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2021 Developer Satisfaction Survey COVID-19 Report

31 Jul 2021

The mission of the International Game Developers Association (IGDA) is to support and empower game developers around the world in their pursuit of fulfilling and sustainable careers. Part of the core set of tools that the IGDA uses to achieve this mission and to empower game developers is knowledge and information. The Developer Satisfaction Survey (DSS) conducted in partnership with Western University is a valuable source of information about the well-being and opinions of developers and of the game industry as a whole.

This report contains a portion of the findings of the seventh DSS, conducted in the first quarter of 2021. It focuses on the impact of the COVID-19 global pandemic on game workers.

While the game industry was less affected on average than other industries, about half of game developers experienced a negative impact to their work and half experienced a project delay due to COVID-19.

Most notably, these negative impacts were strongly corelated to the demographic characteristics of the respondents. For instance, women were more likely to report an impact compared to men and women were more likely to consider the impact as large. While the game industry was generally less impacted with job loss (11% compared to the 30% loss in creative occupations in the US), 72% of freelancers found their ability to acquire future work negatively impacted, significantly more than any other type of developer.

These categories of developers more affected by disruption in our industry show that the burden of negative impacts is not equally shared. We must better support all within our industry so that we may withstand these storms and stand stronger together.

All are welcome and encouraged to share this report and these findings with others to encourage change and long-term solutions that will improve our industry and its accessibility for all developers.

If you would like to assist with translating this report into other languages or helping us reach a wider audience for our next survey in the first quarter of 2023, please reach out to us at staff@igda.org.

Renee Gittins, Executive Director, IGDA

Read/Download Whitepaper: IGDA DSS 2021 COVID Report

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