Salaries in the game industry are growing rapidly

26.1.2022 Written by GMoF

At the turn of the year, Game Makers of Finland carried out an annual salary survey. Nearly 200 workers in the industry responded to the survey, and the results were shocking. At its best, wages in the game industry have risen by hundreds of euros a month.

Wage levels and developments in the industry have been monitored by the union for four years now. While the Finnish game industry has consolidated its turnover to more than 2 billion, salaries and the bonus system have also developed. The number of companies is steadily around 200, but the number of employees has increased and is forecasted to continue to grow. According to the salary survey, salaries have risen, especially for those who have gained experience working specifically in the game industry.

The average salary among all respondents was 4,100 euros and the median was exactly 4,000 euros, and both exceeded the limit of four thousand euros for the first time. The pay gap between women and men is significant, which is partly explained by the fact that a larger proportion of male respondents work in lead or senior-level positions or in higher paid tasks as in programming. The average salary for women was only € 3,612 and for men € 4,402. The positions also differ between the sexes, there are more women in administrative positions, where the level of salaries is also lower in other sectors. In addition, there are significantly more women in graphic relates positions, such as artists with more employees in a lower position or task group.

“Comparing the background data of the respondents, the monthly salary difference of almost one thousand euros is still a significant concern. Fortunately, comparing the results of previous surveys, women's salaries have also risen, but we will pay special attention to reducing gender pay equality this year,” says Sami Vuolanne, Chairman of Game Makers of Finland.

Changing between jobs or leaving the whole industry in mind

The sizes of companies in the game industry vary widely and the study also looked at how responses vary according to the number of staff. Companies were divided into three different categories: small companies with less than 50 employees, medium-sized companies with 50-150 employees and large companies with more than 150 employees. The median salary was € 3,400 for small companies, € 4,200 for medium-sized companies and € 3,785 for large companies.

A comparison between company sizes also showed that in medium-sized companies 76 % of respondents had received a pay rise in the last 12 months, compared to an overall average of 69 %. The location of the company was also of great importance, in the Helsinki metropolitan area the monthly salary was about € 1,000 higher than outside the area.

42 % of the respondents had received an incentive pay or a similar performance related bonus. The size of the bonus corresponded to an average of 29 % of the annual salary. Bonuses were distributed especially in large companies, where 62 % reported receiving an incentive pay. Correspondingly, in small and medium-sized companies the figure was just over 20 %.

72 % of respondents in large companies felt that the company´s situation was stable in the near future, compared with the number of 49 % in companies with less than 50 employees. Medium company situation was in between as 59 %. 17 % of respondents anticipate possible layoffs and in small companies, in medium-sized 18 % and only 2 % in large ones.

The survey asked for the first time employees' feelings of working in the industry, with 9 % of respondents saying they consider working in the game industry altogether. Still, more than half of respondents felt they want to continue to work in the same company and job. Small companies were the most satisfied, with only 6 % considering switching to other industry, compared to 14 % in large companies.

“The results of the survey provide an interesting overview of the industry. Wages and pay gaps, company stability, remuneration, working hours, benefits and factors related to mental well-being and resilience will play a significant role now and in the future. So now is the time to start paying attention to these factors so that we can ensure the future of a successful and world-class Finnish game industry,” emphasizes Milla Pennanen, Executive Director of Game Makers of Finland.

The material can be found here.

Milla Pennanen                                                                           
Executive Director                                                                       
+358 50 302 8179                                                                                                                                          

Sami Vuolanne
+358 40 582 6463