UK game devs value work/life balance more than salary and exciting work, says new report

A new survey has revealed that across the UK games industry, work/life balance has risen to be the most important factor for people in their job, bumping both ‘salary’ and ‘exciting projects’ from the top spots in 2019.

The Games and Interactive Salary and Satisfaction Survey for 2020, prepared by Skillsearch, takes the views of “a wide range of people across the industry” “to gain deeper insight into what keeps the Games and Interactive Industry content, and what factors cause them to move on”. 

Aggregating the whole industry, the analysis reports that globally, the average salary in the games and interactive industry has risen around £3,000 over the last 12 months, and while the numbers of people working remotely has dropped 7 per cent since 2019, the global flexible working percentage has risen 4 per cent. The US remains “by far the best-paid continent”, with the average senior salary almost double that of the UK. 

In the UK, the average salary has risen a little under £1k since 2018/19, and the number of people working in games who are considering a job move this year has stayed the same at around 72 per cent. Flexible working in the UK for those working in games has risen slightly, though, increasing from 73 to 78 per cent.

Developing for PC reportedly offers the lowest salary, whilst devs working in XR are better compensated. There is almost a £10,000 difference between the average male and female salaries in the industry in the UK, although this figure is likely skewed by a significant and disproportionate lower number of females at senior levels. The report did not disaggregate further by race, disability, non-binary identities, sexual orientation, or by age. 

Infographic about UK games industry

“Recruitment is all about understanding people and the survey allows us to gain valuable insights into our industry and what makes them tick,” commented aid Giles Fenwick, games and interactive manager at Skillsearch Ltd. “It allows us to be as accurate as possible with our salary advice both with people who are looking to relocate, and with studios that are expanding their team into new areas, whilst also monitoring how things are changing year on year.

“The information from the salary and satisfaction survey helps us (and others in the Games and Interactive industry) better understand the nuances in thoughts and opinions, throughout different parts of the world on a range of subjects that affect the Games Industry today.”

For the full report, head to the Games and Interactive Salary and Satisfaction Survey for 2020.

About Vikki Blake

It took 15 years of civil service monotony for Vikki to crack and switch to writing about games. She has since become an experienced reporter and critic working with a number of specialist and mainstream outlets in both the UK and beyond, including Eurogamer, GamesRadar+, IGN, MTV, and Variety.

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