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Salaries, Satisfaction and AI use across Europe In The Big Games Industry Employment Survey

Median salaries across professions reveal today’s most lucrative gaming roles

Games industry recruitment expert Values Value and career opportunities platform InGame Job have partnered up again this year to release the seventh edition of the Big Games Industry Employment Survey.

The annual survey began in 2017 with 836 participants, and 2023’s is nearly double that size with 1,610 respondents having participated across 78 countries.

Advancing careers

For junior-level specialists, the median game designer salary was €24,758 in the EU, UK and Switzerland, but only €7,740 in the rest of Europe. This placed game designers ahead of junior artists and programmers in the former group but behind both in the latter. Junior programmers marginally beat out the artists in all European territories.

As for mid-level specialists, programmers from all regions made more than game designers, who made more than artists. The field of analytics proved the most lucrative across Europe with a €36,900 median salary in the EU, UK and Switzerland, and €29,000 in the rest of Europe. Again judging by median salary, the lowest-paid mid-level department in the EU, UK and Switzerland was quality assurance and testing at €16,080. In the rest of Europe this was HR instead, at €15,000.

At the senior level, naturally the top jobs were in management and C-level roles with a median salary of €84,000 in the EU, UK and Switzerland and €66,000 in the rest of Europe. Game designers and artists are making almost exactly the same as one another with €50,400 and €50,081 EU medians respectively. Programmers have raced ahead at this level to €60,528.

The modern landscape

Looking at contemporary working models, the survey also investigated in-office versus remote working and the growing use of AI. Employees in non-EU countries were more likely to work remotely this year, while many employees in the EU have worked under a hybrid model and been in the office nearly twice as often.

Around one-third of respondents value the contribution AI makes to their work, with less than a fifth reporting that they didn’t find it helpful.

Marketing and publishing companies were among those using AI the most this year, with a thorough breakdown by sector and profession in the full report (see main pic).

Values Value head of communications Katya Sabirova said, “It appears that salary isn’t the prevailing driving force in today’s landscape. In the contemporary context, employees find their motivation through captivating, enduring projects with extended developmental trajectories. Amid the array of perks and incentives companies put forth, benefits like medical insurance, profit-sharing disbursements, project-specific bonuses, interest-free loans, and tuition reimbursements hold substantial value.”

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