I started writing business software professionally about nine years ago whenI was twenty-one. No degree, in fact no high school diploma (I was a janitor before I was hired as a programmer). And I make over a hundred grand a year, and I go home early every day.
Every time I go out to hire someone, I look for talent, I only ask a few key questions, and nobody is ever able to answer them. I dont care about diplomas, degrees or experience, I want to hire talent.
The reason we pay so much more in the business software world is because people NEED the software.
Let's face it, nobody really needs a game, but everybody wants to write them.
But when a client comes to me and they need some database chewing report writer, I can crank it out in a day, and they have no idea how easy or hard such a thing was. Because it's a one off, our rates are sky high, and because there are only a few of us here, each of us gets a big piece of the pie.
In games, you need a huge budget, a large staff of people, artists, designers, coders, to create what is sold as a horizontal market app. And because you're trying to reach a horizontal market, you have to sell it cheap, which means you have to sell alot.
So you see, if I write a custom business app, my company sells it for twenty thousand dollars, that ten thousand bucks a piece for two days worth of overhead.
But to develop a game, let's say that's a half dozen people on your dev team, two hundred employees at the publisher, Ten thousand employees at Wal-Mart, a years worth of overhead, and your only charging forty bucks!! How can you afford to pay the rent?