Survey Shows Bleak Prospects for Australian Game Developers

Survey data released by Game Workers Unite Australia has painted a poor picture for the working conditions of game developers and workers in Australia. The survey compiled and released by Game Workers Unite Australia, ahead of Melbourne International Games Week, has found one third of Australian game developers are earning less than minimum wage.

The survey has, so far, been completed by 155 game developers and the findings have painted a bleak picture for the workers of the Australian Gaming Industry.

Those who partook in the survey were asked to rank the major issues with the industry. 82 per cent of game developers reported income as being their biggest concern, with job security coming in a close second with 77 per cent of survey participants reporting the problem.

A recent report by Gamers Classified spoke of the issues surrounding full-time employment in the Australian gaming industry with only 928 people being employed full-time. This concern was reflected in the survey results, as only 30 per cent participants were able to secure a full-time position in the gaming industry, indicating the unfortunate rarity of careers in the gaming industry in Australia with stable salaries.

The survey has exposed that the stability of work in the gaming industry is uncertain and in the unknown. 43 per cent of game developers who partook in the survey reported having long-term concerns for the security of their jobs, and a further 37 per cent having immediate concern.

This is largely due to the exponential numbers of workers in the gaming industry working under contract, the survey also included freelancers and part-time workers.

One of the greatest issues also centres on the reality that careers in the gaming industry are incredibly short-lived. 70 per cent of surveyed game developers had only been in the industry for five years. Only a handful of game developers pushed past the ‘five-year mark’ in their careers.

So what do these issues mean for those who are currently working in the gaming industry? For most, it means working for a salary that is below the minimum wage, with little hope of seeing a rise in pay.

35 per cent of game developers working full-time in Australia are earning less than $50,000 a year. According to the findings of the survey: ‘A qualified game developer in Australia is entitled to an absolute legal minimum of $49,998 per year, normally more’.

These findings have painted a poor picture for the working conditions of those who are employed or contracted in the gaming industry in Australia. Behind the survey, Australian Game Workers Unite is calling for support, solidarity and unionisation of the Australian Gaming Industry.

To show your support, visit their website to learn more about how to get involved.



Lover of literature and gaming from Melbourne, I’m a massive fan of story-based gaming and how video games are quickly becoming the next great form of storytelling - Anything story-based or a good survival-horror are my absolute favourites. Currently studying Writing and Literature at Swinburne University and hoping to take it into the gaming industry.