2010 Archives

A job in video games might not be a virtual dream


The following is from the April 29, 2010, edition of Reuters. Professor Peter Raad, executive director of The Guildhall at SMU, provided expertise for this story.

April 29, 2010

By John Gaudiosi

LOS ANGELES, California (Reuters) – If your dream job is to work in the video game industry then the future is looking brighter with industry players seeing a pick-up in the number of jobs becoming available although salaries remain flat.

"Hiring is up from last year, but the market is rough," said Marc Mencher, president of Gamerecruiters.com.

Salaries, however, are yet to follow upwards as the industry starts to recover after video game sales fell 8 percent in the United States last year amid the global financial crisis.

Game Developer Research's ninth annual Game Developer Salary Survey found the average American mainstream videogame industry salary in 2009 was $75,573, which was a decline of more than 4 percent from 2008's figure of $79,000.

Despite the recent dip, 2009 still boasts the second-highest average salary ever.

"It's not unusual for videogame developers to be making $80,000 to $150,000 a year," said Dr. Peter Raad, executive director of The Guildhall at Southern Methodist University, a leading graduate level game design program.

"That money typically comes from three different buckets, including base salary, profit sharing and bonuses tied to a specific game."

According to the recent survey which focused solely on average salaries, programmers are the highest paid creative talent in the game industry with an average annual salary of $80,320. Those who work their way up to technical directors with six or more years of experience took in an average of $121,750.

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