We’re a team of academics studying the working conditions of the videogame industry, focused on work/life balance, equity, compensation & representation. We’re gathering conversations and data to track these issues over time. It’s important to move this discussion beyond personal stories, disconnected from each other.
In 2009, the International Game Developer’s Association launched their Quality of Life survey, five years after the original 2004 survey. We’ve worked alongside volunteers from the industry to help release this valuable data. In addition, we have prepared a complete report with analysis and interpretation to build on the data released by the IGDA Quality of Life SIG.
Highlights of the 2009 report
Basic Demographic Breakdown
- 86% male, 82% white
- Average age of 31 is lower than the median working population in industrialized countries (i.e., Canada = 39.9; US = 42.1)
- 23% have children
- 53.8% of current employees work at a studio with 100+ employees
- 36% work for publishers/publisher-owned companies; 28% work for independent studios
Identified Challenges for the Industry
- Experience levels remain low and turnover remains high.
- Crunch remains a reality for many developers
- Uncompensated overtime is common and a source of dissatisfaction.
Factors driving positive quality of work
- A sense of pride in the games made
- A sense that the work was fun
- A sense of creative freedom and the room to make mistakes
- A sense of mastery over assigned tasks, that the quality of work mattered, and that the work was appreciated and recognized