Game developer salaries are set to rise, according to new report


The number of developers currently employed by major game studios is set to increase by more than a third to around 7.5 million by 2020, according the latest figures from the United States National Science Foundation.

The US government has been working with industry to develop a voluntary workforce security strategy for game developers.

It said the agency had identified 8,000 new job openings over the past year, as well as plans to spend $1.2 billion over the next five years to hire more than 2,000 people, a figure that was slightly higher than the 6,000 the US government had estimated.

The rise in the number of game developers comes after a year of rapid increases, which have seen the number rise by over 50 per cent since the beginning of the year.

The number rose by almost 1.5 per cent in February, which was the highest increase since November 2014.

According to the National Science Board, the number increased by an additional 4 per cent to 4.3 million in March, with the latest numbers coming in at around 4.7 million.

It is not clear how much of the rise is due to the new games being released by major developers, and how much is due purely to the increased hiring of developers.

The agency said it expected the job market to improve by 2019, with more than half of the total increase coming from job growth.

However, it added that there is no evidence to suggest that there are jobs for new hires in any industry. 

What are the job opportunities for developers?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) said in January that the number and type of positions for game developer had increased significantly since the end of 2015, with about 3.5 percent of positions available in 2017 and nearly 1 per cent available in 2016.

That number increased to 3.8 percent in January and remained at around 2.8 per cent at the end for the year, according this BLS report.

The growth is likely to continue, with employment in the industry growing at a rapid pace over the coming years. 

Is there any competition?

“In the games industry, competition for job openings has been particularly fierce over the last year, with industry-leading studios like EA and Ubisoft making rapid strides towards recruiting for a variety of roles,” the report said.

“This has been accompanied by an increasing number of job postings by small and medium-sized studios looking to hire talented game developers, with some of these hiring more than twice as many employees as the industry average.” 

What is the best career path for game development?

A recent report by the New York-based game development firm GameSpy said the median annual salary for game dev was $68,000.

It added that the median salary for a game developer in the US was $66,000, and $58,000 for the UK.

The company said there was an “overwhelmingly positive” trend towards the hiring of people who are “experienced game developers” who have at least one year of experience working in game development. 

The best career paths for game designers are also on offer. 

“There are many opportunities to become a game development professional,” the GameSpys report said, noting that many game developers are “fluent in a variety and diverse areas”. 

What should game developers do to secure their future?

Many game developers believe the number one way to ensure they are successful is to stay current with the industry’s trends.

The report suggested that the best way to do that is to be proactive in looking for opportunities, with employers providing the opportunity to be interviewed and given an opportunity to speak to potential employees.

“We’re starting to see that the market is increasingly willing to work with you to find new talent and hire the right person,” the company said. 

GameSpy also recommended that game developers take part in the Game Developer Skills Test, which is being run by the US National Institute of Standards and Technology.

“The Game Developer Skill Test provides a way to assess your game development skills, and can help determine if you’re ready to make the jump to game development,” it said.