsheet because I think there is important info other than Pay and Position. #gamedevpaidme
Fun Fact: 4 of these companies no longer exist. pic.twitter.com/eW3EeSqvce
— Tom Cassera (@Hildogen) July 29, 2021
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