How much do video game designers earn?


The video game industry is a robust and growing field. In this article I have compiled a variety of statistics from different sources about how much video game designers earn. This information is of course unofficial and any kind of statistic like this can vary widely from region to region. And, the title "Video Game Designer" can mean a lot of differert things. But this information should give you a sense of the profession and what you can expect.



This information is taken from the Michigan State official government site here:


Earnings of Game Designers varies with the employer and the geographic location of the company. For instance, salaries in California tend to be much higher than salaries in Florida. California has many opportunities for Game Designers because of the large number of game development software firms located in this area. Smaller companies tend to pay less than larger firms. Earnings also vary with experience, ability and education. For example, Game Designers frequently are hired for their expertise in developing a project from start to finish.

The Game Developers Magazine in conjunction with the 2009 Game Developers Conference produced its 8th  annual salary survey.  Game Designers had average annual earnings as follows:

Job Title

Salary Range

Game Designer

$44,056 - $69,817

Creative Directors/Lead Designer

$66,711 - $99,198

On this page is a great article about a variety of professions within the video game industry and shows some median salaries 2008 Game Developer Salary Survey Reveals $79,000 Average Income from Here are some highlights:

  • Programming: average annual salary of $85,024. Experience pays in this role, as those with greater than six years of experience earned 26% more than the average annual salary.

  • Art & Animation: artists - averaging a $69,532 salary,

  • Game Design: averaging $67,379, West Coast designers make on average $8,283 or 12% more than the rest of the game designers in the country.


The Bureau of Labor and Statistics - If you want to further research jobs in the US you should take a look through the BLS. It is the official government site for employment in the US and there is a lot of very useful information including a terrific pdf on Jobs in Video Game Development.


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