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Developer Satisfaction Survey: Summary Report [2021]

18 Oct 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 the results and findings of the seventh DSS, conducted in the first quarter of 2021. One consistent theme across this DSS is the increased desire for diversity and representation. We saw the highest numbers ever for respondents who felt that diversity was important, yet 74% said there is not equal treatment and opportunity for everyone within our industry.

With 30% of respondents identifying as women and more ethnic diversity than we have seen on any other DSS, we must implement policies across our industry to support this talent. Only 38% of respondents said that their company had formal complaint procedure for EDI issues, and lack of such policies only hurts our industry and those within it.

While the game industry has overall done well during the COVID-19 pandemic, we saw nearly double the number of developers reporting they had crunched recently. This sudden loss of progress compared to the past trend of crunch decreasing year over year is likely caused by inefficiencies and delays caused by work from home and mental health challenges caused by the pandemic. Just as DEI policies are necessary to protect our talent, so are anti-crunch policies, particularly when we are seeing record profits.

We must come together to improve our industry and ensure it is supportive of the wonderful creatives who fuel it. However, change from the top is necessary to implement many of these improvements.

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.

This is our call to action to push forward initiatives and changes to create a better industry for game developers around the world. Together, we can create a welcoming and supportive environment in which game developers will be able to thrive in both their careers and their lives.
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 2023, please reach out to us at staff@igda.org.

Renee Gittins, Executive Director, IGDA

Read/Download WhitepaperIGDA DSS 2021: Summary Report(PDF)

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