Game Design Salaries
Salary Overview for the Gaming Industry
The following information is based on search assignements in the year 2002.
Artists/Animators - There is still a shortage on the market of experienced 3D animators. Top grads from programs like Ringling and Vancouver are still getting offers in the $50-$60K range. Of course, that is for the top talent. There are more bad demo reels out there than there are fish in the sea (a little hyperbole never hurt anyone). Lead artists with a hit console title to their credit are entertaining offers in the low six figures. There are a lot of console projects in development that are screaming for talent.
Programmers - Pressure to get out launch titles for the X-Box forced up the price of all C++ game programmers. Entry level coders with 3D skills are being paid in $45-$55K range. At the high end of the market, lead developers are being paid $150-$250K to work on high profile console titles. The slowing economy is having no visible effect on the salaries being offered to experienced game programmers.
Project Managers/Producers - A strong development manager with a track record of working with outside development teams is being paid $80-$100K. An executive producer with a track record of managing multiple projects is being paid $100-$130K.
Marketing - DotCom inflation was driving up this market and it is now almost in total collapse. Manager with strong retail channel experience who were getting $90-$120K are now looking at $60-$80K while managers with internet skills are getting unemployment checks. A Director of Marketing with a strong Internet background was being paid in the $200-$300K range and is now lucky to have a job. Channel marketing skils and strong retail contacts are now being valued again.
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