How much money do game developers earn?

Another excellent post by Christer – a Direct of tech @ SCEA – on calculating independent, verfiable salaries for people in videogames industry:

“Unlike salary surveys, where people can claim arbitrary wages (and the submitted salaries are never posted), the H1-B data contains actual wages! In other words, it is a rare opportunity to get some objective data points on industry salaries.”

I’m a huge fan of these unbiased, fact-based analyses. c.f. my posts from a few years ago on predicting MMO subscriber numbers in similar fashion. These DO NOT invalidate other forms of estimation – but they provide an independent figure that “anyone” can re-calculate for themselves, at any time, and check the info / update it.

Christer’s mined some great data here – all the big names are represented. A tiny sampling (go to the original post for tonnes more):

Employer Job title Wage
Disney Online Director, Technology $157,500
Electronic Arts Technical Director $150,000
Blizzard Entertainment Senior Software Engineer II $150,000

I’ve been thinking of updating my old posts on salaries for startups – what can/should/would you pay to your first employees? I’m wondering now if I can shore that up with extra data from the VISA programmes; maybe not quite the same volume of data, but should be a substantial amount there. Unlike Christer’s set, it’s likely to be a lot more skewed :( – startups can rarely afford to recruit internationally, as compared to large corporates who do it as a matter of course.

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