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Press Release: IGDA Developer Satisfaction Survey results are released

24 Jun 2014

Women Now 22% of Game Industry Workforce; Developers Generally Love Working in Games –
But Crunch Time, Long Hours Still Exist: IGDA Survey

The percentage of women in the game development workforce has nearly doubled since 2009; workers change jobs frequently, but most love their jobs and are in a career that is their passion — but crunch time and the desire to have more work/life balance still exists, according to a survey of more than 2,200 developers in the industry by the International Game Developers Association (IGDA). Here are some of the key findings:


  • Men still dominate the industry: 76% of respondents identified as male; 22% identified as female. The other 2% listed themselves as male-to-female transgender, male-to female transgender or “other.” This represents a significant change from 2009, when women made up 11.5% of the industry. (The prior IGDA survey tracked only male and female gender identification)
  • Nearly 50% of all members of the developer work force earn less than $50,000 annually; 33% earn between $50,000 and $100,000 and 19% earn $100,000 or more.

Employment Experience

  • The average survey respondent has worked in the game industry for nine years; has worked on 16 distinct projects and had an average of four employers in the last five years.
  • The primary reason for working in the industry is “to earn a living doing what I enjoy” (41%) and 61% plan to work indefinitely in the field. That said, the top reason for wanting to leave the industry is “I want a better quality of life.” (39%)

Work/Life Issues

  • Similar to the findings in the 2009 survey, respondents say they feel they need to work more hours than are specifically required or expected. 54% responded either “disagree”or “strongly disagree” to the notion that crunch is a necessary part of game development.
  • While crunch exists, 38% of respondents indicated that they receive no compensation for that extra time.

IGDA’s 2014 Developer Satisfaction Survey is the evolution of the association’s previous Quality of Life and Diversity surveys, aimed at better understanding the game industry from the perspective of the individual developer. The IGDA survey was a joint project with its research partners, M2 Research and the University of Western Ontario, which oversaw, the organization’s Quality of Life surveys in 2004 (PDF) and 2009 (PDF).

The IGDA plans to use the results to better understand its members’ priorities and the most critical issues affecting their overall satisfaction, and in turn use that information to help prioritize the association’s advocacy efforts and initiatives, according to Kate Edwards, executive director.

The IGDA will be releasing the Summary Report of its Developer Satisfaction Survey in July and following up in subsequent months with more in-depth, thematic reports on developer response to topics like Diversity, Quality of Life and Employment Practices.

About the IGDA

In its 20th year, the International Game Developers Association is the largest non-profit membership organization serving individuals who create video games. The association exists to advance the careers and enhance the lives of game developers by connecting members with their peers, promoting professional development, and advocating on issues that affect the developer community. For more information, visit http://www.igda.org.

Press contact:

Robert Brown
The Bohle Company for the IGDA
(424) 248-0512 work
(707) 332-2380 cell

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