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According to the 2015 Developer Satisfaction Survey (DSS) done by the International Game Developers Association (IGDA), 62% of game developers reported that they deal with crunch time, and almost half of them work over 60 hours a week while 17% work of developers work 70 hours plus.
As much as the overtime can be draining, you would expect people to receive compensation for their hard work right? It turns out that 37% of developers said that their employers either don’t give them any extra rewards, or simply aren’t able to. For those who do receive a bonus, 28% are given free meals, 18% get time off, and 12% get both perks.
This doesn’t help solve society’s less than positive outlook on the gaming industry. 55% of respondents chose poor working conditions as the second highest factor in its negative viewpoint. Of course there is the prevalence of sexism within the gaming community that would be the leading reason at 57%, and the presence of sexism in games themselves that would follow right behind at 52% of respondents.
Other points to note in the DSS:
- 67% of employees make over $50,000 annually, with the average lying between $50,000 and $75,000.
- Freelance game developers on the other hand, don’t make quite as much. 37% make less than $15,000 a year and only 24% make over $50,000 a year.
- 49% of self-employed developer said their annual salary is less than $15,000.
- 45% of self-employed developers take pay cuts so their company can have the necessary funds it needs to continue development.
Game Industry Mobility
- In 2015 employees switch employers on an average of 2.7 times in the past 5 years whereas in 2014 it was 3.75 times.
- Freelancers and contractors were much higher at 4.6 times in the past 5 years.
Distribution of Games
For employees, when it comes to distributing their games, the top methods were Google Play, Steam, and retail chains. For self-employed, it would be the App Store, Steam, and their personal website. Freelancers use Google Play, Steam, and their own websites.
Most Popular Genres of Development
- The top genre that is developed for all three respondents – employed, self-employed, and freelancers – was action games at 52% employed, 51% self-employed, and 49% freelancers.
- RPG and casual games were tied for second by employees at 36% for each one
- Self-employed developers had casual games at 44% for the second most developed genre, and strategy games at 36% for third.
- Freelancers reported that casual games were the second most developed at 47% and RPGs being the third most at 38%.