Revealed: Average game developer salary drops to £31,882

Figure falls below 2011's low point of £32,203
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The average annual global game developer salary is continuing to decline year-on-year, according to the results from MCV and Develop’s industry salary survey.

Last year we reported the number at £32,500. Throughout the last year however, the average has fallen to £31,882.

This marks the lowest average annual developer salary we’ve reported since the previous low point of £32,203, back in 2011.

As with last year, to ensure the results were reflective of the majority of industry salaries, we took out income below £14,000 and studio head and exec salaries above £100,000. With those included, the median salary only rises slightly to £32,000, still lower than 2011.

The mean average salary meanwhile, with our exemptions, stood at £35,904, again lower than last year’s figure of £37,104. Including all participants, the mean salary is £37,533.

The results are surprising given the more stable footing of national economies in recent years – although in the UK, government austerity measures are still biting hard for many.

As with last year, the decline could be in partly down to the changing nature of the game industry, with the rise of indie developers and more small studios making games, the abundance of platforms available to deploy them to, and the continued shift towards the newer consoles causing uncertainty in the last year.

Out of our 442 respondents who listed their salaries, 77 identified themselves as working at a micro studio of ten staff or less or on their own – 17 per cent of participants.

The news is better for the UK, though. The average median national salary comes in at £33,000 – £1,000 higher than their overseas counterparts. The mean average meanwhile comes to £37,522.

Excluding wages below £14,000 and over £100,000, the median average still comes out at £33,000.

To calculate the results for this year’s salary survey, we asked readers of Develop and our sister title MCV, to submit details on their job earnings, as well as answer questions on their feelings about the future, working hours and job satisfaction.

The total annual salary amount was calculated using a median average, so as to ensure that high earners and low-income indies did not distort the overall results.

Profession breakdown

ART

Global Average
Junior Artist – £19,000
Artist – £28,276
Lead Artst – £39,869

UK Average
Junior Artist – Not enough data
Artist – £30,147
Lead Artist – £41,189

AUDIO

Global Average
Audio – £39,457
Lead Audio – Not enough data

UK Average
Audio – £35,386
Lead Audio – £52,841

CODING

Global Average
Junior Coder – £22,302
Coder – £37,157
Lead Coder – £45,649

UK Average
Junior Coder – Not enough data
Coder – £38,662
Lead Coder – £47,317

DESIGN

Global Average
Junior Designer – £19,469
Designer – £27,830
Lead Designer – £40,089

UK Average
Junior Designer – £18,250
Designer – £23,452
Lead Designer – £36,598

PRODUCTION

Global Average
Producer (Internal) – £36,005
Lead producer (Internal) – £41,450
Production director – Not enough data
Production co-ordinator – Not enough data

UK Average
Producer (Internal) – £37,001
Lead producer (Internal) – £48,675
Production director – £62,000
Production co-ordinator – £25,889

QA

Global Average
QA – £18,355
QA Lead – £22,997

UK Average
QA – £17,195
QA Lead – £21,700

SENIOR WRITER

Global Average – Not enough data
UK average – £33,500

MANAGEMENT

Creative director – £55,968
CTO – £92,750
MD/CEO – £68,686
Studio head – £73,907
Technical director – £56,275
Development director – £59,114
Biz dev – £45,200

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