Last month Gamasutra (a website devoted to the game industry) released the results of their annual game industry salary survey. The results spoke a lot to the character and direction of the constantly expanding gaming industry. It would seem that the industry is growing up and at a much faster rate than other industries in the country.
Unsurprisingly, executives still topped the list, (averaging over $100,000 per year) and Quality Assurance (game testers) rounded out the bottom (at around $54,000 per year). The survey had over 4000 respondents, more than enough for a decent baseline and that is where things get really good.
While there is still disparity between the salaries of men and women in the industry, the gender gap is much closer than in most other industries or the workforce as a whole. The analysis of the survey acknowledges that this is partly due to the fact that women are more likely to face work interruption due to health concerns (baby havin’) so this is pretty much in line with what can be expected, at least until being a stay-at-home dad becomes more socially acceptable.
In Quality Assurance (QA) women actually made more than men (by about $0.04) which basically makes the salaries even. Since QA is an entry level position, it makes sense that young women who don’t yet have children would be performing at or above the level of their male counterparts.
The results of this survey made me proud to be part of the game industry in whatever small way I am, especially as the father of 3 young daughters. With few exceptions, making games is one of the few places people can find joy and acceptance in their work, regardless of their background. While there are still plenty of fans that cause problems by overreacting to perceived slights, being evil racists or misogynist jerks, the industry can rest safely knowing that it is on the right path. You hear a lot of complaints about the lack of diversity in game development sometimes but I think that is mostly a thing of the past. Want more diverse developers? Become one. You will be welcomed with open arms.
Mike Bertrand is an Associate Writer for MONG.