The Dundee Game Workers Salary Survey, an online survey of Dundee-based game developers carried out by the IWGB (Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain), was published this week. The full report, which collates and examines data on pay, experience, gender, and more, reveals some uncomfortable truths about the reality of working in games in what is generally considered Scotland’s capital city for the industry.
Our Survey Says…
The survey was conducted by the IWGB, and led by Phil Smy, Andy Nesbitt, Cailin Brown, and Robin Lawrence, four developers and games union organisers. While the survey had an initial target of 50 respondents, the team managed to reach a total of 110, between the 29th of May and the 10th of July this year.
One of the biggest revelations from the survey was, naturally, the average pay for game developers in Dundee. This came in at £28,000, £2,250 under the average game worker salary in Scotland, and £10,000 under the average game worker salary in the UK. Given the pedigree of studios based in the city, this low figure is disappointing to say the least.
The survey also exposed the sadly unsurprising gender inequalities that still exist within Dundee game studios, in terms of both pay and representation. On average, a woman working in games in Dundee earns 91p for every £1 a man earns: a 9% gender pay gap. In addition, there’s a disproportionate amount of men in senior and above roles at Dundee game studios when compared to women, which only increases as you move up the ladder to lead and director roles.
While these two were the unfortunate headlines, the survey also covered a range of other topics, including the balance of work from home/in person employees in the city, pay rises, and the distribution of industry experience across salary ranges. It’s an invaluable resource for union members to use in negotiations for better pay and conditions going forward, and an excellent example of the kind of transparency necessary if games as a career is to be a sustainable option in the future. You can view the full survey here.