Developers are sharing their salaries on Twitter under the hashtag #GameDevPaidMe to encourage pay transparency in their industry.
The big picture: The hashtag started circulating last year, but has returned periodically as developers fight for better working conditions. Salary sharing is a way to equalize the field. By removing the secrecy, as well as the stigma, around discussing pay, workers have more power to advocate for themselves when negotiating salaries and raises.
- In 2020, Blizzard employees shared their salaries anonymously via a spreadsheet to compare compensation.
- The pay gap between people at the top, and workers on the ground is measurable in hundreds of thousands of dollars — even when those CEOs take pay cuts.
What they're saying:
Developers don't have many tools in their box to affect change, but unionization efforts are on the rise.
- Grassroots organization Game Workers Unite is working to help developers unionize; one of the group’s main organizers helped stage a walkout at Riot in 2019.
- One of the largest U.S. unions, CWA, launched a campaign in 2020 to help unionize workers in the video game industry.
- Paradox Interactive's Swedish employees signed a collective bargaining agreement in 2020.
The bottom line: Pay standards fluctuate wildly depending on factors like location, studio size, and employee bonuses.