A survey conducted by Game Workers Unite Australia, which was released just ahead of Melbourne International Games Week has shown some disturbing results concerning Australian game developers.
So far, 155 developers have taken part in the survey and, from what they have said, it definitely illustrates the reality of how difficult it is to work in the industry. One of the biggest concerns that was present among most of the participants was income, a whopping 82% of developers said that income was their biggest issue, followed by job security at 72%.
Only 20% of the developers surveyed said they had no concern with the stability of their work, 43% said they had long term concerns and the remaining participants said they were immediately worried. It was also shown that 70% of the developers surveyed had only been in the industry for up to 5 years and only a handful made it up to 10 or more.
Wages are also a major concern, 35% of Australian game developers working full time are earning less than $50,000 a year. It’s a worrying statistic, as game developers in Australia are legally entitled to an absolute minimum of $49,998 per year.
From the data shown, it’s safe to say that full time jobs in the industry remain rare. Only 30% of the game developers surveyed said they were able to secure a full time, permanent, salaried role, while the rest are a mixture of full time contractors, part time workers and freelancers.
Whilst these results are quite staggering they’re also unsurprising. Not too long ago we saw the longest voice actor strike in SAG history, which brought to light a lot of issues that actors had about the video game industry such as a lack of transparency around projects, and vocal strain due to long work hours and sub par working conditions. These are real problems that run rampant in the industry and are unfortunately all too common.
Game Workers Unite Australia will continue running the survey and periodically release more data as more people continue to respond. For more information on the survey and GWU, you can visit their website.