Official Thimbleweed Park Forums

How much game development and before


:reyes: I got the wrong job. Where do I have to sign to earn that? (If I’m lucky I’m earning $35K/year …)


:delores: “First you have to be someone.”

:ransome: “Ugh… beeping nerds with their beeping puns!”


In CA this is not that much though. You can go hardcore and start with some college courses or just online tutorials and a lot of reading.


From your link

“European programmers made $47,312, compared
to $43,914 in the prior year.”

Seems there’s quite a big difference between here and the US (and it’s pretty much the same in other software engineering fields, as far as I can tell). Of course, you’d also have to take cost of living and social security into account, which may even out things a bit.

Still good to see that at least some people somewhere in the games industry get paid decently. But in my corner of the world, I’m better off writing boring software for industrial manufacturing and machinery :construction_worker:.


And in the US you´re pretty much on your own as far as healthcare goes (especially when you´re selfemployed). I´ve actually seen people doing online fundraisers for basic dental jobs. It´s insane.


I went to a university and have a master degree. I speak also fluent C/C++, I am familiar with engine code and AI programming. So where can I get that money?


Where do you live? Those salaries are for US locations I assume, where cost of living is fairly high on average.
Enterprise software engineers in the Bay Area make between 150K (average engineers) and 400K (top engineers at Google, FB, Amazon, etc).


There are few gaming hub locations in the US. San Francisco/Bay Area, Austin, Seattle, San Diego, Santa Monica/Los Angeles.




Sorry, I just felt of my chair. 400K? Per year?

But I can’t imagine that game companies are paying 150K?!? All game developers I know are happy if they get 30K …


Yes, being self employed in the US is pretty tough. If you’re employed by a large employer, health care is (mostly) taken care of.


You could try Cloud Imperium games, then. They have offices in Germany (and in London). Also CD Projekt Red (Witcher 3) is in Europe.

Enterprise software engineers receive a lot of stocks, and if you are a rock star (working for a top company) is not unheard to make 200/250K base salary and another 150K (at least) in stock (called RSU - Restriced Stock Units).

I am no expert in gaming company salaries, but I guess it all depends on how the expectations are for a certain game.


Yes, but I would like to emphasize what Stefano said: this is not the average salary of a software engineer in Silicon Valley / Bay Area but the salary of a top engineer in big companies.

The national (US) average salary for a software engineer is about 100K (probably a little less) and the average/median salary greatly changes depending on the specific city. In cities where life is more expensive and house/rent prices have skyrocketed, salaries tend to be higher, of course.


I’m working as a freelancer and I can say that at least in germany you have to care yourself about the whole insurance stuff. But if you’re employed you don’t have to worry about health care, that’s true. :slight_smile:

Yes, but I don’t think that they will pay the 150K here in germany. Do you have a source for the payments of these companies?

I know that a lot of game developers are working (at least here in germany) for a minimum income (below 30K). And they are doing a lot of extra hours for free (the company just don’t pay the extra hours).


Did you try Glassdoor? It’s an app where you can search companies and salaries


Well the salaries are higher in big german cities too. But 100K is high. That’s round about three times of my income (and I’m a freelancer, so I get a little bit more then employees).


Cool, thanks! I will try that tomorrow (It’s after midnight in germany. ;))


That’s why I moved over here (Bay Area) from Italy in 2008. My current salary is 7x of my last salary in Italy, after 6 years experience in software consulting…


Yeah, software consulting is a very different branch compared to developing games. I work as employee in a company who makes financial software, salary is 30K, all paid (in Italy you pay most of the taxes each month, subtracting them from the gross salary). I don’t complain, I’m working in the same company since the year MI2 came out, and I’m happy for the location, co-workers and the boss himself.
Friends who worked for software consulting in Milan, changed employer every 4/5 years, hoping for a better salary, but AFAIK they can’t find a satisfactory company.


He, he. Ron should produce new games in Europe - that seems to be cheaper. :wink:

But I don’t really get why big companies like EA won’t produce the games in Europe. They would have lower costs…


But they do:

I guess one thing that we’re lacking here are big, pure software companies. SAP is the only big that comes to mind. The rest is either small, or software is just a (small) part of the product, and not valued as high as it should be, given that most things turn into doorstoppers without software.