highlights
  1. Game developer salary in the US
  2. Salaries by Developer Experience
  3. Salaries by Location
  4. The highest paying game developer skills in the US
  5. Game developer salary in Canada
  6. Salaries by Developer Experience
  7. Salaries by Location
  8. Game developer salary in Europe
  9. Salary of a Game Developer in the UK
  10. Salary of a Game Developer in France
  11. Benelux region
  12. Luxembourg
  13. Belgium
  14. The Netherlands
  15. Nordic Region
  16. Denmark
  17. Finland
  18. Sweden
  19. DACH Region
  20. Switzerland
  21. Austria
  22. Germany
  23. Salary of a Game Developer in Ireland
  24. Salary of a Game Developer in Ukraine
  25. Game developer salary in Australia
  26. Salaries by Developer Experience
  27. Salaries by Location
  28. Summary

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Game development is a lucrative industry that attracts investors, businesses, and developers alike. If we look at the timeline of 2012-2021, we can see that the global video game market has grown from $52.8 bln to $138.4 bln in this time.

But does that mean that a game developer’s salary has stayed on par with the increased popularity of the market? What is a game developer's salary in 2022? Let’s find out.

In this in-depth guide, we’ll take a tour around the world, assessing a game developer's average salary by country. Our study area spans such destinations as the United States, Canada, popular European hubs like Ukraine, and others.

Our research data stems from acknowledged job boards (both global and local) as well as leading review sites, including Glassdoor and Payscale.

Average game dev salary worldwide

For a more balanced comparison, we have quoted all game software developer salaries in USD.

Game developer salary in the US

The US has been a major player in the IT industry for over two decades. This country is experiencing massive growth in the tech sector, with a projected 6 million tech workers by 2030. As for the gaming industry, the US market size is estimated to achieve $95.4 bln in 2022.

With gaming hubs spread across the US, this technological destination is also a mecca for game programmers. Therefore, the average game developer’s salary is traditionally high, setting the bar for other countries. So, what is the average salary of a game developer in the USA? Well, a medium entry-level game developer salary stands at $81,000 per year, while the bestpaid specialists can expect to earn around $115,846 annually.

These impressive numbers for an American salary of a game developer can be attributed to the expected living standards and general market dynamics of the industry. However, it all depends on an individual's skill level and experience, as well as state-specific location.

Salaries by Developer Experience

First and foremost, a game developer salary median is determined by their tech experience and knowledge. As in other locations, junior and senior programmers are compensated differently. Let's back up this statement by assessing the numbers provided by Glassdoor.

USA average game dev salaries

Anonymous data from developers and their employers demonstrate that US-based senior specialists are paid top-dollar. The average senior game developer salary amounts to $122,000 per year. At the time of writing, middle and junior game developer salaries are $75,000 and $46,000 per year, respectively. Therefore, developer experience is a cornerstone compensation factor, which is true for all countries.

Salaries by Location

A traditional game developer salary in the US also differs by state. From the geographical perspective, California and Washington D.C. come out as the best-paying states in the country. Home to Silicon Valley and leading corporations like IBM, HP, and Oracle, these destinations boast a rich IT ecosystem, including higher-than-average game developer salaries.

USA game dev salaries according to states

According to Glassdoor, the average annual game developer salary in California reaches $103,000, which is a bit lower than in the state of Washington D.C. The latter offers an average game developer salary of $108,600 per year.

As for seniority, California tends to value junior programmers higher than Washington D.C., with an average of $65,000 per year. Washington D.C. only offers $52,000 for people with the same experience level. At the same time, a Californian senior game developer salary equals $137,000 per year, while DC-based specialists are paid $178,000 annually.

The state of Texas is also considered a cradle for game development, with around 69 gaming companies based in Austin. The major presence of tech giants like Amazon, and Google also nurtures a tech culture, contributing to high game developer salaries. The average game developer salary in Texas is $87,600 per annum. Senior game coders get around $139,000, while fresh-faced developers make $49,000 per year, according to Glassdoor.

Average game developer salaries are more modest in other states. In New York, a game developer salary in 2022 is expected to be in the range of $79,600. Senior wages are on par with top-paying locations and amounts to $112,000 per year. Kansas lags behind, with an average game developer salary of $52,300.

Regardless of the regional disparity, the United States is the primary IT center, with the highest pay for game development.

The highest paying game developer skills in the US

The video game market has come a long way since the days of Atari and the Nintendo Entertainment System. Today, many people are seeking careers in the field. The competition is fierce for those looking to enter this lucrative market, so possessing bankable skills is what directly impacts a game developer’s average salary.

There are a multitude of technologies required in game development. However, our research found that the most popular skill set among developers is linked directly with game engines. The most common commercial engines are Unreal, Unity, and Cryengine, used in combination with C# and C++. Therefore, those developers who possess hands-on experience in these technologies can expect to earn the most.

As for the average mobile game developer, Java and Swift seem to be the most in-demand skills for native game applications for Android and iOS, respectively. According to Glassdoor, the national average salary of a game developer in the USA is $61,000 per year with a maximum of $123,000.

Game developer salary in Canada

Northern neighbor to the USA is Canada - home to 937 active video game companies and 32,300 employees. The Canadian video game industry has grown 23% since 2019 and now makes up for $5.5 billion of national GDP. As for the mean game developer salary, it’s higher than in Europe, being on the same level as in the USA. Thus, local game maker wages vary from $48,719 to $83,696 per yearly service.

Salaries by Developer Experience

Canada average game dev salaries

In Canada, a beginner game developer salary is decent and amounts to $66,250. More experienced coders are hired for the larger amounts of $47,122 to $80,000. A Senior game developer’s salary is the highest and stands between $67,089 to $104,838 per year.

Salaries by Location