UK games industry salaries outpace national average

New survey shows promising wage growth, with programming jobs leading the pack

The rise in salaries in the UK games industry has outpaced the national average for the first time in five years.

According to data collected by TIGA and Aon Hewitt for the 2013/14 Games Software Developers' Salary survey, the average wage in the British industry rose by 3.4 per cent - ahead of the 3.1 per cent national average.

Programming saw the biggest year-on-year increase with 4.2 per cent, followed by Quality Assurance with 3.5 per cent. The lowest rise was for design jobs: 2.8 per cent, versus the 3.5 per cent rise the field enjoyed the previous year.

TIGA also highlighted the proportional benefits to targeting the regional clusters of game companies outside of London. In the West Midlands and Birmingham, for example, games industry employees are paid around 21 per cent more than the local average. Other potentially lucrative locations are South East England and Brighton (17 per cent higher) and North West England and Liverpool (11 per cent higher).

"This is a great time to be in the UK video game industry," said TIGA CEO Richard Wilson. "Salaries in the games industry are now rising faster than the national average. Job opportunities in the games industry are set to grow and investment in the sector is set to increase.

"TIGA research suggests that at least 4,660 highly skilled jobs will be generated and 188 million in investment will be triggered over the next five years thanks to the introduction of Games Tax Relief."

The survey data was collected from 10 organisations representing 1298 incumbents, with a further 348 incumbents matched to business support functions. The data is correct as of October 2013.

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Latest comments (4)

It would be interesting to know the gender split of the workforce surveyed. This data has been published in all previous surveys. Last year it was reported " 9% of the survey workforce is female, the same as 2011 and up on 2010 and 2009." I wonder why this October 2013 figure has not yet been made public?

Edited 1 times. Last edit by David Smith on 2nd May 2014 4:41pm

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Patrick Frost QA Project Monitor 3 years ago
I'd also be interested to know how much information about the zero hours employment in the industry has been delved into. Minimum wage + horrendous job security + inner city living = nightmare.
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Lawrence Makin Audio 3 years ago
Sadly, the title of this article is incredibly misleading. It should read "UK games industry salary increases outpace national average". Our salaries in general are significantly lower than the national average of 26,500 (

Okay, so the salaries are rising faster than the current national average rate of rise. So what? Our salaries are still almost criminally low for the amount of unpaid overtime hours expected to be put in.

I've spoken to many counterparts in the US over the last couple of years, and like-for-like, taking living costs into account, they're approaching double what's offered in the UK with the exception of QA which is more or less at parity.

No, Mr Wilson of TIGA, this isn't a great time to be in games in the UK. It's a small step in the right direction, but there's a very long way to go.

Here's hoping that the tax breaks (provided you can make a culturally-relevant game of course) coupled with the improving economic outlook will change things, but it's hard to imagine the endemic games industry business culture in the UK will be quick to adapt.
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Adam Campbell Game Production Manager, Azoomee3 years ago
Still, many know there's a way to go before salaries in the video games industry match those in the wider technology industry, or the national average comparison for that matter.
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