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Study: Game Developers Remain Happy With Industry, Despite Job Concerns

Study: Game Developers Remain Happy With Industry, Despite Job Concerns Exclusive

May 5, 2010 | By Chris Remo

Even with heavy layoffs and financial turmoil over the past year, game developers' overall attitude to their field remains positive -- but concerns about the job market are widespread.

In data collected by Gamasutra sister group Game Developer Research, as part of the recently-published 2010 Game Developer Salary Report, a majority of industry professionals said they have positive impressions of both their own careers and the game industry as a whole.

An overwhelming 86 percent of surveyed developers said they were at least "somewhat satisfied" with their careers, leaving a group of 14 percent who were not. Of the majority group, two thirds said they were "satisfied" or "extremely satisfied."

The sentiment was echoed when asked about the industry more broadly. Of developers who elected to express a reaction to the phrase, "The game industry is still a great industry to work in," 88 percent agreed or strongly agreed, while only 12 percent disagreed or strongly disagreed.

Despite those positive views, developers are unquestionably concerned about the number of jobs available. Of developers who expressed an opinion on the matter, 80 percent said there were fewer jobs available in 2009 than previously.

Meanwhile, 58 percent said there is more opportunity than ever before, reflecting somewhat more optimism about alternative channels for game makers beyond traditional salaried jobs.

So how do game developers feel about the future of their industry? Despite a clear positive attitude about the current state of their careers, and trepidation about the job market, we found industry professionals nearly split when asked to look forward: of those who expressed an opinion, 55 percent said they felt the game industry is gaining momentum, and 45 percent disagreed.

The sample for the data contained in this excerpt was a group of 2,623 game developers across all disciplines and demographics.

Game Developer Research, a sister company to Gamasutra, recently published top-level highlights from the salary study, including news of an overall 4 percent drop in mainstream game industry salaries to $75,573. Since then, it has publicly released earnings data on indie developers and contractors.

The full Game Developer Salary Survey 2005-2010 is now available for purchase from the official Game Developer Research site.

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