Game developers from studios across the US and Canada have been sharing their pays using #GameDevPaidMe on Twitter. Here is some of the most interesting data.
#GameDevPaidMe first appeared on Twitter in June 2020. Developers once again started to actively use it last week, with Bungie game designer Michael Effenberger probably being among the first ones.
Pay is now $90k after market evaluation. Please continue to support your colleagues by promoting transparency and championing pay equity https://t.co/Qe5kQflLox
— effenberger (@meffenber) December 3, 2021
Obsidian design director Josh Sawyer revealed that his annual pay was $213k, as of 2021.
2021: $213k/yr at Obsidian Entertainment as Studio Design Director and Game Director.#GameDevPaidMe https://t.co/qGXxZInSF4
— Josh Sawyer (@jesawyer) December 6, 2021
It looks like Riot Games offers its developers good working conditions. For example, the company’s middle-level producer earns $120k a year, with up to a $30k bonus. On top of that, Riot offers other benefits like healthcare and a 401(k) plan.
Riot Games, Los Angeles
Mid-level producer, 3 years exp
Base pay $120,231 with bonus up to ~150,000 plus benefits like 401k matching and great healthcare. I’m very happy with my comp and I post not to brag, but in solidarity! https://t.co/8odC36XYvm
— Bun (@RiotTinyBun) December 6, 2021
Soft engineers and programmers earn the most on average, compared to other specialists. Demonware senior software engineer Chris Pollock, who works on services for Call of Duty, makes $155k a year, with a 15% bonus.
Promote pay transparency!
I make $155k + ~15% bonus as a Senior Software Engineer at Demonware on api/services for Call of Duty.
I’d be making *far* more in an equivalent role in a traditional tech company, but I just really like games.
Share yours with #GameDevPaidMe ? https://t.co/RN59zYbqAh
— chris ‘ABetterABK’ pollock 死神 (@chhopsky) December 6, 2021
For comparison, testers and QA engineers have one of the lowest salaries in the industry. Obsidian QA lead Taylor Swope earns $65k a year, Playground tester Sophie Heath had an annual pay of $20k. “I would make more doing art (and have done) but because of the big sad I struggle as I have no outlet in my spare time,” she wrote.
Some quality assurance engineers, however, earn significantly more. For example, Michelle Hyde from Xbox earns $105k a year, as of September 2021.
About: white, cis female, PNW USA. All amounts are pre-taxes.
2011-2013 Assoc. 3D Artist + Concept Artist = $14k
2013-2015 QA Tester = $20k
2015-2016 STE = $40k
2018-2021 Quality Analyst Xbox = $66k
2021 Quality Engineer Xbox (as of Sept) = $105k https://t.co/0CKb6x2bMG
— Michelle Hyde 🏳️🌈 (@MichelleMHyde) December 6, 2021
Some women also realized that they have been underpaid their entire careers.”I’m shocked at how many men in the industry are being paid $200-300k when I don’t think I personally know any woman getting paid close,” Zynga level design director Beth Beinke wrote.
I joined the team back in October 2021, making 71K as a full-time Community Manager.
Support your colleagues by promoting transparency and championing pay equity. For the industry to evolve, we must be open, willing to listen, and eager to change 💜 https://t.co/8epbL7KLkR
— Liana Ruppert (@DirtyEffinHippy) December 3, 2021
Pre-Blizzard – ~4.3 million! (yen, ~$38k)
2018 – $134k
2019 – $131k
2020 – $152k
2021 – $201k (based on quik maffs from pay stubs)
I was promoted to Senior II and got a large salary adjustment in 2021, but nothing beats the “adjustment” of moving back to the US. https://t.co/PRL6D42Jze
— Jared Hays (@JRPHays) December 5, 2021