Game Developers Salaries Guide

Game Developers Salaries Guide

The area of game development is one of the most sought after spheres among the IT industry’s professionals because people are always interested in spending their time with fun, and video games, in particular, are among the most popular hobbies.

The gaming industry’s scope can be compared to the film industry, but the first one is several steps ahead. In general, game development is a process when the programmer is creating a game suitable for a specific platform.

It goes for PCs, consoles, smartphones, VR-helmets, and other gadgets. Notably, many publishers don’t want to choose between the platforms and strive for multiplatform development. There are numerous specialists involved in the process of game development, starting with a minimum of three, including a programmer, artist, and game designer. In large projects, there might be more than 20 professionals engaged.

Many people wonder, “how much does a game developer make,” and we can start by mentioning that it highly depends on the technology. For example, iOS developer salary is contrasting to the wage in C++ game development because they imply using diverse approaches, skills, and time frames. Also, the game developer salary is based on the programmer’s level of knowledge because a junior would receive much less money than a senior who has intensive experience in the mentioned area.

Moreover, there are groups of game dev specialization, which include professionals who occupy various positions. Long story short, programmers, web developers, mobile apps developers, and other specialists that are responsible for the technical part of the projects have the highest game dev salary. There is a list of programming languages that are applied in this or that case, so the more of them a specialist knows, the more chances he/she has to move up the career ladder faster. As for the best programming language for games, most experts consider C++ as the one because it runs with most game engines and has a highly optimized code.

To shed light on game developers’ salary, Qubit Labs has explored the most popular technologies in the area of game development, defined advantages and disadvantages, and grouped the results. So, let’s start with reviewing unity developer salary and gradually move on the list.

Unity game developer salaries

This is a cross-platform game engine with a components-oriented approach. It implies developing a game that will work on several platforms, like Android, iOS, Windows, and Linux. There is no need for the game programmer to worry about incompatibility because this approach offers an automatic alignment under the device. The primary Unity coding language is C# because it is an open-source platform, all the libraries of which are based on C#. Nevertheless, JavaScript is another Unity language used for scripts, which is called UnityScript and has a similar syntax. The third popular Unity language is Boo because it is simple and not overloaded with complex decisions. To have a clearer understanding of this platform, let’s go through its benefits and shortcomings.

Pros

  • Multiplatform
  • Simple in usage
  • Cost-efficient development
  • Short developmental period
  • Unified logic
  • Well-developed community and support

Cons

  • Relatively slow
  • The large size of the applications
  • Lack of “independence”
  • Limitations related to the absence of functions to manage the pre-installed parameters

As we already know about the specialities of this technology and are aware of its capacities, let’s review the average annual Unity game developer salary:

 

USA $50,923
Canada $49,456
Brazil $11,856
Argentina $9,060
UK $52,920
Germany $61,459
Sweden $43,325
Norway $39,484
Denmark $34,567
France $35,556
Spain $27,122
Poland $16,452
Ukraine $17,076
Singapore $24,312
India $6,631
Japan $49,982
Australia $53,035

Unity game developers in the US, Canada, and Germany receive over $49,000 per year, while engineers’ wages from Australia, UK, Japan, and Sweden range from $53,035 to $43,325. The lowest Unity developer salaries are in Brazil ($11,856), Argentina ($9,060), and India ($6,631).

Read more:

Average Unity Developer Salary in the US and World in 2020

iOS game developer salaries

Speaking of iOS developer salary, specialists working with this technology are among the most highly paid in mobile development. It comes to the fact that the targeted audience of the products is clients who have sufficient incomes and can afford to buy pricey devices and pay for the applications. The average iOS developer salary changes with each stage of career development, which usually includes five stages.

Game designer average salary should also be taken into account when discussing this topic because, although being a creative, not technical position, it is of high importance. The overall interface of an app affects the general perception of it by users. Now, why don’t we look at what to expect from iOS technology?

Pros

  • Single ecosystem
  • Strict guidelines
  • Intuitive management
  • The creativity of the developers is not limited
  • The usage of directories

Cons

  • Closed community
  • High competitiveness on the labor market
  • The high price of “entering” the technology

Thus, the average game developer salary received by iOS developer per annum in different countries is the following:

 

USA $109,907
Canada $90,125
Brazil $10,503
Argentina $9,358
UK $45,196
Germany $71,069
Sweden $62,605
Norway $56,000
Denmark $84,775
France $47,707
Spain $53,660
Poland $35,467
Ukraine $10,392
Singapore $51,899
India $6,776
Japan $57,448
Australia $64,433

iOS game developer salary starts from $6,776 in India and reaches approximately $109,907 in the US. The “middle number” is demonstrated by Sweden ($62,605), Norway ($56,000), and France ($47,707).

Android game developer salary

If you know how to code a game, you have great chances to become a highly-paid professional in the IT industry. As we have already mentioned, mobile game programming is evolving with lightning speed because more and more people prefer playing games on their smartphones rather than computers. It is about the mobility and flexibility provided by phones, which are essential in the modern world.

Android developer salary depends on the specialist’s knowledge of programming languages, communication, and testing skills. Although the iOS developers might seem to be more “expensive,” the Android developer salary is at a similar level. Moreover, Android developers have more freedom in choosing the company to work for and the projects. To make it more understandable, we have created lists of the technology’s strengths and weaknesses.

Pros

  • Low development and device costs
  • A single technology stack for all projects
  • Source availability
  • Well-written documentation
  • Active community

Cons

  • Multiple operating system versions
  • The need to use several screens in the development process
  • A large number of devices, on which the app has to be supported

The average annual Android developer salary:

USA $100,646
Canada $92,326
Brazil $15,717
Argentina $13,824
UK $47,118
Germany $71,590
Sweden $56,418
Norway $69,451
Denmark $81,328
France $61,136
Spain $46,277
Poland $31,349
Ukraine $10,584
Singapore $49,237
India $5,010
Japan $56,495
Australia $62,036

It’s not surprising that an Android developer in the US will receive the highest salary compared to other countries, namely $100,646. Android engineers from Canada ($92,326) and Denmark ($81,328) receive less money for their work, yet still are on top of the list. The lowest wages are in Ukraine ($10,584) and India ($5,010).

C# developer salary

С# programming language is exceptionally flexible, powerful, and versatile. Almost anything can be written with it, from small web applications to software systems that combine web structures and applications for desktop and mobile devices. All this became possible thanks to the convenient C-like syntax, strict structuring, and a huge number of frameworks and libraries, the number of which reaches several hundred.

You can easily code games with this programming language because a range of development opportunities has practically no limits. C# developer salary might be lower than in other technologies, but without it, the programmer won’t be able to deliver effective outcomes. In general, C# can be characterized by the following points:

Pros

  • Microsoft’s support
  • A medium threshold of entry
  • Functional programming
  • A big community of the developers
  • Scalability

Cons

  • A licensed version is quite costly for large companies
  • Mainly .NET oriented
  • The code is easily disassembled

The average annual C# developer salary:

USA $50,923
Canada $56,451
Brazil $7,461
Argentina $6,718
UK $36,883
Germany $41,198
Sweden $57,120
Norway $38,897
Denmark $33,959
France $55,241
Spain $25,983
Poland $23,892
Ukraine $25,000
Singapore $27,426
India $$4,879
Japan $46,324
Australia $44,264

A C# from Sweden will receive the highest average salary, approximately $57,120. Canadian ($56,451) and American ($50,923) developers are on the same page, while programmers from France ($55,241), Japan ($46,324), Australia ($44,264), Germany ($41,198), and Norway ($38,897) expect quite lower, yet still competitive wages. The lowest C# developer salary is in India, $4,879 annually.

C++ developer salary in game industry

The C ++ language has been used to create many modern operating systems, software, games, and game engines. Thanks to their flexibility, C++ games can be relatively easily ported from PC to console and vice versa. One of the most popular C ++ games is World of Warcraft. You can easily make a game in C++ because it has several popular libraries oriented at creating graphical interfaces.

Although programming games with this language might seem complicated, it is the basis of many other technologies and game engines. Moving to C++ developer salary, it is competitive compared to other mentioned technologies because, apart from the basic information, it requires knowing how to work with graphics, vectors, and objects. Let’s see the advantages and shortcomings of C++:

Pros

  • Good compatibility with C
  • High performance
  • Cross-platform
  • Multithreaded
  • Open-source
  • Functional programming

Cons

  • High threshold entry level
  • The complicated process of troubleshooting
  • Cumbersome syntax
  • Isn’t suitable for corporate apps

The average annual C++ developer salary:

USA $110,502
Canada $94,950
Brazil $10,728
Argentina $6,838
UK $36,003
Germany $57,598
Sweden $49,132
Norway $60,156
Denmark $61,711
France $43,830
Spain $51,541
Poland $18,937
Ukraine $38,000
Singapore $60,487
India $7,861
Japan $48,295
Australia $37,902

An American  C++ developer gets $110,502 per year, while Canadian, Dutch, Norwegian, and Singapore programmers receive from $94,950 to $60,487. Although France ($43,830),  Ukraine ($38,000), and Australia ($37,902) don’t offer that high wages, still local developers earn more than Indian ($7,861).

HTML5 developer salary in game development

HTML5 is native to the browser in which it runs and doesn’t need any additional plugins. To be exact, the HTML5 game runs directly in the browser, which excludes any “intermediaries” in the form of installed additional software. Also, there are no annoying pop-ups asking you to refresh the page or requiring you to install something. Operating in its native environment, the program becomes much more stable, requires fewer resources, and is less prone to making mistakes.

The benefits of the new technology have affected video game developer salary in a positive way and made more processes automatized. Some of the HTML5 games are even superior in quality to typical flash games, and all of them are developed without the help of any plugins. Before explaining the average game developer salary, we have highlighted some of the most significant merits and demerits of HTML5:

Pros

  • Simple development process
  • Clear code
  • The ability to use different elements like article and header
  • Optimized process of data exchange
  • The developers receive notifications about the issues while the website is working

Cons

  • The security is not as great as it used to be
  • HTML5 websites might be wrongly displayed at some browser platforms
  • Low performance of content that was created with the technology

The average annual HTML5 developer salary:

USA $50,923
Canada $63,040
Brazil $11,516
Argentina $7,658
UK $45,729
Germany $45,987
Sweden $54,972
Norway $37,994
Denmark $52,035
France $41,482
Spain $23,957
Poland $16,121
Ukraine $14,760
Singapore $26,257
India $6,458
Japan $47,534
Australia $49,138

The average Canadian salary for an HTML5 developer is $63,040, and in the US, a professional will receive $50,923, which is lower than in Sweden, where HTML5 game developers get $54,972. For other countries, salaries range from $6,458 (India) to $52,035 (Denmark).

JavaScript developer salary in game development

JavaScript programmer salary is among the most discussed topics in the IT industry. Although JavaScript can be quickly learned and applied in different cases, it doesn’t mean the JavaScript engineer salary will become lower because of that. Some people think that many games are based on C++, and that’s partly true. The thing is that numerous specialists from different areas take part in the project’s development, and it is common for some of them to use another language, like JavaScript, in this case.

Actually, game developer salary depends not only on the technology but on the ability to implement one’s skills and knowledge in a way to provide the most efficient results. Thus, JavaScript video game developer salary is shaped by numerous factors, but before you decide whether it’s the best technology for you, let’s go through its peculiarities:

Pros

  • Any modern browser can’t do without JavaScript
  • Fast rate of delivering results
  • Simple in development and launching
  • Versatile can be used with other languages and in several applications

Cons

  • Security issues
  • Differently interpreted by diverse browsers
  • Many competitors

The average annual JavaScript developer salary:

USA $86,325
Canada $59,993
Brazil $19,890
Argentina $9,742
UK $81,033
Germany $57,236
Sweden $52,080
Norway $58,128
Denmark $61,861
France $55,652
Spain $43,253
Poland $21,348
Ukraine $35,000
Singapore $44,995
India $7,368
Japan $29,460
Australia $61,236

A JavaScript game developer in the US can expect to be paid $86,325 per year. On the contrary, in Ukraine ($35,000), Poland ($21,348), Spain ($43,253), and Japan ($29,460) programmers receive lower salaries for the equal services.

To Wrap Up

In this article, we have reviewed annual game developer salaries based on the most popular technologies. One can conclude that Unity programming is the choice to make if you are just starting in game development because it’s a simple and popular engine with multiple tools that facilitate the development process. As you have seen above, the Unity developer salary is quite attractive because this technology offers numerous chances to receive a higher wage thanks to the several specializations. Speaking of C++ video game programming, it is crucial to learn this language because it is related to many other technologies. It is a basic programming language for all the server-side processes. C++ game programming is utilized by the largest games with the most complicated control processes.

Also, the JavaScript developer salary, like other wages, depends on the place of the developer’s residence. It is crucial to mention that equal developers with the same sets of skills and knowledge might demand different salaries because of their countries’ economic stability. Thus, it might be more cost-effective for you to choose to outsource to, for example, Ukraine, rather than maintain an in-house team. Moreover, the Android developer salary is not that different from the iOS one, so when deciding between these technologies, focus on your project’s goals rather than finances. Actually, Qubit Labs has comprehensive experience in hiring offshore developers and building dedicated teams. So, if you are interested in any of the technologies, you can contact us to receive a high-quality consultation.

Related Articles:

How to Hire a JavaScript Developer: Skills and Salary in US and Worldwide

What Does a Software Developer Do Besides Writing Code?

Average Software Developer Salaries: Rates Comparison by Country

Software Development Trends: Expert View on Web & Mobile, Cybersecurity, and FinTech

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