Who Makes More, Game Designers Or Game Programmers?

Maxim has listed the the average game industry salary, courtesy of Game Developer Research. Let's have a look:

• Business and marketing: US$131,000+

• Producers: $US129,000

• Programmers: $US90,000

• Sound designers: $US80,000

• Artists and animators: $US70,000

• Game Designers: $US67,000

• Quality Assurance: $US32,000

Huh, the average game designer salary is lower than the average programmer salary. So there you go!

And while some programmers in the Japanese game industry might be living near the poverty line, many of their Western counterparts are doing just fine.

Why Many Game Developers Drive Ferraris | Maxim.com [Maxim]


Comments

    Thought average game programmer salary here down under is about AU$50K-AU$60K. Any game devs around to comment?

    You have to love the fact that marketing gets paid the most. What did they contribute to the game again???

      ---You have to love the fact that marketing gets paid the most. What did they contribute to the game again???---

      They contribute increased game sales.

        And quality assurance is on the bottom of the list.

    I question the accuracy of their sources. I doubt this is industry average. It might be a couple of companies, but I'd be wanting to see how broad a sample they gave.

    Also, code monkeys make more than designers. This is a very bad thing for the industry, and probably why we have so many derivative, shitty sequels.

    "And while some programmers in the Japanese game industry might be living near the poverty line, many of their Western counterparts are doing just fine."

    I beg to differ...

    also... wow... QA get a raw deal. not surprising really given the quality of most AAA titles that come out these days (ACII for PC anyone??)

    Not surprising really. The way the games industry is today, it is a wonder why designers even exist. QA still underappreciated. Marketers getting fat wallets as usual. In a perfect world...

    It looks like the people at Quality Assurance are near the poverty line.

    Pretty sure that most of the people that volunteer their salary information probably inflate their numbers by 10 to 20% for the sheer purpose of using said polled numbers to argue for raises.

    I knew I chose the right field!....Now if only I could get a job programming....

    If, y'know, they haven't been laid off yet...

    Really? 70k? I am getting jipped.

    Makes sense to me. What good is a design, if you have no one to program it?

    Man i only get half of the american average for artists :/....

    i guess they categorise the head designer as the direector now, and im sure he makes a crapload more than the programmers, also seeing as programming is an uber broad term, the general programmer makes alot less than 90k a year, for that youd be looking at lead programmers and graphic programmers.

    Designers usually have diplomas where as programmers have degrees. Its pretty obvious why programmers get paid more.

    Would have been surprised if designers got paid more than programmers . In most I.T industries programmers get more than the designers. To me the main surprising salaries on there are quality assurance, and I didn't expect animators to get that much.

    Yeah, it sucks :( The salaries are basically dependent on supply and demand of the dev skills. Programmers get paid more because there are lots of jobs for programmers.

    Game design is a pretty specialised field though, as is game QA - though in my opinion, the skills you need in qa or design get overlooked cos of good ol' fasjioned game biz ignoramus prejudice argh it makes me angry enough to write a long paragraph. Time to play mount and blade.

    Well this has been fairly common knowledge for many years. Part of it comes down to the degree of technical qualifications and demonstrable skills. While "Design" is a soft skill, "Programming" is something you can demonstrate and assess quite easily. Of course, there are a number of hard skills that Designers employ. Supply and demand is also certainly a factor.

    also, these are US numbers, and not entirely reflective of AU conditions. This is particularly so when you consider how many teeny weeny indie companies are out there scrambling about and how their earnings are not entirely settled in the same way as working for EA or UBI subsidiaries might.

    —You have to love the fact that marketing gets paid the most. What did they contribute to the game again???—

    -They contribute increased game sales.

    By using content made by hard working artists. Marketing and business heads are usually nothing more than well paid placeholders.
    It aint that hard to work out how to promote your game, not to us fickle hype ready gamers.
    Marketing is the kind of BS that means we pay way too much for games.
    No, I really dont think twenty scantly clad girls at a booth only a small section of Americans will ever see is worth the money.
    No I dont think the massive chunk of money paid to the advertising dudes to make a thirty second cut up of in game shiz is worth it.
    Think about how we all find out about games, its Jpegs on the sides of websites, and those my friend can be whipped up by anyone in photoshop in ten seconds.

      You should get into marketing since you know so much. You say "Jpegs on the sides of websites, and those my friend can be whipped up by anyone in photoshop in ten seconds." yet who comes up with that idea in the first place? Do you really not want to see any previews of games before release, no teasers? no nothing until you see it on your shelf. There is a lot of studies that go into this kind of stuff. Heck shops like k-mart and bigw spend millions just deciding what music you listen to into the shop, what is going to get you to keep shopping? Heck in winter they make the shops colder so you feel like buying a jumper. Pretty much anything you see while out is a product of research, and your either a part of that target audience, or your not.

      Us gamers who actively read up on information about a new release games aren't the target audience, and we are in a minority. Not everyone knows so and so game is coming out next month on the 25th ect.

    I'm a game/engine programmer in Australia with 7-8 years experience, and I'm on 90k... There really needs to be more openness about salaries here in aus..

    kotaku.com.AU, run an Australian salary survey detailing number of years experience, number of released titles and annual salary... Without this, too many Australian devs are being ripped off in my opinion - many of my friends and co workers get paid substantially less than I, for no good reason.

    Hi,

    I'm studying as a game programmer, and would be open at this stage to different venues of career. Can anyone advise on a good resource where I can learn more about game engines and what it would take to develop one? Even a simple one to start with.

    Cheers.

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