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2024 Guide to Game Developer Salary

2024 Guide to Game Developer Salary

The gaming industry has advanced beyond any other online industry in the world. This is due to technological advancement and an ever-expanding player base. Moreover, developing games is no easy task as it requires extensive hard work and budget. For this reason, the average game developer’s salary is relatively high compared to other programming jobs. In this article, we’ll describe how much a game developer salary is based on the top USA cities where you can start your career.   

What Does a Game Developer Do?

Being a game developer, it is a difficult task to create, develop, and test new games. That is why video game developers’ salaries exceed any other developer’s salaries in the industry. Therefore, let’s understand more about what video game developers do:

  • Coding and Programming: One of the most prominent roles of a game developer is programming the game mechanics and logic. Other than that, they code using C++, Java, or scripting languages to code gaming visuals.
  • Collaborate with Producers: To bring a game to life, game developers work with various producers, artists, designers, and more. Additionally, they ensure the overall performance of the game through collaboration. 
  • Video Quality Assurance: Game developers heavily rely on quality analysts to develop their games. They also ensure the game’s mechanics, short keys, cut scenes, and others work correctly for an excellent gaming experience.
  • Project Management: A game developer ensures the game stays in tune with the schedule and budget. Furthermore, they monitor every step of the game development process and review the completed elements of the game.
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How Much Does a Game Developer Make?

As discussed repeatedly, the salary of a game development professional exceeds that of any developer. Even for entry-level game developers, there are many opportunities to earn big money. The average game development salary in the US is recorded at USD 108,471 annually in January 2024. Also, game development can help you make approximately USD 52.15 an hour.

Furthermore, the salary depends on the type of company you’re working with. A high-end game development company such as Roblox pays their developers almost $186,205 a year. Other than that, the hourly, weekly, and monthly of a game developer are different according to their level or position.

After going through different sources, we found out that a senior game developer gets $74.07 for his hourly services. Plus, the salary of video game developers also varies with cities and the demand for games.

Top 10 Highest-Paying Cities in the United States for Game Developer Jobs

Throughout the country, there are many options for you to pursue a career as a game developer. Also, you can find lots of game studios in different cities, making it a great place to start your career as a game developer. A report from ZipRecruiter shows that the top 10 cities where game developers get paid well are as follows:

CityHourly SalaryWeekly SalaryMonthly SalaryYearly Salary
Santa Clara, CA$66.46$2,658$11,520$138,244
Belmont, CA$64.68$2,587$11,211$134,532
San Francisco, CA$63.48$2,539$11,002$132,034
Marysville, WA$62.72$2,508$10,871$130,452
San Jose, CA$61.52$2,460$10,662$127,951
Alexandria, VA$60.57$2,422$10,498$125,978
Oakland, CA$60.20$2,408$10,435$125,222
Hayward, CA$60.10$2,404$10,417$125,008
Vallejo, CA$59.97$2,398$10,394$124,733
Antioch, CA$59.90$2,395$10,382$124,587

From this table, we can easily infer that Santa Clara is the highest-paying city for a game developer. Choosing to begin your career in this city within the gaming industry could be advantageous. The salaries of video game developers also increase with time, so you can migrate to these top 10 cities to get the best career opportunities.

Top 5 Best Paying Related Game Developer Jobs in the United States

As a game developer, you are not bound to only one job or career path in the gaming industry. Moreover, there is an abundance of game-related jobs in the United States, with the average salary of a video game developer reaching up to $130,000 or more. Therefore, read the following top 5 paying game developer-related jobs in this country:

1. Game Designer

Individuals with creative minds and technical skills can start a career as a game designer. Furthermore, it is the perfect job as you design game concepts and work on game characters and their storyline. Most importantly, the designer’s average salary in game development is around $155,000 a year.

2. Senior Game Developer

As a game developer, your career path includes using various programming languages to write code on the game’s logic and mechanics. Additionally, they are accountable for managing the technical aspects of the game development, including debugging and optimization. The yearly average salary of video game developers with experience is around $154,062 in the United States.

3. Video Game Software Engineer

While performing your duty as a video game software engineer, you need to design and develop software systems and features for video games. It will help to make sure smooth functionality, performance, and user experience are provided by the game. In comparison to the other game developers’ salaries, they earn around $150,000 per year, which is way above average salary.  

4. Software Engineer Game Development

Software engineers in game development design, develop, and maintain software systems, implementing game mechanics and optimizing performance. They collaborate closely with artists, designers, and other engineers to create engaging interactive worlds. In addition, these engineers utilize programming languages to bring creative visions to life in diverse gaming platforms. The salaries of these game developers fall somewhere around $147,524 per year.

5. Game Security Engineer

The role and responsibility of a game security engineer include ensuring the integrity and safety of online gaming platforms by developing security measures. They also analyze potential vulnerabilities, design solutions, and collaborate with development teams to safeguard against cheating and unauthorized access. In the US, the salary of a game security engineer is around $152,773 per year, which is one of the highest among game developers.

Empowering Game Development with ZEGOCLOUD SDK Integration

ZEGOCLOUD is the perfect all-in-one solution to take your gaming experience and industry to the next level. This platform is integrated with more than 20 pre-built UIKits that let you create engaging gaming apps within a few minutes. Game developers can also access different ready-made UI components and features. 

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There are various customizable SDKs you can add to your app, such as video call SDK, voice chat SDK, in-app chat SDK, AI effects, voice chat, and many more. Furthermore, it can be used to build the ideal gaming experience, as you can add live streaming API to your games. 

Moreover, this platform has an average global latency of 300ms for the best gaming experience, even with bad internet. So, gamers can integrate the SDK of their choice to boost the functionality of their games with ZEGOCLOUD.

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