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Salary of a game developer


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#1   Members   

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Posted 17 August 2013 - 10:03 AM

Hi all, for a personal curiosity would like to know how much he earns a game developer (in America or Japan) and it is difficult for a foreigner get a job in this field

Thanks to all :D



#2   GDNet+   

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Posted 17 August 2013 - 11:22 AM

 It's very hard to break into game development jobs, however an entry level programmer in the US can start out at $40,000 + a year.

 I've seen job postings for senior programmers going for $250,000 + a year.

 

 If you develop your own games ( and they become popular ), there is a potential of making $ millions. Markus Persson ( Notch ) has earned over $237,000,000 USD from MineCraft so far. LINK


Edited by Shippou, 17 August 2013 - 11:25 AM.

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#3   Moderators   

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Posted 17 August 2013 - 12:11 PM

Salaries in the Game Industry -- 2012 Annual Salary Survey (from this forum's FAQs - this thread was moved to the Job Advice forum).


-- Tom Sloper
Sloperama Productions
Making games fun and getting them done.
www.sloperama.com

Please do not PM me. My email address is easy to find, but note that I do not give private advice.

#4   Moderators   

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Posted 17 August 2013 - 12:14 PM


[is it] difficult for a foreigner get a job in this field[?]

 

Read FAQ 72 (I assume you are not a foreigner where you live, and you are asking about the USA)  FAQ 48 is about Japan. http://www.gamedev.net/page/reference/faq.php/_/breaking-into-the-industry-r16


-- Tom Sloper
Sloperama Productions
Making games fun and getting them done.
www.sloperama.com

Please do not PM me. My email address is easy to find, but note that I do not give private advice.

#5   Moderators   

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Posted 17 August 2013 - 07:30 PM

The salary survey is a good starting point. Note that salary is extremely location dependent, and that the salary a person earns is entirely up to negotiation.

The salary to someone in downtown San Francisco will be different from salaries in San Jose or Campbell or Vallejo or even Scaramento an hour or two away. A relatively short distance can double the salary.

It is also up to the individual. Many times I have seen similarly-talented individuals with dramatically different salaries. One person may have been hired when demand was low and the studio was simply staffing up generally. The second (with similar talents and skill sets) may have been hired when the studio was facing a specific need and was willing to pay a premium cost for specific skills. I have seen people negotiate significant salary differences, 50% or even 75% above their similarly-skilled and similarly-experienced peers, just because they were hired at a key time and had good negotiation skills.

The salary survey linked to above is very general and covers extremely wide regions. It is a very broad view and hides a lot of detail. The average salary in one area may be radically different from an average salary in a city a few hours away. The salaries inside a single studio can be radically different even for basically interchangeable developers. It is useful as a very general guide, but otherwise not so much.

Check out my book, Game Development with Unity, aimed at beginners who want to build fun games fast.

Also check out my personal website at bryanwagstaff.com, where I occasionally write about assorted stuff.


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Posted 21 August 2013 - 12:07 PM

The other thing to keep in mind about the salary survey is that, although interesting, is not necessarily going to be indicative of what real salaries actually.  It is survey, not a statistically valid random sampling.  This means it's biased by people who are responding to the surveys, who generally have been in the industry longer. In addition, a couple outlying high reports will skew the results (eg a 250k/yr programmer or a 200k/year composer, etc.) As a result, it tends to be on the high side, which can set some unrealistic expectations.  


Brian Schmidt

Executive Director, GameSoundCon:

GameSoundCon 2016:September  27-28, Los Angeles, CA

 

 

Founder, Brian Schmidt Studios, LLC

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