- Game developer salary in the US
- Salaries by Developer Experience
- Salaries by Location
- The highest paying game developer skills in the US
- Game developer salary in Canada
- Salaries by Developer Experience
- Salaries by Location
- Game developer salary in Europe
- Salary of a Game Developer in the UK
- Salary of a Game Developer in France
- Benelux region
- The Netherlands
- Nordic Region
- DACH Region
- Salary of a Game Developer in Ireland
- Salary of a Game Developer in Ukraine
- Game developer salary in Australia
- Salaries by Developer Experience
- Salaries by Location
The video game market is constantly expanding and shows no signs of slowing down. In fact, it is predicted that by 2027 the global video game market will reach a staggering .
This growth can be attributed to the increasing popularity of gaming across all age groups and the continuous advancements in technology that make gaming more immersive and accessible than ever before.
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 2023? 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, Payscale, Salaryexpert, etc.
For a more balanced comparison, we have quoted all game software developer salaries in USD.
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 US$115.60bn by 2027.
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 $79,799 per year, while the bestpaid specialists can expect to earn around $150,000 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.
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.
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 $107,031 per year. At the time of writing, middle and junior game developer salaries are $86,672 and $66,276 per year, respectively. Therefore, developer experience is a cornerstone compensation factor, which is true for all countries.
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.
According to Talent.com, the average annual game developer salary in California reaches $117,500, which is a bit higher than in the state of Washington D.C. The latter offers an average game developer salary of $92,625 per year.
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 $86,000 per annum. Senior game coders can get around $110,000, while fresh-faced developers make $68,000 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 $68,250. Senior wages are on par with top-paying locations and amounts to $112,000 per year. Kansas, according to Talent.com offers an average game developer salary of $117,500 which is considered pretty high.
Regardless of the regional disparity, the United States is the primary IT center, with the highest pay for game development.
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.
Ultimately, the national average salary of a game developer in the USA is $98,259 per year with a maximum of $123,000.
Northern neighbor to the USA is Canada – home to 937 active video game companies and 32,300 employees. The revenue forecast for the next few years is quite promising. With an anticipated annual growth rate of 7.21% between 2023 and 2027, the market volume is projected to reach an impressive US$6.95 billion by the end of this period. 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 $67,413 to $82,689 per yearly service.
In Canada, a beginner game developer salary is decent and amounts to $50,000. More experienced coders are hired for the larger amounts of $71,000 to $86,300. A Senior game developer’s salary is the highest and stands between $92,000 to $106,350 per year.
Salary data indicates that the average game developer salary is slightly different across Canadian cities. Our data pulled from industry salary surveys demonstrates that in Toronto, the median game developer salary is $45,856 per year. Junior coders are paid around $31,400, while senior game developer salaries can reachy stands at the mean of $73,267. Mid-level wages are tucked in between with $48,969 of annual compensation.
Montreal is the closest to Toronto in terms of the annual game developer salaries. The average in Montreal amounts to $56,033 per year for game development. Junior positions come with an average of $43,362, while mid-level positions are filled at $58,314 per year. Senior game developer salary is the highest and equals $73,267.
Vancouver comes third with a -normal game developer salary of $56,731. Junior coders are hired for around $38,128, while mid positions are offered at $61,304 per year. Senior game developer salaries come in at about $84,481 per year.
We cross the Atlantic Ocean now to Europe, to see what’s happening there.
Europe’s tech scene is heating up as well, brimming with world-renowned tech hubs and outsourcing vendors. In 2021, the total European game market size stood at over €23 billion. In particular, Western Europe is set to remain one of the two top-grossing gaming markets, after North America. By 2025, the West European market is projected to reach over $77 billion. We have mapped the state of the average game coder’s remuneration across the main European destinations and compared annual salaries between the countries.
The geographical range includes the Benelux, DACH, (Germany (D), Austria (A), and Switzerland (CH)) and Nordic regions as well as the UK, France, Ukraine, and Australia.
The United Kingdom is Europe’s largest video game market and the world’s sixth-largest gaming market. In 2022, the video game market in the UK saw a growth of 2.3 percent from the previous year with British consumers spending around 4.66 billion British pounds on video games. This growth can be attributed to the closure of other entertainment options due to the COVID-19 pandemic which led to a surge in video game sales in 2020 followed by a slowdown in growth in subsequent years.
The average salary of a game developer in the UK ranges from $47,503 to $96,168 per annum. A game developer’s starting salary ranges between $29,655 to $68,835 per year, while middle programmers have a price tag of $52,514 to $93,719. According to Salaryexpert, the annual game developer salary of a senior coder can reach $118,604.
France sits comfortably in the top 10 of the largest gaming market rankings, coming right after the UK. The gaming market in France has grown steadily over the past few years. Research shows that console gaming is the preferred gaming platform in France, with 2.7 billion euros of console gaming sales.
However, the market’s game developer salary range is somewhat patchy. On average, French game coders make a decent living of $35,522 to $49,171$. However, the average game developer salary for fledgling specialists drops to $23,092 per year. The maximum game developer salary for junior positions is $42,292. Lead game developer salaries climb to a maximum of $69,386, while the game developer yearly salary for a reasonably experienced coder varies from $35,522 to $55,834 per year.
Although this part of the world didn’t make the top 10 gaming market listings curated by Statista, the Benelux region is on the way to securing its position in the global game development arena. Let’s have a closer look at the Benelux countries of Luxembourg Belgium and The Netherlands.
According to a report by Deloitte, Luxembourg has stepped out as a tech hub. The gaming market in Luxembourg has also seen positive growth, yet the game development ecosystem in Luxembourg still holds untapped potential to be discovered.
However, the lack of exposure and amateur status don’t shackle the local game developer salary range. Thus, the average game developer salary in Luxembourg lies in the range of $58915 and $59428 per year. According to WorldSalaries, an entry-level game developer salary reaches a maximum of $29474.
At the same time, a game developer’s average salary for a mid-level coder is higher and varies from $58001 to $58186. These amounts might be the results of the country’s long-lived plan to attract skilled talent. Senior-level game developers make up a maximum of $90626, which is on par with the US-based wages.
In 2021, the video game industry in Belgium generated a total revenue of 611.7 million U.S. dollars. This figure is projected to rise to 942.7 million U.S. dollars by 2027. The average game developer salary ranges between $34140 to $73948. The entry level game developer salary equates to $33486, according to SalaryExplorer. Programmers with more experience can expect to ramp up their earnings to $72728, while top talent gets up to $115632 per year. According to SalaryExpert, the average game developer salary is lower – $41308 per year for a senior game developer.
In 2018, the annual revenue of the Dutch video games industry amounted to roughly one billion euros. The main driver behind the growing rate of the industry is based on popular titles like Killzone, Overlord, and Horizon Zero Dawn, which were all developed in the Netherlands.
However, the average game developer salary range is not the highest in the region. The median game developer salary lies in the range of $33,289 and $57,597. Dutch game developer entry level salaries amount to $27,730 per year, while mid-range coders can be hired for $56,638. Senior positions come with the highest payroll of $39,241 to $88,424.
As Deloitte cites, ‘the esports and gaming landscape in the Nordics<…> is well-established and part of the region’s cultural DNA.’ Indeed, the Nordic gaming market is a patchwork of top-performing game studios, with the total number of publishers reaching 460.
The median game developer salary in Denmark is $61,887, which makes it the most well-paid destination in Europe so far. Junior game developer salary reaches $31,677 per year, while mid-level coders can expect $41,460 to $60,890 per year. As for the senior game developer salary, companies are reported to be offering $93,095.
Finnish game developer Supercell is behind the bestselling Clash of Clans, Clash Royale, and Brawl Stars, while Rovio made waves in the mobile game industry with Angry Birds.
In Finland, the usual game developer salary stands at $46,899 and may reach $130,275 per year.
Junior positions come with lower than average compensations of $23,775 to $65,137. The normal mid-level game developer salary lies in the range of $45,705 and $77,437. The most experienced coders can expect to command a salary of up to $195,413 per year.
Following in the footsteps of the Finns and the Danes is Sweden. The numbers match the region-wide standard – the typical game developer salary is between $46,955 to $103,856 per year.
Junior talent can expect to make up to $69,158 of annual earnings, while mid-level specialists are hired for $95,890. The average game developer salary for seniors reaches a maximum of $142,522, according to Glassdoor.
As for the global gaming market, Central Europe comes third regarding local market value as suggested by Statista. The Dach region also ranks well in the global salary landscape with average game developer salaries matching the West European median.
According to Swiss Games, The game development cluster in Switzerland is yet to gain full potential, yet positive growth has been witnessed over the last few years. At the moment, around 120 companies are contributing to the sector.
The average game developer salary range is between $126,533 and $134,914. These numbers reflect the high living standards in Switzerland. Junior game developer salaries are lower with a median of $58,567 per year. The reported mid-level game developer salary varies from $124,755 to $137,444. Senior programmers can expect to receive a remuneration package of between $169,136 and $202,483 per year.
The gaming sector in Austria has yet to show it’s full potential, (similar to Switzerland). Nevertheless, market revenue in the video games segment is expected to grow to US$1,002.00m in 2023.
The game developer compensation in Austria has climbed to $96,168 per year, which is quite average between the neighbours. The entry level game developer salary starts at $23,027 per year and equals the maximum median of $68,835 for junior programmers.
At the same time, the local senior game developer salary is also on par with a maximum of $118,604. Mid-level specialists are traditionally ranked in the middle with an annual game developer salary range of $39,030 to $93,715.
Germany is distinguished by a lively games industry with a wide range of strong players on the world market. The local business landscape is recognized as beneficial for the gaming sector, since the government provides federal support to nurture tech-based companies. In 2019, the local government set aside 50 million euros to promote computer game development at the federal level in the future. However, the annual game developer salary doesn’t exceed the European average.
Overall, a median game developer salary is within the scope of $43,294 to $94,057. This number is lower than in Switzerland but is considered a decent remuneration in Europe.
An entry-level game developer salary can expect $50,870, while the mean senior game developer salary ranges between $72,517 and $116,737 per year. Middle positions are filled with an average of $43,294 to $91,428 per year.
We now take a look at what is going on on the Western and Eastern fringes of Europe:
The gaming industry in Ireland is a growing market, with many companies expanding and starting to develop more games. The Irish video game development industry employs over 2000 people and is expected to generate an estimated $199 million in 2022.
According to job portals, the standard game developer salary stands at $80,000 per year. Other job portals report a number of $74,218 and $83,073. It places Ireland in the middle of top-paying European destinations by game developer salaries. The entry level game developer salary comes with job offers of $55,000 to $72,000 per year, while middle coders make around $80,667 to $88,500 per year. As expected, Senior-level developer salaries are higher, with a median of $98,139 to $105,000 per year.
Ukraine has already changed its global standing from an emerging game development hub to a mature ecosystem. Currently, there are around 20,000 game developers engaged in the production of video games. Home to world-renowned game companies and game titles, this country boasts strong expertise in building video, PC, and mobile games.
As reported by the local job portals, a typical game developer salary in Ukraine is in the range of $27,000 to $39,600 per year, which is well behind other European locations. An entry-level game developer salary is the lowest and lies in the range of $10,800 to $12,000 per year. Middle-level game developer salaries are higher, with a median of $27,000-$39,600, while senior-level specialists can expect to take home $42,000 to $68,400 per year.
To finish our world tour, we cross the equator and travel to the other side of the globe.
The gaming industry in Australia is emerging into a lucrative market that generates more than the combined amount of video streaming services of companies like Netflix and Stan. According to a report, the total games and esports revenue in Australia reached A$3.41 billion in 2020 and is projected to grow to A$4.9 billion in 2025. As for the average game developer salary, in Australia coders get a mean of between $36,656 and $63,200 per year.
As for the seniority level, entry-level game developer salaries are traditionally the lowest. Juniors can expect to get around $30,312 to $50,000 per year. As for the middle game developer salary, it equates to $46,143-$82,000. Senior game developer salaries are reported to vary from $62,034 to $114,000.
The geographical factor, as with the other regions discussed, also plays a crucial role in the Australian wage distribution. In particular, there is a significant financial disparity between the major cities of Brisbane, Sydney, and Melbourne. According to Glassdoor, Sydney has an average game developer salary of $52,126. Entry level game developer salaries are half the median – $40,016 per year. As for more experienced talent, middle-level coders are hired for $50,020 per year, while senior game developer salaries amount to $62,024.
Melbourne comes second, with a mean game developer salary of $52,464. A Junior game developer’s salary in Melbourne equals $34,000, while mid-level programmers are paid $42,000. Seniors are compensated the most with $66,000 per year.
Brisbane offers an average game developer salary of $52,126 per annum. Beginner game developer salaries in Brisbane are close to Sydney – $32,000, while mid-level remuneration increases to $42,350 per year. A Senior game developer’s salary is unsurprisingly the highest – $60,000 per year.
Our research of average game developer salaries by country demonstrates that Switzerland and the USA are the top-paying locations for game development talent on the 1st quarter of 2023. Finland and Ireland also boast high game developer salaries due to the high living standards and developer demand growth. Canada equates to the leaders with top-dollar game development salaries, with Nordic regions also setting a high bar for local game developer salaries.
Mainland Western and Central European hubs can be ranked in the middle, while the fringes of Western and Eastern Europe have more modest annual salaries compared with the other reported locations, thus offering a more affordable hiring option for foreign businesses.
We, at Pingle Studio, have been delivering end-to-end game development services since 2007 to assist our clients in creating engrossing game experiences at reduced costs and with added quality. Drop us a line if you need to deliver your game on time and within budget.