The Problem...Is That Developers Make Too Much?

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doomed89:

SeventhSigil:
Read an article a little while ago, written in '09, about a study that determined what the most effective form of advertising likely was.

http://kotaku.com/5428141/word-of-mouth-sells-the-most-video-games

Um no offense but that study is complete BS. Here's why nobody says they buy something because of ads even if they do, because nobody likes to admit that ads work on them but companies wouldn't spend billions on them if it didn't work. Second most people don't even realize ads work on them, it's a subconscious thing that breeds familiarity with a product which makes the consumer more likely to buy it just because they keep seeing it rather then having an objective comparison. So in any survey people are of course going to answer most often that word of mouth or demos sell them on games over ads.

I'm not saying ads don't work in a majority of the market, but you have to consider that it's slightly different in terms of certain games than it is in, say, a Nissan van. You're not going to find people camping on sites to find out the latest news on the newest van in production, won't find people who both own vans talking excitedly about the newest iteration's advances in tire pressure, and word of mouth isn't really going to spread, because I doubt I would ever hear 'Hey, hey, hey! Didja hear?! NISSAN'S MAKING A NEW VAN!" Advertising for toys, perfume, brands of food, restaurants, etc, etc, ETC, is more than acceptable because active public interest is generally low. When was the last time you saw an entire discussion forum devoted to brands of Yogurt, at least one not owned by whatever company makes it? Even in the case of mediums where there is stronger personal interest, such as movies or music, there isn't that same attachment because the first viewing of a film can last a couple of hours, the first listen to a song a couple of minutes, but the Bioshock Infinite Campaign can last five or six hours, longer if you're on 1999 difficulty on second playthough, MUCH longer if you're achievement or trophy hunting. That greater investment of time can lead to a greater attachment, and heightened interest in actively seeking out new experiences, as opposed to waiting for someone else to talk about them.

Gaming often works differently than laser eye surgery spots, Doritos or Pepsi, because much of that advertisement can be provided by the community. I see a video preview of The Division because I keep track of a gamer-catering site, I get super excited and poke at my gaming friends saying; "GUYS! We must get this when it comes out!" They see it, and either become interested in purchasing, not interested at all, or similarly excited and go off to tell the gamer friends they know. Look at Minecraft, a game that climbed its way from complete obscurity without any sort of advertising budget whatsoever, on the backs of game journalism articles, word of mouth, and eventually due to its huge popularity, publishing on the Xbox 360.

It's been estimated that the publisher of Battlefield 3 might have spent as much as fifty MILLION dollars on advertising. For the THIRD installment of a very popular franchise that every established gamer already knows about, and new gamers will quickly get drawn out of ignorance if they pay the slightest attention to upcoming games, or have friends that do. D'you really think that the publisher's $50,000,000 brought in enough brand new players who never would have heard about the game without that advertisements? Do you think it really would have brought in 1.8 million new players on launch day, players that never would have purchased it without slow-motion explosions in TV ads and website banners?

Haha fuck no. More like Publishers pay themselves way too much. Bobby Kotick is apparently worth 1 billion dollars. What a fucking joke.

I'm so damn tired of the parasites at the top and their tools constantly whining that they have to pay workers anything over minimum wage while the average CEO makes 380 times their average employee in wages(http://money.cnn.com/2012/04/19/news/economy/ceo-pay/index.htm). The income disparity is just disgusting. I don't care what your job is, it isn't worth 100 times what some guy scrubbing toilets/digging ditches for 60+ hours a week. Only way i can see justifying that is if someone single-handedly cured cancer or something that actually moved us as a species forward in some real way.

I always thought that game developers were actually fairly under-paid. Hell, its one of the reasons why I actually don't really want to get into designing games as a job, but if the pay is actually fairly decent, I may look into it once I'm out of college. As it stands, I'm just going to get a normal job for some tech company and maybe develop some small flash or browser-based games on my freetime.

Absolutely not. In fact in other mediums that use similar skills game developers actually make considerably less then they otherwise would with the same education in other fields.

The problem with costs vs selling the products is the budgets involved. As we've seen with a slew of AAA games this year you can not pump multi-millions of dollars into a title and expect it to sell 5 million copies. It just doesnt work. Instead you have to figure out an audience to target and then budget and market it accordingly. Thats the issue with AAA developers

SeventhSigil:
I'm not saying ads don't work in a majority of the market, but you have to consider that it's slightly different in terms of certain games than it is in, say, a Nissan van. You're not going to find people camping on sites to find out the latest news on the newest van in production, won't find people who both own vans talking excitedly about the newest iteration's advances in tire pressure, and word of mouth isn't really going to spread, because I doubt I would ever hear 'Hey, hey, hey! Didja hear?! NISSAN'S MAKING A NEW VAN!" Advertising for toys, perfume, brands of food, restaurants, etc, etc, ETC, is more than acceptable because active public interest is generally low. When was the last time you saw an entire discussion forum devoted to brands of Yogurt, at least one not owned by whatever company makes it? Even in the case of mediums where there is stronger personal interest, such as movies or music, there isn't that same attachment because the first viewing of a film can last a couple of hours, the first listen to a song a couple of minutes, but the Bioshock Infinite Campaign can last five or six hours, longer if you're on 1999 difficulty on second playthough, MUCH longer if you're achievement or trophy hunting. That greater investment of time can lead to a greater attachment, and heightened interest in actively seeking out new experiences, as opposed to waiting for someone else to talk about them.

Gaming often works differently than laser eye surgery spots, Doritos or Pepsi, because much of that advertisement can be provided by the community. I see a video preview of The Division because I keep track of a gamer-catering site, I get super excited and poke at my gaming friends saying; "GUYS! We must get this when it comes out!" They see it, and either become interested in purchasing, not interested at all, or similarly excited and go off to tell the gamer friends they know. Look at Minecraft, a game that climbed its way from complete obscurity without any sort of advertising budget whatsoever, on the backs of game journalism articles, word of mouth, and eventually due to its huge popularity, publishing on the Xbox 360.

It's been estimated that the publisher of Battlefield 3 might have spent as much as fifty MILLION dollars on advertising. For the THIRD installment of a very popular franchise that every established gamer already knows about, and new gamers will quickly get drawn out of ignorance if they pay the slightest attention to upcoming games, or have friends that do. D'you really think that the publisher's $50,000,000 brought in enough brand new players who never would have heard about the game without that advertisements? Do you think it really would have brought in 1.8 million new players on launch day, players that never would have purchased it without slow-motion explosions in TV ads and website banners?

Again no offense but even if you are right the study is still BS because they are surveying in which is wildly unreliable in this case. Also it's not like word of mouth and advertisement is mutually exclusive either so you have a whole other layer of inaccuracies for the study. I have no idea how effective advertisement is, my point was merely neither does the person who did the study because it's BS.

From what I can tell from the credits of most games the organisations are too top heavy with ridulous quantites of managers with titles lile "Head of such-or-such department" or VP of blah. Then you've got the spiraling costs impacting the margin...

Someday soon either someone is going to make a AAA game at half the cost and make so much money that traditional design methods become obsolete or the game industry will prove to be a bubble that pops so hard it makes a sonic boom.

My money is on the latter.

Thoughtful_Salt:

While the budgets of many AAA games do reach in to the hundreds of millions ( Tomb Raider's budget alone ballooned to over 300 million dollars. )

Do you have a link for this? Not saying you're lying but I just have a hard time believing that it cost as much to make that game as it did to make "Avatar".

Also, this article is just ridiculous.

"When did the gaming industry become so corporate?"
Uh, maybe when games started being made by Corporations?

"Why are developers making so much money? Their job isn't life threatening like a police officer's is and it's not important to the future of the nation like a teacher's job is."
This is like people complaining that professional Athlete's are paid too much. You can argue that it's not morally right, but the simple fact is that pro athletes get paid the kind of money they do because only an incredibly select few people are good enough to play sports professionally. Likewise, very, very few people could have effectively marketed and created games with the skill that, say, Cliff Blezsinski did.

Also, $81K is not that insanely high of a salary, especially if the majority of game developers are in California, where cost of living is very high.

Ihateregistering1:
Do you have a link for this? Not saying you're lying but I just have a hard time believing that it cost as much to make that game as it did to make "Avatar".

Also, this article is just ridiculous.

"When did the gaming industry become so corporate?"
Uh, maybe when games started being made by Corporations?

"Why are developers making so much money? Their job isn't life threatening like a police officer's is and it's not important to the future of the nation like a teacher's job is."
This is like people complaining that professional Athlete's are paid too much. You can argue that it's not morally right, but the simple fact is that pro athletes get paid the kind of money they do because only an incredibly select few people are good enough to play sports professionally. Likewise, very, very few people could have effectively marketed and created games with the skill that, say, Cliff Blezsinski did.

Also, $81K is not that insanely high of a salary, especially if the majority of game developers are in California, where cost of living is very high.

Um no, it doesn't take awesome skill to be a pro athlete it just takes constant training and most people move onto something they find more important after gym in highschool. They get paid so much because they are in the spotlight and popular.

doomed89:

Ihateregistering1:
Do you have a link for this? Not saying you're lying but I just have a hard time believing that it cost as much to make that game as it did to make "Avatar".

Also, this article is just ridiculous.

"When did the gaming industry become so corporate?"
Uh, maybe when games started being made by Corporations?

"Why are developers making so much money? Their job isn't life threatening like a police officer's is and it's not important to the future of the nation like a teacher's job is."
This is like people complaining that professional Athlete's are paid too much. You can argue that it's not morally right, but the simple fact is that pro athletes get paid the kind of money they do because only an incredibly select few people are good enough to play sports professionally. Likewise, very, very few people could have effectively marketed and created games with the skill that, say, Cliff Blezsinski did.

Also, $81K is not that insanely high of a salary, especially if the majority of game developers are in California, where cost of living is very high.

Um no, it doesn't take awesome skill to be a pro athlete it just takes constant training and most people move onto something they find more important after gym in highschool. They get paid so much because they are in the spotlight and popular.

Funniest response I've seen on this site in weeks, I salute you Sir!

If there is one thing I hate more than game devs talking with their heads in their ass, it's people who make commentary on videogames and are completely wrong about it.

I guess this pisses me off more because I'm an artist, and I see this as a ploy to once again undermine people with artistic and writing talent and experience by daring to say that good people in the creative medium shouldn't be payed the money they are owed- experience and hard work be damned.

You pay good money for a good doctor.
You pay good money for a good plumber.
Why is it, that people shouldn't pay good money for an artist who has worked on games for 10 years?
Why is it, that people shouldn't pay good money for a writer who has been responsible for some great stories in games.

We already know why the gaming market is going haywire. Overblown budgets, and unrealistic expectations. All of it centering around the marketing area.

Here's one thing I really don't understand about these arguments either: this whole idea of "videogames are too expensive".

Although games vary wildly for how much general "play time" there is, I think games may be the single most economical means of fun in existence.

I mean, I probably spent 200 hours total playing Skyrim and I bought the game for $50. Think about how cheap that is (when you think about it in terms of hours of fun) compared to going to the movies, or playing pool at a bar. I've lost count of how many hours I've sunk into Torchlight 2, Dragon's Age, StarCraft 2, the Total War games, etc. I can understand someone saying that, say, Bioshock: Infinite is too short, since it's just a single player campaign and no multiplayer, but no one is forcing you to buy it. There are literally thousands of games out there, many of which you can sink untold amounts of time into and get amazing bang for your buck.

Ihateregistering1:

Thoughtful_Salt:

While the budgets of many AAA games do reach in to the hundreds of millions ( Tomb Raider's budget alone ballooned to over 300 million dollars. )

Do you have a link for this? Not saying you're lying but I just have a hard time believing that it cost as much to make that game as it did to make "Avatar".

Also, this article is just ridiculous.

"When did the gaming industry become so corporate?"
Uh, maybe when games started being made by Corporations?

"Why are developers making so much money? Their job isn't life threatening like a police officer's is and it's not important to the future of the nation like a teacher's job is."
This is like people complaining that professional Athlete's are paid too much. You can argue that it's not morally right, but the simple fact is that pro athletes get paid the kind of money they do because only an incredibly select few people are good enough to play sports professionally. Likewise, very, very few people could have effectively marketed and created games with the skill that, say, Cliff Blezsinski did.

Also, $81K is not that insanely high of a salary, especially if the majority of game developers are in California, where cost of living is very high.

I do have a link good sir

BEHOLD!!!!! :http://www.ffxiah.com/forum/topic/39217/square-enix-financial-speculation/

Thoughtful_Salt:

Ihateregistering1:

Thoughtful_Salt:

While the budgets of many AAA games do reach in to the hundreds of millions ( Tomb Raider's budget alone ballooned to over 300 million dollars. )

Do you have a link for this? Not saying you're lying but I just have a hard time believing that it cost as much to make that game as it did to make "Avatar".

Also, this article is just ridiculous.

"When did the gaming industry become so corporate?"
Uh, maybe when games started being made by Corporations?

"Why are developers making so much money? Their job isn't life threatening like a police officer's is and it's not important to the future of the nation like a teacher's job is."
This is like people complaining that professional Athlete's are paid too much. You can argue that it's not morally right, but the simple fact is that pro athletes get paid the kind of money they do because only an incredibly select few people are good enough to play sports professionally. Likewise, very, very few people could have effectively marketed and created games with the skill that, say, Cliff Blezsinski did.

Also, $81K is not that insanely high of a salary, especially if the majority of game developers are in California, where cost of living is very high.

I do have a link good sir

BEHOLD!!!!! :http://www.ffxiah.com/forum/topic/39217/square-enix-financial-speculation/

Wow, that is completely insane.

/OFFTOPIC

SeventhSigil:
I'm not saying ads don't work in a majority of the market, but you have to consider that it's slightly different in terms of certain games than it is in, say, a Nissan van. You're not going to find people camping on sites to find out the latest news on the newest van in production, won't find people who both own vans talking excitedly about the newest iteration's advances in tire pressure, and word of mouth isn't really going to spread, because I doubt I would ever hear 'Hey, hey, hey! Didja hear?! NISSAN'S MAKING A NEW VAN!" Advertising for toys, perfume, brands of food, restaurants, etc, etc, ETC, is more than acceptable because active public interest is generally low. When was the last time you saw an entire discussion forum devoted to brands of Yogurt, at least one not owned by whatever company makes it? Even in the case of mediums where there is stronger personal interest, such as movies or music, there isn't that same attachment because the first viewing of a film can last a couple of hours, the first listen to a song a couple of minutes, but the Bioshock Infinite Campaign can last five or six hours, longer if you're on 1999 difficulty on second playthough, MUCH longer if you're achievement or trophy hunting. That greater investment of time can lead to a greater attachment, and heightened interest in actively seeking out new experiences, as opposed to waiting for someone else to talk about them.

Gaming often works differently than laser eye surgery spots, Doritos or Pepsi, because much of that advertisement can be provided by the community. I see a video preview of The Division because I keep track of a gamer-catering site, I get super excited and poke at my gaming friends saying; "GUYS! We must get this when it comes out!" They see it, and either become interested in purchasing, not interested at all, or similarly excited and go off to tell the gamer friends they know. Look at Minecraft, a game that climbed its way from complete obscurity without any sort of advertising budget whatsoever, on the backs of game journalism articles, word of mouth, and eventually due to its huge popularity, publishing on the Xbox 360.

It's been estimated that the publisher of Battlefield 3 might have spent as much as fifty MILLION dollars on advertising. For the THIRD installment of a very popular franchise that every established gamer already knows about, and new gamers will quickly get drawn out of ignorance if they pay the slightest attention to upcoming games, or have friends that do. D'you really think that the publisher's $50,000,000 brought in enough brand new players who never would have heard about the game without that advertisements? Do you think it really would have brought in 1.8 million new players on launch day, players that never would have purchased it without slow-motion explosions in TV ads and website banners?

That's by far one of the most elaborate and well-worded user-posts I've read on the internet until now.
I totally agree with SeventhSigil and can't help the conclusion that I'll have to visit the forums of the Escapist Magazine more frequently from now on...

@TOPIC

Like many others stated already, the developers don't make much money themselves, but the publisher does, and of those people working for a publisher only a few lucky ones make big money, if this is reasonable or not can't hardly be evaluated by an outsider.
Here is the major error by the editor to be found: By confusing "developer" with "publisher" his whole argumentation is grounded on wrong expectations.

For example:
"It might be tedious or even grueling at times and require long hours and lots of commitment, but working in the video game industry is generally fun. People should be working in the gaming industry because they want to create awesome games. Not because they want to become rich."

Developers are working in the industry to create awesome games, a part of them only to earn money for sure, but most of them aren't working for the vision of becoming a millionaire, but for the vision of a game.
To work for the game industry(-> "gaming industry" refers to gambling) has positive aspects, if you're dedicated to gaming(and you better should be), but to develop a game from the scratch is an exhausting, time-consumpting and often repetitive task, which final outcome will take years to reveal itself.
The author of the article clearly underestimates the dedication of many developers and accuses them of being greedy, he even refuses to name a few exceptions for this rule.

The author totally had to see his misconsception here and with him putting an "developer" where he (hopefully) meant the publisher, his whole article isn't worth to be regarded serious journalism and therefore I see no need to dismember it fully at the moment.
If he would put a new article online, about publishers being too greedy, he sure would make two steps towards telling the truth, but, even then, there is still room for further observation as this isn't absolutely true, either.

Putting his article and this link together... http://www.penguinrungames.com/
I guess Mr. Alexander Hinkley is an already ship-wrecked wannabe game developer that's envious on others, real game developers, living his dream.
He could have done better and should have known better, to write a "rant" like that.

Heyho.

Midoryu

Edited 16:58: Games Developer/Industry -> Game Developer/Industry. Sounds better to me at least...

doomed89:

Again no offense but even if you are right the study is still BS because they are surveying in which is wildly unreliable in this case. Also it's not like word of mouth and advertisement is mutually exclusive either so you have a whole other layer of inaccuracies for the study. I have no idea how effective advertisement is, my point was merely neither does the person who did the study because it's BS.

....but if I'm right, then the survey's results would be accurate, no matter the methodology. o.o Also point out the think tank in question does make an entire living doing this kind of thing, so though there is a chance for inaccuracies, the pedigree of those who prepared it are far beyond your average Internet poll.

And while there are certainly other modes of advertising, some are more or less effective than others, and I advance that some that are normally considered vastly superior for some products- such as television commercials- would be far less effective when it came to games than just SHOWING these games to those who are seeking the information out. Bethesda, I recall, produced a live-action Skyrim commercial for television and other forums of distribution; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w1AenlOEXao The ad was short, probably cost a bundle to make (to say nothing for airing) and I seriously doubt actually made anybody think 'Oh My God, I MUST HAVE THIS!' because it literally did not show anything relating to the game. The released footage that aired on various gaming sites, however, which was literally ten minutes of watching Skyrim be played, from the open world to the Bleak Falls Barrows, had a MUCH greater effect, and a much lower cost because all you needed was to record the footage, and then send it to the gaming media, upload it to Youtube, etc, etc. Too many of the most cost-intensive advertising methods simply do not work for games as they do for other products, because 1) Active interest in the product is higher, and 2) The amount of information required by the consumer is greater.

When it comes to games, the important thing, first and foremost, should be to make your core audience excited and passionate about what you are presenting them, because when they become passionate, they essentially do a lot of the advertising legwork for you, and bring in more publicity for free than you could ever buy.

Midoryu:
/OFFTOPIC

SeventhSigil:
I'm not saying ads don't work in a majority of the market, but you have to consider that it's slightly different in terms of certain games than it is in, say, a Nissan van. You're not going to find people camping on sites to find out the latest news on the newest van in production, won't find people who both own vans talking excitedly about the newest iteration's advances in tire pressure, and word of mouth isn't really going to spread, because I doubt I would ever hear 'Hey, hey, hey! Didja hear?! NISSAN'S MAKING A NEW VAN!" Advertising for toys, perfume, brands of food, restaurants, etc, etc, ETC, is more than acceptable because active public interest is generally low. When was the last time you saw an entire discussion forum devoted to brands of Yogurt, at least one not owned by whatever company makes it? Even in the case of mediums where there is stronger personal interest, such as movies or music, there isn't that same attachment because the first viewing of a film can last a couple of hours, the first listen to a song a couple of minutes, but the Bioshock Infinite Campaign can last five or six hours, longer if you're on 1999 difficulty on second playthough, MUCH longer if you're achievement or trophy hunting. That greater investment of time can lead to a greater attachment, and heightened interest in actively seeking out new experiences, as opposed to waiting for someone else to talk about them.

Gaming often works differently than laser eye surgery spots, Doritos or Pepsi, because much of that advertisement can be provided by the community. I see a video preview of The Division because I keep track of a gamer-catering site, I get super excited and poke at my gaming friends saying; "GUYS! We must get this when it comes out!" They see it, and either become interested in purchasing, not interested at all, or similarly excited and go off to tell the gamer friends they know. Look at Minecraft, a game that climbed its way from complete obscurity without any sort of advertising budget whatsoever, on the backs of game journalism articles, word of mouth, and eventually due to its huge popularity, publishing on the Xbox 360.

It's been estimated that the publisher of Battlefield 3 might have spent as much as fifty MILLION dollars on advertising. For the THIRD installment of a very popular franchise that every established gamer already knows about, and new gamers will quickly get drawn out of ignorance if they pay the slightest attention to upcoming games, or have friends that do. D'you really think that the publisher's $50,000,000 brought in enough brand new players who never would have heard about the game without that advertisements? Do you think it really would have brought in 1.8 million new players on launch day, players that never would have purchased it without slow-motion explosions in TV ads and website banners?

That's by far one of the most elaborate and well-worded user-posts I've read on the internet until now.
I totally agree with SeventhSigil and can't help the conclusion that I'll have to visit the forums of the Escapist Magazine more frequently from now on...

@TOPIC

Like many others stated already, the developers don't make much money themselves, but the publisher does, and of those people working for a publisher only a few lucky ones make big money, if this is reasonable or not can't hardly be evaluated by an outsider.
Here is the major error by the editor to be found: By confusing "developer" with "publisher" his whole argumentation is grounded on wrong expectations.

For example:
"It might be tedious or even grueling at times and require long hours and lots of commitment, but working in the video game industry is generally fun. People should be working in the gaming industry because they want to create awesome games. Not because they want to become rich."

Developers are working in the industry to create awesome games, a part of them only to earn money for sure, but most of them aren't working for the vision of becoming a millionaire, but for the vision of a game.
To work for the game industry(-> "gaming industry" refers to gambling) has positive aspects, if you're dedicated to gaming(and you better should be), but to develop a game from the scratch is an exhausting, time-consumpting and often repetitive task, which final outcome will take years to reveal itself.
The author of the article clearly underestimates the dedication of many developers and accuses them of being greedy, he even refuses to name a few exceptions for this rule.

The author totally had to see his misconsception here and with him putting an "developer" where he (hopefully) meant the publisher, his whole article isn't worth to be regarded serious journalism and therefore I see no need to dismember it fully at the moment.
If he would put a new article online, about publishers being too greedy, he sure would make two steps towards telling the truth, but, even then, there is still room for further observation as this isn't absolutely true, either.

Putting his article and this link together... http://www.penguinrungames.com/
I guess Mr. Alexander Hinkley is an already ship-wrecked wannabe game developer that's envious on others, real game developers, living his dream.
He could have done better and should have known better, to write a "rant" like that.

Heyho.

Midoryu

Edited 16:58: Games Developer/Industry -> Game Developer/Industry. Sounds better to me at least...

Awww, thanks. xP I try. Too hard, usually.

BrotherRool:

Indie devs aside, game developers aren't paid poorly at all. Apart from the QA department, even the entry level wage is £18,000 - £25,000 which is only just below the national average salary for anyone in the UK. At the senior level they make £35,000 - £70,000+ which is much more than many people can ever expect to pull in in a year in their entire career. It's a skilled job and it's paid accordingly.

That's a poor basis of comparison. You're comparing against the national average when you should be comparing against people doing the same kind of work in other industries (ie, programming jobs). And taking into consideration the hours that they work.

The game industry actually has a serious burnout problem- game programming jobs pay less and require much longer hours than programming jobs in other fields.

BloodSquirrel:

BrotherRool:

Indie devs aside, game developers aren't paid poorly at all. Apart from the QA department, even the entry level wage is £18,000 - £25,000 which is only just below the national average salary for anyone in the UK. At the senior level they make £35,000 - £70,000+ which is much more than many people can ever expect to pull in in a year in their entire career. It's a skilled job and it's paid accordingly.

That's a poor basis of comparison. You're comparing against the national average when you should be comparing against people doing the same kind of work in other industries (ie, programming jobs). And taking into consideration the hours that they work.

The game industry actually has a serious burnout problem- game programming jobs pay less and require much longer hours than programming jobs in other fields.

The person I was responding to said ' there's a story about how some developer or another can't make pay' amongst other things, which I took to mean 'can't afford to pay bills'.

EDIT: Figured I might as well look at the numbers. The average UK wage for a programmer is £35,000 - £62,000 so there's no noticeable discrepancy between them and someone working in the games industry. The average salary for a programmer in the US is $75,000 in 2013 compared to $92,962 for game programmers in 2011 (and salaries have generally increased in 2012 and 2013). Game artists (aside from QA) are the worst paid in relative terms and get paid $75,000 compared to $90,000 if they worked in Hollywood, the opposite of the situation for programmers

In my experience, developers aren't actually making enough money. The developers are unable to survive independently, jumping from one publisher contract to another. With big budget games, the cost of video game production continues to rise, whilst publisher expenditure remains relatively steady. Hence, the publisher feeds the developer the money (who incidentally shape a game's production, by ensuring developers adhere to arbitrary milestones), the developer releases the game, making profits, much of which is siphoned off by the publishing overlords.

I don't know if this is allowed, but I recently completed a three part article on the subject, if anyone's interested:

-Mod edit: Link removed.

I may have been a little cruel to the publishers, but I intend to do a devil's advocate piece at a later date. Tell me what you guys think.

Thoughtful_Salt:
A recent article on the Examiner.com asks a simple question. Is the gaming industry broken because it pays its talent too much? The writer, Alexander Hinkley, goes on to list a veritable boogeyman's roll call of issues facing gamers today, including micro transactions, on disc dlc, online passes and the publishers fight against used games. He advocates that developer's salaries get cut in half to reduce the cost of making AAA games and hopefully get rid of those bugbears. Needless to say, he has ruffled a few feathers.

While the budgets of many AAA games do reach in to the hundreds of millions ( Tomb Raider's budget alone ballooned to over 300 million dollars. ) the vast majority of those costs are funneled into marketing. The cost of development itself has remained relatively stable over the past decade, and Alexander's article seems like a misguided attempt to shift the blame towards the people who actually make the experiences we know and love. Has he even heard of indie games?

Scroll down to the comments section of the article to see a smorgasbord of backlash against Hinkley. But the article still makes for an interesting, if a little condescending, read.

EDIT: The comments section on that article seems to have been removed entirely. YOU ARE NOT ALLOWED TO DISCUSS THIS!!!!!

Source: http://www.examiner.com/article/the-problem-with-the-gaming-industry-is-that-developers-make-too-much?fb_comment_id=fbc_678249835525211_9537241_679996265350568#f28a9aab9c9267

As of right now OP, the entire article has been deleted from the Examiner.

Thoughtful_Salt:
like it or not, this guy had some noble intentions when he wrote this article......the problem is that he targeted the wrong people.

Agreed. It's not Developers making too much; it's games requiring too much. They have to be made yearly, look better then the last one, and need ginormous teams to make them (Gameplay may or may not need to change, varying on the actual game). Combine that with voice acting, art, development, advertising, and royalties, and suddenly Games cost 100s of thousands of dollars! The industry needs to slow down and spend less (On making games), otherwise multiple developers will go bankrupt like THQ.

BrotherRool:
even the entry level wage is £18,000 - £25,000 which is only just below the national average salary for anyone in the UK. At the senior level they make £35,000 - £70,000+ which is much more than many people can ever expect to pull in in a year in their entire career. It's a skilled job and it's paid accordingly.

I thought that they were paid fine, until I read this. In the UK, teachers get payed about £20k a year, and new teachers even less than that. Are game devs really getting paid the same/more than teachers? I don't want to start a debate but there's no doubt in my mind as to which is the more important job.

@Tom_green_day (the browswer can't quote properly on this computer, the link doesn't do anything)

It's not so much about how important a job is. It's all about supply and demand. A teacher may be a really important job and (in the grand scheme of things) and astronaut might not. But it's really freaking hard to become an austronaut and it's fairly simple to become a teacher.

With that being said, on an industry level nobody is underpaid / overpaid. There is either a demand for something or there isn't. If nobody cared about games, there wouldn't be a profit margin large enough for publishers to warrant paying developers certain sums of money. Business practices have very little to do with grunt worker salaries.

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