New Survey Paints Sad Picture for Australian Games Industry
Data published by Game Workers Unite Australia has portrays a worrisome tale for those aspiring to find their way in the local gaming industry and/or maintaining their role in the industry, with 35% of game developers earning less than the minimum (qualified) game developer wage. The newly released information painted a sorry story for those working in the business, in terms of salary, job security and much more.
The takeaways from the data are numerous:
- When asked to rank their concerns with the local industry, 82% first spoke of income, followed by job security at 77%
- 30% of game developers have managed to secure full-time, permanent, salaried employment. The remaining 70% are made up of contractors, part-timers and freelancers
- As stated earlier, 35% of game developers are earning less than the minimum wage of $49,998 per annum
- 20% of game developers surveyed said that they had no concerns about the stability of their work. A further 43% admitted to having long-term concerns, while the remaining 37% were had more immediate worries.
- 70% of developers had been in the industry for 5+ years, only a small subset of that group then make it 10+ indicating either burnout or a product of the conditions outlined above.
The report provided by Game Workers Unite seeks to drive one message home, unionisation. The report speaks of how “the industry continues to survive on a myth of being a “dream job” that requires “passion and commitment”, while offering many people less than minimum wage and burning them out after only a few short years.”
The report continues, “The time has come for Australia’s game developers to start pushing back. Whether you’ve managed to land direct employment, or whether you’re contracting from month to month and trying to make ends meet, you need transparency and job security if you’re going to make your life better. The only way to do that is to stand together and unionise.”
The topic of Unionisation in the games industry has been one that has grown in its scope over the last few years, especially throughout North America. With more stories of profile studio closures each month and data such as what has been collected by Game Workers Unite emerging, it’s hard to see the conversation slipping off the radar anytime soon.
For more information be sure to visit the Game Workers Unite Australia webpage
Born and bred on the Super Nintendo era, Paul relishes any opportunity to sink his teeth into an RPG, action or platformer. Despite being an owner of all major platforms, Paul does have a particular love of the Playstation family of consoles – take only a few minutes to skim through his Twitter and you’ll see him ranting about the next big thing on PS4. We swear he’s sane.