FAQ

About the IGDA

Q: Who runs the IGDA?
A: The IGDA is governed by its members, who elect the board of directors to represent the interests of the membership. The board has control over key aspects of the IGDA, and matters decided by the board include budgets, new committees, member programs, and other matters. The board hires the executive director, who is responsible for the daily operation of the organization and execution of the organizational goals as defined by the board, including hiring staff.

Q: What is the legal status of the IGDA?
A: The IGDA is an independent, nonprofit membership association and is recognized as a 501(c)(6) tax-exempt organization by the US Internal Revenue Service and as a mutual benefit nonprofit association under California state law.

Q: Is the IGDA a union or guild?
A: No. The IGDA is an independent nonprofit professional association. As a 501(c)(6) nonprofit, the IGDA cannot become a guild or a union.

Q: Is the IGDA a trade association?
A: No. The IGDA is an independent nonprofit professional association focused on individual game developers. Trade associations like the ESA, BIU, etc. are focused on supporting game companies.

Q: Does the IGDA own or run the Game Developers Conference (GDC)?
A: No. While the earliest form of the conference was created by the Computer Game Developers Association (now the IGDA), the GDC is wholly owned and operated by UBM Tech Web. The IGDA maintains a strategic partnership with UBM in regards to activities at the GDC, but does not have any direct control or authority over the conference.

Q: Does the IGDA own or run its own events?
A: Yes! The IGDA runs the IGDA Leadership Summit that highlights issues around elevating leadership and management practices in the game industry at all levels and in all forms.

Q: Does the IGDA compete with other developer-oriented organizations?
A: No. The IGDA works to advance the careers and enhance the lives of game developers worldwide. While we are the only global association for game developers, we have active partnerships with many regional/local developer organizations around the world. Some of them have even become the IGDA chapter for their locale, as they desire to be better connected to the global developer community. We welcome existing developer-focused organizations to partner with us on improving the industry for everyone.

Q: Does the IGDA organization include gamers and consumers?
A: While the IGDA wholeheartedly appreciates anyone who plays video games and/or supports the work of game creators, our organization was created to focus solely on those individuals who create video games.

Q: How many members are in the IGDA?
A: As of 1 March 2019, the global paid membership of the IGDA was over 10,000 individuals.

Q: How can I contact someone from the IGDA?
A: Visit the Contact page for details.

Q: I would like to do a media interview with the executive director and/or someone from the IGDA. How can I arrange this?
A: Please email press [at] igda [dot] org.

Membership and Benefits

Q: What are the benefits of membership?

A: The main benefit of membership is the opportunity to develop your career and personally contribute to the betterment of the game development industry by supporting the IGDA’s mission. The tangible benefits include discounts and special offers on industry events, books, products, and services. Be sure to explore the list of member discounts. Members also receive a digital membership card, which can be used as verification for industry affiliation.

Q: Is there a minimum age for membership?

A:  Membership is open to anyone of any age who is interested in game development. However, many benefits of membership are age restricted. Industry events often restrict access to minors, so member discounts for these events will not apply. IGDA chapters may also hold events in venues with age restrictions.

Q: I have a great idea for a new member benefit. What should I do?

A: Please use the Contact form to submit your recommendation. We welcome suggestions and are always working to arrange new benefits for our membership.

Q: I signed up to be an IGDA member, but I haven’t received my membership card—where is it?

A: Physical membership cards are no longer available. A digital membership card can be printed out at any time from your member profile by following these steps:

  • Log into your account[Login].
  • From your Profile, go to Payments & History on the left side tabs.
  • On the Payments & History window, select the Membership tab.
  • On the Membership tab, you will see the option to View/Print My Membership Card

Q: Does the IGDA help developers who are seeking employment in the United States?

A:  The IGDA is recognized by the US Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) as the sole peer organization for game developers. As a member benefit, we can provide members with an advisory letter for O-1 and H1-B visas for employment in the United States. Once you have an offer of employment from a US company, the company’s immigration lawyers will typically contact the IGDA to begin this process.

IGDA Community

Q: How can I get involved in the IGDA?

A:  There are many ways you can get involved with the organization. First and foremost, you can join and take advantage of our member benefits. If you’d like to help as a volunteer, visit our Chapters section to discover chapters in your area, or visit the Special Interest Groups section to locate and get involved with SIGs in your field. Also, IGDA HQ often has tasks that require volunteer support. Watch IGDA.org to find out about potential opportunities.

In addition, the IGDA Foundation often seeks volunteer mentors, chaperones, and donors for the IGDA Scholars program.

Q: How can I get in touch with the organizers of my local chapter or a SIG?

A: Visit the appropriate IGDA community page (Chapters, Special Interest Groups) and locate the contact information for the chapter or SIG. If no information is available, please use the Contact form to request information.

Q: Who can attend IGDA chapter meetings?

A: Anyone interested in game development is welcome to attend an IGDA chapter meeting. Membership is encouraged but not required. Note that some chapters may hold events in venues with age restrictions, and some chapters may host occasional meetings for members only or may charge a nominal fee for nonmembers. Please contact your chapter for details.

Q: What’s the difference between a student chapter and a professional chapter?

A: Student chapters serve students and faculty at a specific school, college, or university. Professional chapters serve all individuals—from student to professional, indie to AAA— interested in game development in a specific geographical region.

Q: What is a special interest group (SIG) and what does it do?

A:  An IGDA special interest group (SIG) is a group that is focused on a particular discipline within the game industry or on a particular identity or affinity. While chapters are the main focus in specific locales, the SIGs are the main focus across jobs and identities. Our discipline-focused SIGs include production, writing, localization, QA, and more. Our affinity-focused SIGs include Women in Games, LGBTQ+, Blacks in Gaming, Jewish Game Developers, and more.

Q: How do I start a chapter or SIG?

A: Visit the Start a Chapter or SIG page for information on starting a professional or academic chapter or a SIG.

Q: How do I provide feedback regarding my local chapter or a special interest group?

A: Feedback regarding your local chapter or a SIG should be directed to the leadership of that chapter or SIG or to IGDA HQ. Contact chapters [at] igda [dot] org for chapter feedback or sigs [at] igda [dot] org for SIGs. If you wish to submit feedback anonymously, please use the Contact form.

General Industry Information

Q: Where can I find information about the IGDA developer satisfaction survey?

A: Please visit the Developer Satisfaction Survey page for more information about this research and to access all the published reports.

Q: I’m looking for statistics on the game industry. Does the IGDA have any statistics to share?

Q: How much can you earn in the game industry? What is the average salary of people making games?

A: Beyond the information collected in our Developer Satisfaction Survey, check out the 2014 Gamasutra Salary Survey for a comprehensive breakdown by job type.

Q: Where can I read about game industry news?

A: Some of the major industry news outlets include the following:

Q: What are the main annual industry events? Is there an events calendar?

A: We partner with many major events that can be found in our events calendar. In addition, these sites also list many industry events:

Q: Where can I find a listing of game companies?

A:Unfortunately, no one source has a comprehensive listing of game companies worldwide. The gamedevmap database is one good place to start.

If you’re looking for companies in a specific region, you’re likely to have success by contacting the local industry trade association, such as the ESA in the US, TIGA and Ukie in the UK, or game – the German Games Industry Association in Germany.

Getting Started in the Industry

Q: Is the IGDA hiring? Can I get a job with the IGDA?

A: The IGDA isn’t a game development company, and while we maintain a small operational staff, we rarely have job openings. We do not have any openings at this time.

You may wish to see if there is an IGDA chapter in your area in order to get involved in your local developer community. You may find opportunities in your own backyard!

Q: I’m really interested in working in the game industry. How do I get started?

A: There are many paths into the game industry—it depends a lot on where you are, what you want to do, and your ability to network effectively.

Instead of relying on any one resource for guidance, the IGDA suggests researching widely. Here are some places to start:

The best advice we can give you for starters is to a) figure out what area of game development interests you the most, b) research the skills required to achieve that type of job, and c) take every possible opportunity to work on games, even creating them yourself.

Miscellaneous

Q: I have a great idea for a game! Can the IGDA help me find investors and/or other people to help me create it?

A: As a nonprofit professional association, the IGDA is not positioned to act as a source of funding for your idea, and our staff do not have the time to act as a business-to-business connector. We strongly encourage you to get involved in the IGDA community, and through that interaction, you may find the help you’re seeking.

Q: Can the IGDA fund my idea/project/event?

A: As a nonprofit professional association, the IGDA is not positioned to act as a source of funding for your idea/project/event. If you are crowdfunding your game or project on Kickstarter, approved projects can be added to our branded IGDA page. This opportunity is a free member benefit for projects created by IGDA members.

Q: Can the IGDA market my game?

A: As a nonprofit professional association, the IGDA is not positioned to act as a marketing agent or social media manager for your project/event. Consider connecting with the IGDA Marketing special interest group to see if someone may be available to help you with marketing.

The IGDA does have a handful of opportunities to highlight a game and/or company:

  • IGDA members can submit their upcoming projects to the IGDA Game Showcase and have it featured within the Insider newsletter.
  • IGDA Studio Affiliates can publish promotional copy in the IGDA’s weekly email newsletter for FREE.
  • Ad space in the IGDA’s weekly email newsletter is available for purchase.
  • Dedicated email blasts can be purchased for delivery to IGDA members who have opted to receive them.

Q: I’m being harassed in a game I’m playing online. Can the IGDA help me?

A: As a nonprofit professional association, the IGDA is not positioned to act as an arbitrator, legal agent, or policy enforcement body for consumer-facing games run by private companies. If you are being harassed, we recommend you first contact the company and address the issue with them directly. We also suggest reviewing the IGDA’s Online Harassment Resource for additional options you may wish to pursue to resolve your situation.