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Only half of developers saw a pay raise in 2023

Money, money, (hopefully more) money?

Justin Carter

February 5, 2024

1 Min Read
A thief laying on a bed of money in GTA Online.
Image via Rockstar Games.

At a Glance

  • Despite the lack of upward pay in 2023, most developers are hopeful for some kind of raise to come through in the next year.

Developer salaries were largely static in 2023, according to a recent survey. Conducted by the Game Developer Collective, 54 percent said they didn't get a pay raise or bonus last year.

In the West, most studios operate in big cities like LA, Seattle, or Austin. All three can be expensive to live in, and cost of living can be a barrier for those trying to enter the industry.

Beyond that, developers work hard for several years on a game, and should be properly compensated for their work.

Those that did get some kind of compensation were largely in bonuses: 34 percent said they received one last year. Merit and cost-of-living raises took second place at 23 percent each.

13 percent of developers got extra pay after being promoted. Compared to other metrics, this may speak to a lack of upward mobility and overall feeling of instability in the industry.

Conversely, 59 percent of developers hope for a financial boost within the next year. 22 percent are more pragmatic and think it'll stay the same, and 5 percent expect a decrease.

15 percent said they're not sure if they'll get a raise. One imagines that executives in games have to think about this issue considerably less than everyone else in the industry.

The Game Developer Collective is a unique panel of over 600 fully verified game developers, created in collaboration by Omdia, Game Developer, and GDC.

About the Author(s)

Justin Carter

Contributing Editor, GameDeveloper.com

A Kansas City, MO native, Justin Carter has written for numerous sites including IGN, Polygon, and SyFy Wire. In addition to Game Developer, his writing can be found at io9 over on Gizmodo. Don't ask him about how much gum he's had, because the answer will be more than he's willing to admit.

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